Will Michelle Duggar Put on a Pair of Pants When She Turns 45?…and Other Random Questions

June 29th, 2010

A few strange thoughts that have been clinking around in my mind lately.  Things that I have heard or read recently that have become lodged in my nebulous nebulum.  So with the aid of good old Google, I looked them up to find out more about them…


The androgynous mind is the most brilliant mind.

I read this somewhere… in a book I think… and it just got stuck in my head.  I can’t remember what I was reading or where I was or what I was wearing or if I had a snack or beverage at the time.  I just remember this particular phrase.  I don’t know why exactly it stood out to me.  But I looked it up and here is what I found…

1.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge is the first writer to state that the great mind is androgynous.

2.  Virginia Woolf took this idea and ran with it applying this idea to her own writing and to other great writers.  Woolf believed that Jane Austen and Shakespeare had the rare and wonderful, perfectly androgynous mind, while Charlotte Bronte, declared the better writer by Woolf, did not climb to the lofty heights of attaining an androgynous mind.  To read a brief and interesting essay on this topic – click here.

A few Virginia Woolf Quotes…

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.

Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man at twice its natural size.

I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual.

I have lost friends, some by death… others through sheer inability to cross the street.

To read more about this author with whom I am almost entirely unfamiliar - click here.

I think I can grasp the idea of an androgynous mind and I would guess that in this contemporary era, where the lines between masculine and feminine grow more and more smudged, that the androgynous mind is not quite as rare as it may have been in the days of Coleridge and Woolf.  And yet, has anyone attained the brilliance of Jane Austen?


I think not.



When the population of boys in a given country reaches a certain level, countries tend to go to war.

Again, I don’t remember what I was reading when I came across this idea, but as the mother of four sons I tend towards paranoia whenever the idea of war comes up.  I have four sons on the cusp of draft-ability (need I say more?). It turns out that there isn’t much of a historical precedent for  a link between large male populations and war, but here is a fascinating article on the problems of countries (like China) with a preference for male children who have self selected a population with too few girls that may result in violence in the near future.


Testosterone is the chemical that allows us to be skeptical.

I read an article like the one linked above a while back and it made me wonder if my ability to finally reject the faith of my childhood has anything to do with an increase in testosterone in my brain. I found this article which seems to lead to that very conclusion.  As women age they have more testosterone.  Testosterone makes a person more skeptical.  Therefore testosterone may have played a vital role in causing me to become an atheist!  What is going to happen to Michelle Duggar if on or around her fortieth fifth birthday, she receives a mighty surge of testosterone to her brain? I doubt that she would become an atheist as her brain is far too addled to think that clearly, but she might go as far to participate in the apostasy of PUTTING ON A PAIR OF PANTS!


Red heads feel less pain.

I don’t know where I heard this one, but I had to find out if there was anything to it.  According to this article, it is actually red headed women who feel less pain.  I know, I know, it’s one of those things you think is a myth, but it turns out, it’s true.  Also red heads are about to become extinct. Well… in a manner of speaking they are…


Richard Dawkins invented a word – ‘meme’.  Did you know that?  Did you know that it rhymes with ‘cream’ and not ‘Fifi’?  Because I thought it rhymed with ‘Fifi’.  Here’s a weird story for you…

The CD and I were sitting around. I had the laptop as usual.  He had the paper as usual.  When we were both reading.  We frequently end up discussing words that appear in whatever it is we are reading.  The CD looked up and said, “Do you know what a meme is?

“Not really.” I said, “Why don’t I look it up?”

So I googled it and discovered that the word was coined by Dawkins, which is bizarre because Richard Dawkins is kind of a central part of my life right now.  You know the God shaped hole that formed when I became an atheist?  Yeah.  Well Dawkins kind of sits in that spot now.   Along with a lot of other people and resources and books and YouTube videos…but for a new atheist, Dawkins is kind of a central figure.  He’s kind of like the Jesus figure… or maybe he’s more like the apostle Paul, except Paul was an asshole, so Dawkins can’t be like him.  But he is sort of like an evangelist, except no one goes to hell in his version of reality.  So I was like – omg!  Dawkins invented this word!  It’s like a sign or something!  But then I remembered that atheists don’t believe in signs, but still… it seemed like maybe it was one.

So the CD and I read the definition of meme and we discussed it at length and I still don’t really understand what a meme is.  I mean, I grasp it on a certain level and it really just seems like a fancy word for trend or fad.  But I guess it is far more reaching than that.  And somehow it replicates like a gene?  So it is comparable to blah, blah, blah… yeah – I don’t really get it.  Here is a spot to start if you want to really understand what a meme is.  And here is a list of examples. If you are truly able to comprehend exactly what this word means, you must have a brilliant androgynous mind.

Here’s the quote from Dawkin’s book The Selfish Gene that birthed the term – meme.

“We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. ‘Mimeme’ comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like ‘gene’. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme. If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought of as being related to ‘memory’, or to the French word même. It should be pronounced to rhyme with ‘cream’.”

Tuna Fish Sandwiches,



  • Can I have peanut butter and honey? I don’t really like Tuna Fish.

    So, I asked my brain what it might have stuck in it. “Brain,” says I, “do you have any interesting thoughts stuck in you?”

    “Self,” says my brain, “I think I do. How about this one: ‘Time is an illusion, lunch time doubly so.’ I mean, it’s a pretty obvious reference, but hey – you asked.”

    “Guess it’ll have to do,” I say. “Thanks, Brain.”

  • susan:

    After reading your thoughts I feel so shallow. You go to such depth in you reading and all that is behind the novels you enjoy. I think I am stupid.

    By the way, Michelle Duggar is like 44. Go figure.

  • Anonymous:

    Actually, recent medical science, especially in the area of dentistry, indicates we redheads feel more pain but we have a higher thresh hold for tolerating pain. I have a surgeon scold me because I didn’t fill my Vicodin prescription because she was adamant that post-surgery pain slowed down healing. My response was that I was in much more pain before the surgery and over the counter stuff worked just fine for me after the surgery. However, I am always one to stay home and rest when I’m sick or in pain. Screw “working through it.” I have a deal with my boss–I don’t work when I’m sick because it takes longer to clean up what I did badly while sick then it does to catch up when I return.

    Michelle Duggar would have to find a pair of pants that fits over the bloomers . . .

    BTW–I always randomly click one of your Google ads so you can keep the pin money flowing in. Today I took the How Masculine Or Feminine Do You Appear? quiz and apparently I am Perfectly Balanced! Snort!

    Link is http://www.lifescript.com/Quizzes/Personality/How_Masculine_Or_Feminine_Do_You_Appear.aspx in case the ad isn’t appearing all the time.

  • bPer:

    I had no idea who Michelle Duggar was, so I Googled her … um, ok. Why am I not surprised to read that she’s a conservative Christian?

    Richard Dawkins invented a word – ‘meme’. Did you know that? Did you know that it rhymes is ‘cream’ and not ‘Fifi’?

    When I learned the word, I thought it rhymed with ‘them’. That’s because to someone who knows enough French to get himself confused for a fluent French speaker occasionally, the word looks like ‘même’ (meaning ‘same’) without the accent, and that’s how the French word is pronounced.

    I was cured of that mistake once and for all when I was sitting with Prof. PZ Myers,Prof. Larry Moran and some fellow Pharyngula fans before a talk PZ gave in Toronto, and someone used the word. I remember realizing my ignorance and thinking to myself how glad I was that I hadn’t pronounced it wrong in front of such esteemed company.

    Thanks for the quote, BTW; that’s one of Dawkins’ books that I haven’t read yet.

    Tuna Fish Sandwiches

    Here in Canada, there’s an old joke: Americans call it ‘tuna fish’. Up here, we just call it ‘tuna’; we know it’s a fish. :)


  • Extinct redheads? Nooooo! (The genetics fan in me says really? Then wouldn’t blue eyes, another recessive gene, also disappear? I don’t know many couples where both have blue eyes…but eh. Genetics are a fun dice game.)

    As for meme…fascinating! I always pronounced it french-style “meh-meh. I stand corrected…

  • Action Squirrel:

    Where memes are born: http://www.buzzfeed.com/

    For a first Woolf book I highly recommend Orlando, which is particularly brilliant for it’s extraordinary flirtation, seduction, and finally surprisingly chaste consummation of androgyny. I think it’s pure genius, which means it is. But if you get bored, you can kind of get a bit of the flavor from the movie, though it’s helpful to have read the book first.

  • Don’t tease me w/tuna fish sandwiches! I’m hungry – my lunch was faaaar tooooo small!

    Also, that is very strange about redheads. My dad’s a ginger, & I was born a redhead, but it quickly turned blonde (the color now – my mom’s).

    My dad’s brother AND sister are also both gingers. But only 1 cousin (out of 6) is…..hmmmm…I should pass this info on to her b/c she seems to always be sickly. She likes to say it’s b/c her mom (my redhead aunt) didn’t breast feed her long enough (yes, my family is weird), & this will be something my aunt can respond with – “At least I gave you my red hair, so you don’t feel the pain of all your ailments!”

  • Also, I will tell my hubs that we need to get to procreating stat! We both have blue eyes, so the world is counting on us to gestate wildly!

  • AngAK:

    Interesting about the redheads. When I was in the waiting room, waiting to have my eyes lasered, a redhead in obvious discomfort/pain was sitting on the other side of the room after having just completed the procedure. The nurse came over to reassure all of us who were still waiting that redheads were more sensitive to pain and that we all would be fine, and we were.

  • Diane:

    Another interesting theory is that people with green eyes are more compassionate than others. I’ve read this numerous times in magazines and books over the years.

    I have green eyes; am compassionate, but as I think of someone like Ghandi and his nationality (where green eyes aren’t common), it makes me wonder about that theory having any validity.

    I enjoyed the entire post – it’s fun when I’m not the only one who gets these curious quests for checking out the meaning of words or more about something I’ve heard or read.

  • LucyJoy:

    Great post, but I think not only does Michelle Duggar need to put on some pants, but also JimBob Duggar needs a vasectomy..

    I would recommend reading Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dolloway” – a stream of consciousness novel. It’s excellent!

  • Martha in Kansas:

    Well, those meme examples didn’t help at all! Looks like everything could be a meme. Further reading required. (Later.)

    susan, yeah, me too. Shallow me. Not a thought in my head. La la la. And I used to be really smart!

  • Kay in KCMO:

    Rechelle, you brought up the Duggars, not me, so the following diatribe is your fault. Ahem. I hate the f***ing Duggars. Hate them. I think they represent just about everything that’s wrong with the U.S. Logic and reason have no place in their little world. They live on that isolated piece of land in order to keep their kids away from the world. They homeschool for religious reasons and those kids haven’t had any substantial exposure to anything that would contradict their narrow beliefs.

    They brainwash their kids. Case in point: In one episode of their show one of the littlest girls – maybe two years old at the time? (she’s very adventurous and likes to climb on things) – said through her pacifier, “I’m going to have lots of kids!” Brainwashing. What two-year old says that shit unless it’s been pounded into them on a constant basis.

    They seem to have completely forgotten what their lives were like before they got giant checks from the Discovery Channel/TLC. They were practically destitute. But I guess the press releases they sent after the births of their children finally paid off. Literally. And speaking of press releases…

    The parents have made their kids into a commodity. They’re making money off their kids. It’s wrong. It’s exploitation.

    And what about the older girls? They do everything that would normally fall to a parent; they’ve essentially raised the younger kids because Mom sure as hell couldn’t do it all. The older boys? Not so much with the raising and the cleaning. Their wives will do that after all.

    Oh, and JimBob is living a lie because he’s gay.

    I don’t wish these people harm, I just want others to stop thinking highly of them. They’re creeps. What I wouldn’t give to have a hidden camera in that house to find out what really is said when the TLC cameras aren’t there.

    Rechelle, I didn’t mean to hijack and I thoroughly expect you to delete my little rant. Plus, looking back over this it’s very badly written. You should delete it for that reason alone. /rant

  • I Like the Duggars… Yes, they are a little different… but so what if the girls don’t wear pants… after all SOMEONE has to buy all the denim skirts at the thrift store.

  • Ann:

    Great Post Rechelle! Oh and Kay in KCMO true that girl! The Duggars are so awful. At least they do seem to be listening to the producers and let some of the girls change that nasty Mormon hairdo. Did you ever hear the interview with Jim Bob when asked how he would afford college for all those children? His response was that only boys go to college. The girls are being raised and trained to be wives to raise more boys–that go to college. Great Rant Kay!

  • Kay in KCMO – Why would I delete it Kay? I think you are 100% right. Michelle Duggar is a zombie. Whenever I hear her talk – she sounds like she is on drugs. If any of their kids, especially their girls get a real chance at life and manage to break away from the ‘baby factory for god concept’, it will be a wondrous thing.

  • How does Jim Bob plan for his daughters to meet their husbands if they don’t go to college? What if one of his girls wants to go go college? Gaw – that is so heartbreaking to me.

  • Well I thought it was pronounced mehm and I thought Richard Dawkins hosted Family Feud so what do I know.

  • Kay in KCMO:

    Okay. Well, thanks for not deleting. I just didn’t want to hijack things. Michelle’s little girl half-whisper voice is maddening. Grow the fuck up!! No one, NO ONE ( no adult, anyway) is that little girl-sweet all the time. When those cameras aren’t around I bet…grrrr…

    Remember the San Francisco show? They were driven through the Castro on Halloween night. Halloween is a sacred holiday in the Castro. Did we see footage of their reaction? Hell no!! My guess is that they were huddled in the back of the van/SUV praying for jeebus to deliver them from all the half-naked, masked, evil homosexuals

    What little physical exposure to the outside world those kids get is mostly through the once-a-year homeschool gathering they all attend. And that’s not even the real outside world. The kids will have to meet any potential spouses there or pair up with members of the Bates family.

    I’m sorry. I could write pages about how evil these people are. Must. Stop. Now.

    @ Mavis – right on about the denim skirts. I just dated myself with the ‘right on,’ didn’t I?

  • e:

    This entire thread is so humorous I can’t single any one thing to comment about.

    I don’t understand what a meme is either, although I was pronouncing it correctly

  • e:

    The Duggars are fascinating to watch in a car wreck/house fire kind of way. Horrifying but it’s hard to look away.
    Someone mentioned JimBob is gay. Don’t a lot of fundy men seem that way?

  • Sue:

    Being British I thought “pants” referred to underwear and though that Michelle Duggan was some sort of socialite publicity seeker, half right then.

  • I’d say Andy Warhol was pretty dang androgynous, and also pretty dang brilliant.

    I think you’re right about there being much more androgyny in society today, but maybe it’s not that there hasn’t been anyone as brilliant as say, Jane Austen, but perhaps brilliance has shown/will show itself in different ways?

  • Jimmy-boy:

    The meme concept is a total stroke of genius I think. It takes a mega brain like his to think up a simple word to describe a truly new concept. And to recognise the truly new concept in the first place!

    I would say that: I’m a big fan of Dawkins. Of all the atheist writers (and I really like Hitchens, Harris and particularly PZ), I find him the clearest. It was the God Delusions that solidified all the things I realised I no longer believed – and in so doing freed me from 30 years of tyranny. What a man!

    The meme thing is helpful on several levels. For those who aren’t Zoologists/geneticists etc the way it works is just as a way of describing how ideas move between people and through time. And it is the base of why we (all) have a tendency to believe things that are patently not true!

    On that: if anyone is interested, there is truly excellent book I’m just reading called ‘How we know what isn’t so’. It’s one of those books that explains a scientific area to the lay person – in really clear terms, with very accessible (and funny) anecdotes along the way. In this case, it’s all about the psychology of why we believe the things we believe, often in spite of totally contradictory evidence.

    Like religion and homeopathy for eg. But also, more mundanely, how the fact that mostly we do not like confronting people leads to perpetuation of mistaken beliefs. It’s excellent… And every theist, naturopath, extremist (including atheists) should read it.

  • km:

    My cocktail party tidbits quotient is now set for the balance of the year !!!
    My 5 year old is full of interesting facts. Not deep concepts but it’s a good sign. Did you know walrus’s tusks don’t stop growing or that a baby platypus has no official name? Well you would if you lived with Niterade boy.
    The thought that sticks in my mind is how quickly will these fundies outbirth us until they are the majority. How will my Immigrant East Coast liberal ass deal with that? I see the precedent in N. Ireland with the Catholic vs. Protestant figures. They changed dramatically in my lifetime.
    Another niggling thought that I have is why are women still fighting for access to medical procedures. The small government people think the government shouldn’t be all in the people’s business but hang on a second, this applies only to the menz ! They believe that they can control our gynaecology and obstetrics. How invasive is that? So here’s the logic – don’t tell me I have to wear a seatbelt vs. spread your legs honey and take a look at this mandatory sonogram before you make a choice.

    (I too thought it was meme rhyming with them)

  • I must take issue with that redheads/pain bit, as I’m currently nursing a very very fresh, very very painful tattoo.

    Maybe if I’d known that going in, this thing wouldn’t have hurt so danged much.


    Also, I have a bit of a problem with the androgyny thing. Maybe this is my post-feminist mind at work, but it seems to me that the androgyny continuum is more about depriving women of their feminine traits, than it is about driving men of their masculine ones – androgyny as our culture perceives it lists more to the male side than the female. When a male is androgynous he’s “daring” but when a female is androgynous she’s “bold” – a subtle but important distinction. And then there’s the sex vs gender idea – where do transsexuals fit into the concept of androgyny?

    Of course, that’s all about physical / perceptible androgyny, rather than intellectual. Though I think the first bit (about the continuum &etc) applies in an intellectual way, as well.

    I must muse upon this in further depth…

  • Patricia:

    Great Post ! Thought provoking and funny….Thank you !!

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Ha! Great timing! I was thinking about Mrs. Duggar yesterday when I was TRYING to pee without hearing one of my 3 offspring yell, “Mama!” So how does Mrs. Duggar do it with her freak-show, other than the use of their “buddy system” of raising children, where she nurses one child (until she’s preggo again) and the rest of the children are raised by their siblings?

    I watched their show when there were only 14 or 15 of them. That shell of a woman is just a baby factory for Jim Bob’s agenda. Makes me sick.

    And she can never wear pants – skirts provide easier access for Jim Bob. Bleh!

  • Emily:


    Michelle Duggar doesn’t need anything besides her crew of teenage house-drudges. It’s very rare to see her care for the needs of any of her kids beyond the 6-9 month age mark. And the kids learn better than to ask “Mama” for help…they’ll ask their buddy.

    I’m glad they’ve actually gotten some exposure to the outside world through their TV show…they’ve travelled all over the country and a few of the older ones have been to Central America and SE Asia. I can only imagine how beneficial those trips could be to non-brainwashed kids. Just about any home-school (or public-school) parent who actually cared about their child’s education would love an opportunity like that. But these kids only go to try to convert the heathens, which is a really sad way to view the rest of the world.

    PS-Anyone who likes Duggar snark should check out a youtube video called “Kid Farm” (and its bonus footage). They are amazingly accurate and hilarious.

  • Kiara:

    You should watch this youtube show to learn more about memes: http://www.youtube.com/show/knowyourmeme !

    I, like bPer, started out pronouncing it to rhyme with “them”, but after I watched the show I figured out that I was wrong. (I never thought about the French thing, but I might’ve subconsciously been doing it, as I speak some French.)

  • km:

    I cannot be pro-choice and mock Mrs Duggar. She chose to have the army. I don’t like their Quiverful thought process with all its disempowering of women. I disagree with almost everything about it.

  • Catherine McP:

    OK I’m back..I left you for awhile dontchaknow. But I been seeing what your up to in the past couple months and I did miss your funny good writin’! OK there. Now, I’m a redhead and by golly I have a giant tolerance for pain, never knew why, but maybe thats it. #5 for awhile I thought you were talking about Richard Dawson. The Duggar mom? I kinda think of her as a cartoon character, not really real.

  • efrique:

    > So I googled it and discovered that the word was coined by Dawkins

    Which suggests you need to read more Dawkins. The Selfish Gene was the first Dawkins book I read, back in the mid ’80s.

  • efrique:

    > I mean, I grasp it on a certain level and it really just seems like a fancy word for trend or fad

    It’s more than that, because fads rapidly die out. A successful meme is one that operates in an environment of other memes that help it survive (or that collectively help each other survive). Religion forms a great example – there are collections of common memes associated with religion, that stick around and help each other survive (a meme-complex), in a similar way that groups of genes operate together. So “asking hard questions is unfaithful” is a “meme” that goes great in religious meme-complexes, as is “apostates go to hell”. Interestingly, religious meme-complexes evolve, speciate, interbreed, taking groups of memes from parents who in turn inherited them from other forebears (e.g. Baha’i draws on many religions, including Islam, which in turn draws on Christianity and Judaism; and Judaism has many roots in even older mythologies – the story of Noah is a direct lift from the epic of Gilgamesh, for example).

  • Rechelle:

    km – I am not sure that Michelle Duggar is really operating under free will or free choice in this situation. Her childbearing is done to please and appease a deity. The question is – would she have 19 kids if she were not operating under a religious delusion? Another question… would she have 19 kids if she didn’t have a reality TV show. The second question is quite a bit more disturbing.

  • Jimmy-boy:

    Hey Rechelle,

    Think you have to redefine ‘free-will’ if it excludes those acting under religious delusion! I’d like to take it though to excuse my facile f**k-wittery over 30 years. But unfortunately I don’t think I get away with it.

    I freely chose to believe a load of old bull. Coercion as a child – sure. As an adult…?

    I don’t know the characted involved – but having 19 kids might reasonable qualify the bearer as insane perhaps?

  • Priss:

    That redhead information didn’t seem right. I know I’d heard a podcast a while back that directly contradicted it. I just looked to see what I could find and though I didn’t look at many of the articles, it seemed that there were a good number saying that redheads need more anesthesia, rather than less. Here’s one from the NY Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/the-pain-of-being-a-redhead/
    And here’s the podcast where I originally heard the redhead/pain connection. The pain information starts about 7:40 in:

    The reason this even stuck with me a year and a half after hearing it is that my oldest daughter who was a ginger as a child, though blonde now, has often seemed to react to pain much more than my other children, to a nearly ridiculous amount. Then I was outside a room in the hospital where she was having a procedure done where she was having general anesthesia and she kept screaming. The anesthetist had to increase the gas they were giving her several times to put her totally under. After that I had a lot more sympathy for her reactions to pain. When I heard this podcast I thought of her.

    I did see other articles that agreed with the article you posted too, Rechelle, so I wonder what’s true?

    • Kimberly:

      Priss, I am going to have to back up your statements. I heard the same exact research a while back. I remember it because growing up I always heard that women have a higher tolerance for pain, which it turns out it incorrect. Our neurons are actually wired to be more sensitive to pain. I think that myth just came from the fact that we endure childbirth. Also, in the same research was the redheaded issue. And, like you, I remember hearing that redheads actually ARE more sensitive to pain.

      Also, when I had my first child, a nurse informed me that redheads tend to bleed more for some reason. I don’t know if that’s accurate or just an observation by her. I was kept on my lovely pitocin drip nonetheless.

      Sorry, that’s just my two cents. Cheers.

  • [...] finds the most creative people.  As I watched these clips, I kept thinking back to the idea of the androgynous mind being the most brilliant mind.  In the case of Project Runway, it certainly seems to be [...]