And baby makes 20

There's a new Duggar in town!

Published December 19, 2008 10:00PM (EST)

Our very first Broadsheet post was about the Duggar family, back when they had a mere 16 kids. Despite the average family size declining worldwide, a year ago, the Duggars added baby Jennifer, and yesterday, mama Michelle gave birth to Jordyn-Grace, bringing the total to 18 kids, all with names beginning with J: Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, and Johannah are the others, in that order. Meaning yes, they thought of "Jinger" long before "Jennifer."

There's not much new to say about the Duggars that hasn't been covered by umpteen articles, a TLC reality show, their family Web site, and that ubiquitous Successories parody. They're fundamentalist Christians, and they have a whole mess of kids. That's kind of the whole story. As much as I disagree with the sort of Christian principles the Duggars espouse -- for starters, that women ought to devote their lives to having as many babies as possible -- one of my core principles is that grown women's reproductive decisions are none of my business, so if Michelle's happy, I'm happy for her. Congratulations, Duggars! May you never run out of "J" names. And may at least some of your 18 kids grow up to be radical feminist atheists.


By Kate Harding

Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010). Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University

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