Heresy! Michelle Duggar Doesn’t Think Men Belong in Women’s Restrooms

Michelle Duggar, of the popular TLC show “19 Kids and Counting” is under heat again from the media for publicly sharing her conservative religious views.

Earlier in the week, residents in Fayetteville, Arkansas received robo-calls from the famous mother, in which she warned families to protest a new anti-discrimination bill that went before the city council Tuesday night and passed. The ordinance prohibits employers or businesses from discriminating against transgenders in issues of housing, employment and public restrooms. In the robocall, Michelle Duggar warned parents that the new law would allow men to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, possibly endangering women and children.

The controversial statement made in the call insinuated that men could pretend to be transgendered to gain access to women’s bathrooms and locker rooms to intimidate or harass women and girls.

“I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls. I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space.”

Since transgenders are currently one of the media's protected people groups, they chose to interpret the statement as claiming all men who identify as “transgender” are child predators or pedophiles.

The Arkansas Times called Duggar a “bigot” and a liar. They also brought her son Josh into the bashing, since he works for the “anti-gay hate group” (the unnamed Family Research Council).

Daily Beast’s Lizzie Crocker wrote “the religious conservative is fear-mongering” and “using her celebrity to foster transphobia.” Crocker continued her psycho-babble, writing, “Duggar is playing on the old and false conservative conflation of non-heteronormativity with criminal deviancy.”

In a satire piece at Wonkette, blogger Kaili Joy Gray cracked, “Hey ladies,” the “perpetually pregnant” Michelle Duggar “needs to check your ‘lady’ parts before you use the restroom."

TMZ heaped plenty of sarcasm, writing “Michelle Duggar is convinced ... child predators are aiming to use the cover of being a transgender to hurt children ... and she's determined to stop them in their tracks. Duggar thinks convicted male child molesters will have a field day if the law passes ... simply dressing up like a woman and perving out in girls restrooms.”

Jezebel, with its customary class and eloquence, called  Duggar’s statements “total bullshit.”

Surprisingly, The Washington Post’s Abby Ohlheiser, who previously wrote for the left-leaning Slate and New Humanist, actually presented the story without resorting to bashing the Duggars.

Radar Online hyped the “shocking audio” of Duggar “slamming” the “transgender community” and brought up the “numerous scandals surrounding” the family.

Gay advocates on Twitter were all over the story Tuesday, even calling on TLC, the network which hosts the Duggars’ long-running show to act:

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (“GLAAD”)  tweeted out an article accusing her of being “transphobic” which some charming Twitter users contributed their thoughts to:

The Duggars are not new to criticism. The media views the very large family as some kind of antiquated freak show whose traditional viewpoints on sexuality, gender and marriage are so foreign they might as well be aliens. At the news that the family’s matriarch was pregnant with her 20th child, the media mocked the family was “hoarders,” and Michelle Duggar’s uterus was “like a clown car.”

At the same time, ABCNews.com republished an article from gossip website The Frisky, in which writer Amelia McDonnell-Parry quipped Michelle’s 20th pregnancy “can’t be good news.” She continued her derogatory put-down, saying, “It isn't, if you're at all concerned about overpopulation or the health of Michelle's vagina."

Kristine Marsh
Kristine Marsh
Kristine Marsh is a staff writer/analyst for the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute.