How TLC's Fundamentalism Hurts Women

Jim Bob Duggar would like you to know that his son, Josh, is not a pedophile. As an errant teen, he simply touched his own sisters over their clothes while they were sleeping, except for the times he groped them under their clothes when they were awake. But “this was not rape or anything like that,” and Josh is very sorry. Those statements, uttered on Wednesday during an interview with Fox’s Megyn Kelly, were meant to reassure the public that the Duggar family deserves to keep its hit TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, on the air. It’s still too early to tell if they’ll succeed, but the network that turned them into millionaires certainly isn’t backing away from conservative Christianity. The result is kitsch, and it’s painted so thick it nearly obscures the fact that this is a show starring human beings who sincerely believe that submission “is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to a woman.”