Jessa Duggar, daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, is 20 and dating -- and like everything else a Duggar does, the family is totally making it weird and gross.
Jessa Duggar met Ben Seewald, 18, at church (of course), with the narrative neatly matching up for the next season of 19 Kids And Counting.
Peoplemagazine spoke with the Duggars about what is, for most 20-year-old women, a private and personal experience -- but Jim Bob is totally wedging himself in between Jessa and Ben in a way that can only be described as "creepy in the manner purity balls are creepy." Also sort of "like what you see in a Lifetime movie."
While many young women are married at 20, or in college, Jim Bob says Jessa Duggar is dating Seewald... or, in a sense, the Duggars are dating Seewald. He yuckily explains:
"All of our family is involved in this relationship... It is an exciting time."
Now, before you get a purity-on, America, just think back to a second to when you were 20 years old, and imagine your dad saying that to or about (publicly) a guy you'd been dating and with whom you hoped you might go steady. And then, regardless of how religious you think you are, tell me how this isn't outright, controlling, horrible abuse?
Jim Bob is enthusiastic about Jessa's "courtship" because, of course, the Duggars have to take it on back to when women were chattel, even linguistically. He gushes:
"We are so excited for Ben and Jessa... They are enjoying getting to know each other and are recommending sermons to one another."
Jim Bob won't let his adult daughter pick her own suitors, you see -- he even openly admits to how he treats his daughter, who is a legal adult:
"He's the first one she has shown interest in that has a spiritual focus and legitimate calling about ministry work... When a guy is pursuing your daughter, you want to check him out and see if there are any red flags. With Ben, there hasn't been. He is very sharp. It appears like a match made in heaven."
It still gets even grosser -- at 20, Jessa Duggar is subject to being controlled sexually by dad Jim Bob as well. And the family humiliatingly openly admits it, informing the world that Jessa is, at 20, not allowed to even hug or kiss a man she dates. (Though both can legally vote, smoke, join the military, and drive a car.)
Mom Michelle says:
"Dad allowed them to do a side hug when they were officially courting... They agreed that would be the only contact they should have."
Puking in your mouth yet?
People adds that "the Duggar parents are also kept abreast of their conversations via text," and, seriously, this woman is 20 years old. Is there some kind of underground railroad we can put her on? Don't women go into shelters for far less abuse than this article cheerfully describes?
No one should read an adult's private text messages, and yet this message of control and fear and female subjugation is being covered in People magazine like a Miley Cyrus video.
Jessa Duggar's horrifically abusive courtship was depicted on last night's 19 Kids & Counting, but, if you felt like you needed a shower after watching what I just read, you're not wrong.