Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell shared their reactions to becoming parents in a new TLC video, and some fans don’t like what Joseph had to say about having a son.
The Duggar Family Blog recently shared a TLCme video of 2-week-old Garrett David Duggar making what will likely be his first of many appearances in front of a camera. In the short clip, Garrett’s father and mother, 23-year-old Joseph Duggar and 19-year-old Kendra Caldwell, introduce the baby boy to the world and talk about what it feels like to be first-time parents. Some fans responded to the Counting On promo by joking that Kendra is definitely a Duggar now; when describing motherhood, she uses one of her in-laws’ favorite adjectives, “surreal.”
“It’s definitely super thrilling to be parents of our sweet little guy,” Kendra says as she holds her sleeping son against her chest. “I think it’s kind of surreal right now, and we’re super excited just to do this journey together.”
When it’s Joseph Duggar’s turn to talk, he explains why he’s happy that his first child is a boy.
“The most exciting thing for me about having a boy is, as he gets older, going fishing with him — just everything that every dad thinks of, I think. It’s great to have a boy.”
Some fans reacted to Joseph’s words by accusing him of being sexist and pointing out that a child doesn’t have to be male to go fishing.
“You can take daughters fishing, too,” read one comment on the Duggar Family Blog.
“It shows that the strict gender roles are alive and well in that family and are never going away,” another fan remarked. “It really makes you wonder what Joe would have said if this baby had been a girl. What would he be ‘excited’ to do with her?”
It was also pointed out that Garrett may someday decide that he doesn’t like fishing or other activities that his father believes that he should enjoy simply because he’s a boy.
“Maybe he’ll grow up to like sewing or cooking or painting instead of fishing, you never know! Then Joe will have to work harder at connecting with his son’s activities.”
As reported by In Touch Weekly, Joseph Duggar was raised in a household where he and his siblings were taught to adhere to “traditional” gender roles; Duggar men are expected to go to work and bring home the bacon, while their wives cook, clean, and take care of the kids. However, while Joseph clearly views fishing as a masculine activity, it’s not something that his sisters were banned from doing when they were growing up. In fact, the Duggars have shared photos of his female siblings going fishing on their family Facebook page. They’ve even posted a photo of his mother, Michelle Duggar, showing off a fish that she caught.
Now that he’s a married man, Joseph Duggar doesn’t have to follow the same rules that he did growing up; as the head of his household, he gets to decide what his wife and kids are and aren’t allowed to do. In other words, if he doesn’t agree with his parents that it’s okay for girls to go fishing, too, he may leave any future daughters that he has at home whenever he and Garrett grab their poles and head to the fishing hole.