While there may only be several thousand adherents of the Quiverfull movement, the Duggars have given it a prominent place in popular culture with more media coverage than many larger religious groups ever receive.
The movement first began to gain traction in the late 1980s through the writings of anti-feminist Mary Pride and her book Pride preached that the decline of the Christian family was a result of women seeking jobs outside the home and allowing other people to have control of their children’s schooling and upbringing.
Families who are a part of the Quiverfull movement are also strong advocates of traditional family roles that centre on male headship.
Followers subscribe to a literal interpretation of Scripture, citing passages from both the Old and New Testament about a woman’s homemaker role and wifely submission to her husband’s authority.
Using a feminist perspective of televisual narrative analysis, I will examine four episodes from the show to argue that it provides a platform for legitimizing a radical Christian sect that oppresses basic human rights of the women who belong to the movement.(New American Standard Version) This passage, when interpreted from a literal perspective, encourages women to follow the will of their husbands regardless of the circumstances; thus, often leading to an extreme interpretation of male headship in the home. Women who believe in male headship and traditional family roles see nothing wrong with a literal biblical interpretation.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He himself being the Savior of the body.(New American Standard Version)In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without word by the behavior of their wives.The television coverage of the Duggars has evolved over a five year period, with the family’s first television special in 2004, illustrating that, while the cable show does not garner as many viewers as a network program, it still has a substantial following.