As we await two significant Duggar events, Jill's pending nuptials and Amy Duggar's special, A Duggar Leaves Home (something that is eagerly anticipated by almost no one), let's get together to participate in the favorite activity of any true Duggar fan. No, it's not pickle-making or styling the perfect wavy Gothard hair but rather, wondering which Duggar will be most likely to break away from the pack.
My dream, of course, is that the most of the clan would leave Jim Bob and Josh to carry on their rightwing, Santorum-like dreams on their own. They'd be left in their crumbling estate, perhaps having a Grey Gardensesque decline. Josh would be Little Edie and wear a bedazzled head wrap and perpetually argue with Jim Bob, who would angrily yell from his bed with 100 cats. But perhaps that is too fantastical, so let's put our odds on the Duggar most likely to leave. And if we pray hard enough, perhaps our dreams will come true.
Pros: She seems like she has almost disappeared this season, being even less self-actualized than the average Duggar (which is saying something). She is almost silent, only taking a leadership role in the annoying dinner theater episode. Sad and downcast, she has been the one who has complained the most about being a caretaker to her younger siblings. Her dreams have never really been considered; she has been trained as a doula, but it seems that only happened because she had to chaperone Jill, who is a midwife's apprentice. Who is Jana Duggar? Someone who would really probably enjoy having her own life but has no idea what that would even look like She even seems the least interested promoting their book, Growing up Duggar, only participating because of family pressures.
Cons: She might not have the energy to break away from the clan because she would risk being ostracized and if nothing else, is very attached to Jill. Likely has enormous pressure to stay home to care for her siblings, especially as Jill and Jessa are set to leave in the next year or so. Joy Anna has yet to fully take over older sister's duties and the next five or so siblings are boys, who aren't expected to participate in child-rearing. (Pic from Pinterest)
Pros: John David more than anyone seems like he does his own thing. The second oldest brother, he does not have to participate in childrearing and can spend his time tinkering on cars and buying houses. He hangs out with the Bates and does overseas trips but generally has made allusions that he thinks the whole Duggar marriage deal might be bullshit. John David might always be a right-winger, but he could make a slow fadeout to some conventional conservative Baptist lifestyle without making too many waves. John David might have political ambitions but seems more suited to living in the woods with his pet bear, like Grizzly Adams.
Cons: Because he lacks originality and frankly, John David might not be bothered to put the effort into rebelling. More than the girls, he benefits from the patriarchal Gothard philosophy and might learn to appreciate having a dutiful wife to make him pickles and not question his authority. (Pic from Youtube)
Pros: The smirk of the south, Jessa Duggar seems even less impressed with her betrothed than the television audience. While Jill Dilliard does all but dry hump Derick (with her passionate front hugs and talks about poundings), Jessa just unconvincingly tries to discuss how much she loves Ben, while rolling her eyes at his awkward romantic gestures and dreams about their future. Perhaps she is hoping that after marriage, she will slowly break away from her boorish husband and live her beautician dreams in a large city far away where she will make the world better through copious use of eyeliner. Ben will be left to curse God for not bestowing him with an actual personality.
Cons: Her Breck-girl good looks are far too important to the Duggar brand to let her go be some pink-haired heathen, like sinful, sinful Candice, Anna's sister in law. And maybe she likes the whole Gothard thing, but I just can't be convinced that she'd have any good reason to want to marry Ben. He's so dull and colorless that he'd convince any right wing fundamentalist woman to give feminism a shot.
Pros: Jinger is the original rebel Duggar, who has long been speculated to break away from the family. In fact, there is even a website called, Free Jinger, started by dreamers and well-wishers who didn't want to see her light be hidden under the Gothard bushel. If nothing else, Jinger would be justified in disowning her family because of her name. I mean, seriously. Jinger. Jesus Christ. There are no damned children named Joan, but one named Jinger. These people are the worst.
Cons: Despite her love of photography and coffee, which should rightly inspire a drug fueled stint in art school, Jinger seems complacent about being part of the Duggar industrial complex and may spend her life photographing babies wearing headbands with unfortunate oversize plastic flowers and hanging out at Mama Carmen's, staving off her depression with double espressos. (pic from youtube)
Pros: Personable, creative and likable, he is almost the male counterpart of Jinger. Josiah is an aspiring filmmaker who deserves better inspiration than the latest Kirk Cameron vehicle. He endeared himself to audiences forever by staging a mock beating of Josh Duggar under the guise of recreating the Good Samaritan story for the terrible dinner theater storyline this season. Have I mentioned how much I hate the dinner theater idea? Worst subplot ever. But anyway, Josiah's film was a work of genius and I salute you for your service to the greater good of mankind.
Cons: After graduating from High School, he was sent away to ALERT, a paramilitary academy run by the Gothard cult to stamp out any stray independent thoughts that may have not been eliminated by years of programming. Josiah might just be stuck learning bullshit from College Plus and hanging out with his less articulate older brothers. And in the morning, right before first dawn, he will lie awake, desperately trying to deny the faint tinge of regret that always seems to arise when it is silent. That glimmer of longing that flickers before being extinguished in the morning sun. (pic by Duggarfamily Blog)
Pros: You thought I'd include Johannah and Jackson, two of the most entertaining members of the Duggar clan. Alas, if it weren't this season, I may have but a new dark horse candidate has emerged from obscurity. Jennifer, I never noticed before, has become my new favorite Duggar. More than anyone, she is our Greek chorus because honestly, she thinks the whole marriage business is bullshit (expressing it more articulately than John David) and she's right. In fact, she thinks it is such bullshit, that she plans to rally the other kids to stop Jill's and Jessa's weddings through the use of rope and some other means. I'm not exactly sure. She kind of rambled off at that point. But I appreciate her spirit and her desire to stop these shenanigans because clearly no one else will, especially TLC.
Cons: There is a small window of awesomeness before the Duggars destroy their children's will. They don't take her seriously so they let her ramble about how Ben Seewald sucks but like Johannah and Jessa before her, the Duggar programming may overwhelm even the most courageous of hearts. Stay strong, Jennifer. I believe in you. (pic from the Duggar Family Blog)
Pros: America's tiniest wolverine, Josie has taken to communicating mostly through growling, which seems appropriate given the copious bullshit she has to witness everyday. When asked what she thinks about pending nuptials, she roars. When asked to sing about Jesus, she rolls on the floor. She is the family id. By her special status of being the premature baby whose health was precarious, she has been given a wider berth than her sisters. When her Michelle Duggar tells Josie that the world doesn't revolve around her, Josie knows that her mother is lying. Besides her privileged position, she also has the advantage that by the time she is an adult, Michelle and Jim Bob will be so tired that they won't give a shit anymore. They'll let her wander off to Oberlin or Reed where she will pen a post-modern account of her childhood, using pickles, Aussie Instant hair spray and the remains of an ancient tater tot casserole.
Cons: None really, unless Michelle's baby hunger goes unchecked and she refused to let Josie grow up at all. But let's hope that doesn't happen because that'd be far too grim a possibility. I mean, if nothing else, Josie's feral tendencies might be her greatest gift and how she may find liberation. (pic from the Duggar Family Blog).