Continues to empower. Georgia mom Jessica Kirkland, whose open letter about Anna Duggar went viral on Facebook this week, revealed in an interview with a local Atlanta outlet that she almost didn't post her thoughts on social media.
"I had a moment thinking, 'Maybe I shouldn't post it,'" Kirkland told 11Alive on Aug. 25. "Being from Georgia, I have a lot of friends and family members who are devout Christians."
She added that her purpose was not intended to attack Christianity in any way, but to fight the restraints imposed by communities on young women. Kirkland said she wanted to counter the notion that "you need to be a certain way in order to meet a standard your community demands of you."
In a separate interview with CNN, Kirkland said the thoughts were weighing on her heart. "I banged it out in two minutes on my couch," she shared. "I closed my laptop and went to bed. And it wasn't so much as a calculated effort to go viral, certainly. It was just something that I was thinking about and it needed to get out, and I needed to say it. And it came out in a fury."
In her Facebook post, the mom of two girls, ages 6 and 2, pleaded with her fellow parents to raise their daughters to have self-respect, given the recent news that Anna is remaining by her husband Josh Duggar's side even after he confessed to cheating.
"I normally keep things light on Facebook, but let's talk about Anna," Kirkland wrote in her Facebook post. "Let me tell you: Anna Duggar is in the worst position she could possibly be in right now. Anna Duggar was crippled by her parents by receiving no education, having no work experience (or life experience, for that matter) and then was shackled to this loser because his family was famous in their religious circle. Anna Duggar was taught that her sole purpose in life, the most meaningful thing she could do, was to be chaste and proper, a devout wife, and a mother."
Kirkland told 11Alive that her heart pained for Anna — and other girls raised with similar mentalities. "I just couldn't stop thinking about Anna," she shared. "I hope the message stands alone. I want girls to know their worth and accept nothing less."
She added to CNN: "I feel for her. I feel like she's living in an environment where she can't do that… I feel heartbroken for a woman who feels like she doesn't have the option to do anything else."
On Facebook, Kirkland concluded her empowering plea with an anecdote. "As a mother of daughters, [Anna's situation] makes me ill. Parents, WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS," Kirkland wrote in her post. "Boys, men, are born with power. Girls have to command it for themselves. They aren't given it. They assume it and take it. But you have to teach them to do it, that they can do it. We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this… Please, instill your daughters with the resolve to make a man cower if he must. To say 'I don't deserve this, and my children don't deserve this.' I wish someone had ever, just once, told Anna she was capable of this. That she knew she is. As for my girls, I'll raise them to think they breathe fire."
Kirkland revealed on Tuesday that her own mother read the post and called her to tell her that she was proud. However, Kirkland's mom also warned her not to let the 15 minutes of fame blow up her ego. "I have to admit I was tickled," she said of the viral memes based on her post that are currently spreading across the Internet. Her Facebook post currently has nearly 250,000 shares and 450,000-plus likes.
Meanwhile, Josh and Anna have remained silent on social media since his cheating admission. The 19 Kids and Counting stars share four kids, Mackynzie, 5, Michael, 4, Marcus, 2, and Meredith, 1 month.
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