Just months after announcing their courtship, Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell got married in front of over 1,500 guests in a lavish ceremony in Arkansas earlier this month.
It’s customary for members of the Duggar clan to tie the knot soon after beginning a relationship (Young folks tend to hurry the process along when they’re denied any sort of premarital sexual contact. Go figure.), but in many other ways Joe and Kendra have broken with tradition.
For starters, Kendra courted Jedidiah Duggar before she became romantically involved with his brother Joseph.
Additionally, the young couple skipped their honeymoon, which may lend credibility to the rumors that Kendra is already pregnant.
Whatever the case, something unusual is taking place with these two, and the situation has many fans concerned for Kendra.
Whether they’re members of the family by birth or marriage, all Duggar women are expected to be subservient to the men in their lives.
First, they follow the rules set by their father, then by their husbands.
Due to both her age (Kendra is just 18) and the unusual nature of her circumstances, Kendra has piqued the interest of Counting On viewers — and not necessarily in a good way.
Though she seems eager to pursue marriage and motherhood, the consensus amongst Duggar detractors is that Kendra has been forced to rush into both without time to decide if she’s ready.
“She doesn’t get to pursue an education or explore other avenues. She has been raised to be subservient to a man and to be nothing more than a breeder,” wrote one fan on the Duggars’ official Facebook page.
“It isn’t something to celebrate. It’s incredibly sad,” commented another follower.
A third took things a step further, describing Kendra as a “poor, young, brainwashed girl.”
But one person who doesn’t seem worried about taking on such tremendous responsibilities at such a young age is Kendra.
In footage from Joseph and Kendra’s first date, the woman seems giddy with excitement.
In interviews for the Duggars’ reality show, she speaks of Joseph in glowing terms and pines for their future together.
It’s true that she likely has no idea what she’s getting herself into, but that’s true of virtually all 18-year-olds in all situations.
Of course, in most cases, teenagers have the ability to change their minds if they realize they’ve made a terrible mistake — a luxury that will not be afforded to Kendra.
Watch Counting On online for more on reality TV’s most controversial family.