Advertisement
Advertisement

The Duggar family have come under intense scrutiny for the way they spoke to their future daughter-in-law, Kendra Caldwell, on her birthday over the weekend. Kendra Caldwell is currently engaged to 22-year-old Joseph Duggar, and the pair has announced that they will tie the knot in November.

Joseph and Kendra got engaged at Joseph's younger sister, Joy-Anna Duggar's wedding, which some fans denounced as "tacky" and taking attention away from Joy-Anna and her husband, Austin.

However, it was stated that Joseph was actually given the all-clear from his sister and brother-in-law to take away some of the attention on their big day. Being one of 19 kids, the Duggar children are probably all used to sharing the spotlight with one another.

Advertisement

The controversial birthday message

The Duggar family maintains a social media presence with their official Facebook and Instagram pages. The older Duggar children also have social media accounts, which are typically reserved for when they start courting or get married.

On the family's official page, the family wished Kendra Caldwell a happy 19th birthday with the following message, "Happy Birthday, Kendra! You are such a precious young lady! We hope you have a great birthday!!"

While some may not see the issue with the message, some fans stated that this was incredibly infantilizing and that it made it seem as though she was a possession of the family. They also complained because the Duggar family constantly refers to the women in their family as "precious," though they have never once referred to a Duggar boy as "precious."

The message also caused a stir due to the fact that Kendra's personality traits were not praised and it was incredibly generic.

Advertisement

Fans of the show think they may as well be wishing a happy birthday to a stranger, and this may indicate that they don't know her all that well.

The Duggar family's history of sexism

The Duggar family is incredibly patriarchal and has a long history of being called sexist. The family makes it very clear that women are to be "joyfully available" to their husbands and have as many children as "God will allow."

The girls in the family, including 27-year-old Jana Duggar are expected to stay at home and continue helping out with chores and raising the children until they decide it is time to get married. The women are also expected to dress modestly, so as not to arouse the men around them, and dress according to gender expectations, such as wearing long skirts and tops with sleeves.