Even the most ardent defender of Jim Bob Duggar (if such a thing exists) would likely concede that the best word to describe the reality star’s involvement in his daughters’ love lives is “creepy.”
Don’t get us wrong, JB exercises far too much control over his son’s lives, as well (except, of course, in Josh’s case, but that’s a conversation for another time).
When it comes to the girls in the family, however, it’s no exaggeration to say “you can’t date a Duggar daughter without dating her dad.”
That’s the frighteningly accurate fashion in which columnist Mary Grace Garis describes the situation in a piece published by In Touch Weekly today.
Whether you’re a fan of the family’s reality show or you tune in each week with a pair of Clockwork Orange eye clamps affixed firmly to your lids out of morbid curiosity, you’re no doubt familiar with the Duggar’s courtship rules.
The parts of the process that get the most attention have to do with the lengths to which Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will go in order to ensure their children don’t engage in anything that remotely resembling premarital sex.
Unmarried Duggar couples are not allowed kiss, hold hands for more than a few seconds, “front hug,” (lest their clothed genitals should come in close proximity), or even be alone together.
Frightening stuff, to be sure, but the way Jim Bob puts these young people through the emotional wringer is arguably just as damaging.
The Duggars have boasted in the past about how potential suitors have to get through dad before they’re permitted to spend any time with his daughters.
“The girls have always said they would send any guy who was interested in them to Dad,” Michelle has said in the past.
“That’s a good thing – that is such good protection for them.”
And this isn’t just a case of JB sitting the guy down and asking about his intentions.
No, Jim Bob makes men who are interested in one his daughters fill out 50-page questionnaire before he’ll consider the possibility of a courtship.
The first guy to endure this treatment was Derick Dillard — but he turned out to be an all-time douche, so he really didn’t receive much sympathy from Counting On viewers.
Disturbingly, Jim Bob’s behavior has only gotten worse over the years, as evidenced by his contentious relationship with Jeremy Vuolo, husband of Jinger Duggar.
Fans were baffled at the time, as Jeremy seemed to be the least problematic of all the men who had married Jim Bob’s daughters up to that point.
But it all began to make sense when Jinger rebelled against her father by leaving her home state or Arkansas and — gasp! — wearing pants!
Jim Bob must have figured out early on that Jeremy believed in such far-left ideas as allowing women free will.
And in the end, the situation served as a reminder that suppressing the rights of women is the main driver behind so many of Jim Bob’s actions.
Watch Counting On online for more on reality TV’s most controversial family.