Two months later viewers tuned in for an extended wedding special wherein Anna passed from her father’s authority to Josh’s, and the couple shared their first kiss…ever.
In order to be empowered, women must be start by actively embracing systems that are designed to undermine female autonomy.
While “purity rings” have gained mainstream appeal, even making appearances on the hands of pop stars like Britney Spears (oh so long ago) and the Jonas Brothers, and “purity balls” have attracted some media coverage, “courtship” has remained relatively ensconced in conservative evangelical culture.
Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger offer a troubling blueprint for courtship that places a great deal of responsibility on young women, while highlighting all the reasons they have to be afraid, very afraid, of their sexuality and of men.
Although on the surface, the Duggar ladies are quick to stress that the moral burdens of courtship and “purity” should be shared equality between men and women, even a cursory reading of their book reveals gendered assumptions that would make such burden sharing difficult, if not impossible.
Interviewers seem to have been particularly fascinated by Jessa Duggar’s announcement last year that she had entered into a “courtship” with fellow conservative evangelical Ben Seewald.
Second eldest daughter Jill (22), announced on March 31, that she too was being courted by a young man, Derick Dillard—the couple announced their engagement on April 9and proposal was, of course, caught by TLC’s cameras.The Duggars write about courtship as a period of “observation” and “accountability” wherein two people assess one another’s character and suitability for marriage in “real-life” but carefully supervised settings.It is not an arranged marriage, but parental involvement is prized.devoted several episodes to their well-chaperoned relationship. Keller for his permission to court Anna, and later as Josh proposed to Anna with her parents near by.When the elated young Anna said yes, she and Josh then shared a “side hug” and took their physical relationship to a new level—they began holding hands.Courtship is rooted in constructions of male headship and female submission.