The promos for this episode made it sound like the Duggar kids really traded jurisdictions (that’s Duggar-ese for “chores”), but it was more like “boys make a mess with soup while the girls learn auto maintenance.” Plus there was a commercial at the end for Scrubbing Bubbles, starring Jim Bob, Josh, and John David. (Don’t tell me that wasn’t product placement - who holds up a bottle like that with the label facing forward and everything while they’re just talking or standing around?) I did appreciate that the producers asked Michelle a couple of the real questions that have been brought up about their jurisdictions and the amount of housework that the girls do: did she think their allocation of chores reinforced gender stereotypes, and did she think she was raising the girls to be stay-at-home moms? Michelle’s answer was awful, though: the girls like doing those chores because gender stereotypes are “innate,” and also “most” of them want, in their hearts, to be SAHMs (because it’s the only career they know of for women?!).
So, the little boys did laundry (and they were using brand-name detergent - what happened to their homemade laundry soap from last week?) while the girls put on plaid flannel shirts over their long skirts and learned to change the oil in the car. Then the boys "helped" Michelle cook green beans and Tater Tot Casserole for lunch while the girls were "stranded" 200 yards from the house and left to change a flat tire on their own. The two oldest boys were nowhere to be seen during the chore swap, except when they drove the girls out to the tire change spot in a Corvette..? (Bet Josh "borrowed" that from the used car lot.)
The Duggars' double-standards just make me so angry. Jim Bob and Michelle kissed before they were married! Michelle wore pants! She worked outside the home (first in JB's mom's yogurt shop, then with JB as a real estate agent, and she even mentioned last night that she occasionally had to drive a tow truck when they ran a towing business)! Not to mention, they both got to attend public school, where Michelle was even a cheerleader!
For those of you interested in this type of fundie entertainment, TLC will be airing a special this Sunday on Purity Balls.