It's a widely-known fact that the Duggar family has some pretty strict rules surrounding things like relationships, clothing and "purity." (I mean, this ultra-conservative family won't even allow their children to dance.) Some of these rules make sense from a modesty standpoint, which is something that's incredibly important to the family. But why can't the Duggars be on social media before they're engaged?
The Duggar children grew up relatively sheltered from the realities of the world. They were all homeschooled by their mother, Michelle (and sometimes, even with help from older siblings.) What's more is their access to TV and the internet has always been supervised and extremely limited. And as the Duggar daughters wrote in their collaborative book, Growing Up Duggar, even the act of texting can be impure. "Sometimes even just the thought of a guy texting you or chatting with you through the Internet world can make you think, Maybe he likes me!" they wrote in their book. The sisters continued:
But remember, when a young man who has no commitment or obligation to you is flirting with you through texting or the like, it's probable that he is also flirting with many other girls in the same way — and even at the same time.
So it only makes sense to me, a long-time viewer, that Michelle and Jim-Bob would forbid social media until a specific point in time. I mean, social media is basically bursting at the seams with what the family would consider "impure" content. I get it; plenty of families keep their kids away from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the same reasons. Still, why is engagement the gold standard for social media access, as opposed to an age minimum?
Joy-Anna Duggar was engaged and married at age 19, according to Us Weekly. So of course, she's already an established member of the social media scene.
But the second-oldest Duggar siblings — twins Jana and John-David — are 27 and not in relationships. And they still aren't allowed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or anything else of the sort, according to the family's rules. So then answer this question for me: Why is Josiah Duggar on Instagram? He's 21. He's not married, engaged or even in a courtship. What gives?
In all fairness, Josiah got his Instagram account when he and Marjorie Jackson began courting in April of 2015. In Touch Weekly reports the then-newly-courting Duggar posted a (now-deleted) photo of his new girlfriend, along with the caption, "I'm so excited to announce that I'm courting Marjorie Jackson!" Except, the pair announced their courtship was off in August of that year. And as far as fans know, he remains a single man today.
Still, Josiah's older siblings — Jill, Jessa and Jinger — weren't on social media until they were engaged or married. Jinger Duggar waited until afater she officially tied the knot to Jeremy Vuolo before setting up her Instagram.
And both Jill and Jessa started using their Instagram accounts after their respective engagements, according to In Touch Weekly.
So why was Josiah allowed to start his Instagram account when he was only in a courtship — and then continue even after the breakup? Granted, a courtship for the Duggars is essentially like being engaged for the average person. But still! Is it because he's a boy? Did his parents feel bad that his relationship didn't work out, and decide to let him keep it? Oh, and did I mention that Josiah also appears to be on Twitter? Yep, he's there too.
Something isn't adding up, here. Unless ... Josiah is courting again? If you take a look at his Instagram account, he kept posting up until December 2015, took a roughly two-year break, and then starting posting again in August 2017. Perhaps something is in the works and the rest of the world doesn't know about it yet.
Look, I could sit here and play social media detective until I go cross-eyed. The fact remains that the Duggars are free to set whatever rules they wish in their own household. But as a parent/rational human being, it seems unfair to not to enforce these rules uniformly among all children. I realize in this is social media we're talking about, here; in the big scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal. But to me, this only adds to the proof that in the Duggar family, women are viewed as second-class citizens — the mandatory long hair, not being allowed to wear short sleeves or pants, not being allowed to go away to college or have a job, the idea that women should be submissive to their husbands.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.