It looks like Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth might be breaking from tradition in more ways than just violating the courtship rules.
The Duggar daughters are expected to submit to the will of their lord husbands or whatever, but Joy-Anna might be bucking this trend.
And nobody’s more surprised by this than Austin Forsyth.
When it comes to Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth, sometimes it’s a little difficult to tell what’s a problem for them and what’s normal.
Normal in the context of their arrangement, that is.
Like … did Joy-Anna’s pregnancy cause a shotgun wedding, or is her pregnancy just the result of two people who’ve never been allowed to orgasm before in their lives suddenly having free rein?
(While, of course, also possibly believing that they have a religious duty to produce a small army?)
Or when Austin Forsyth and Joy-Anna get political again, are they trying to stir controversy or are they just making an endorsement as some part of family deal?
(Remember, these two are so far outside of normal society that they might not realize what’s controversial and what isn’t.)
This time, though, the issue at hand seems to be between Joy-Anna and Austin himself.
We’ve seen some boring sneak peeks of Counting On before, but this one piqued our interest for one reason and one reason only:
So, this upcoming episode of the series offers a look at Joy-Anna’s bachelorette party and Austin’s bachelor party. They had the parties together as a joint venture.
Calling them a “bachelorette party” or “bachelor party” is kind of misleading, in the sense of how you’re used to hearing that terminology.
It’s more like when a couple of kindergarten students “date” but it literally just means that they wave goodbye to each other at the end of the day and that’s it.
In the same way, Joy-Anna and Austin are shown having a “party” that represents all that they, at that pre-marital part of their lives, understand to be fun.
Keep in mind that it’s totally viable to have fun without drinking or anything sexual.
But also keep in mind that these are people who don’t consume “the culture.” So talking about TV shows or podcasts or video games – or playing video games – is right out.
They go on a camping trip with lots of friends and family, and to their credit they spend their afternoon kayaking and rafting, which is genuinely fun.
What weirds us out — and where it becomes clear that Austin and Joy-Anna disagree about a fundamental part of their relationship — is when the couple plays “The Shoe Game.”
We’ve never heard of it outside of the context of the Duggars, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist elsewhere.
Austin and Joy-Anna sit back-to-back, which frankly sounds like something that they’d only be able to do after getting married, and play.
Basically, they get quizzed on each other and their relationship.
Holding flip-flops, they respond by raising their hands.
The question sounds like it would be an easy one for any of the Duggars.
“Who wears the pants in your relationship?”
Not only are the Duggar girls expected to submit to the will of their husbands after Jim Bob effectively transfers ownership of them when marrying them off, but Joy-Anna literally does not wear pants.
She wears dresses. That continues now that they’re married, as Austin Forsyth apparently prefers it.
Despite that, both Joy-Anna and Austin raised their right hands to the question — meaning that they were both announcing that they were the ones wearing the pants.
Now, maybe they had decided on the Duggar version of an “equal” partnership already … though we’ve seen no signs of that in their marriage.
So as much as people might like to see this as a progressive moment, it looks like they may have had a power struggle at that point during their relationship.
And it looks like Joy-Anna did not come out as the winner.
Still, it’s surprising to see any of the Duggar ladies asserting themselves, even if Joy-Anna may have been joking.
Is that a predictor of more conflicts to come between these two?
Or, now that months have passed since this scene was filmed, is it all settled?