Are the Women in the Duggar Family Actually More Liberal Than the Women in the Bates Family?

There are plenty of famous families on reality TV, but few have as many people in their household as the Duggars. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar attained fame through the years due to their Christian fundamentalist viewpoints and 19 children. And it seems they’re not the only huge Christian family taking over our TVs, either. The Duggars are also friends with the Bates family, as Gil and Kelly Jo Bates have 19 kids and follow the same strict religious viewpoints as well.

The Duggars and the Bates have a ton in common, though many view the Bates family as much more lax than the Duggars. Are the Bates women really any more liberal than the Duggar women? And could the ladies in the Duggar family actually be more progressive than the Bates women? Here’s what we think.

The Bates family is known for being more open-minded than the Duggars

The Bates family
The Bates family | Christopher Martin/UP TV via Getty Images

The families are certainly similar (and Jim Bob has even made it known that the Duggars and the Bates are great friends), but the Bates family is still known as the “cooler” version of the Duggars. In Touch Weekly reminds us both families abide by strict courtship rules that involve no hand-holding and kissing before marriage, but the Bates family is much more lax on these rules. They’ve stated before that slip-ups may happen prior to marriage, and that’s totally OK. Also, Gil and Kelly have made it clear that they don’t want any of their 19 children rushing into marriage — and if their kids would rather attain higher education than find their spouse as soon as they turn 20, that’s fine, too.

The Duggars, on the other hand, appear to be much more in the mindset of marriage over education. None of the women in the family have gone to college, though they’ve all talked about the importance of finding the right man. Not only that, but Gil and Kelly Bates have mentioned they put a lot of trust in their children to make the right decision for their own futures. Jim Bob and Michelle, on the other hand, always have a say in who their daughters court and marry.

The Duggar woman have expanded their horizons greatly over the years

The Duggar family
The Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

On the surface, it seems clear that the Bates women are more liberal than the Duggar women. But as the Duggar ladies marry off and begin their own families, it seems they’re welcoming modernity in new and exciting ways. While fan favorites like Jinger, Jill, and Jessa Duggar all grew up wearing long skirts and loose-fitting tops, they’ve all begun wearing pants since tying the knot. And In Touch Weekly reminds us the Duggar ladies have also taken to getting pierced. Jill got her nose pierced back in 2017, and it surprised her fans. “I’m shocked she got her nose pierced considering how conservative they are,” one fan commented on her Instagram photo. And several other family members have since gotten their ears pierced.

Some of the Duggar ladies may also be getting influenced by their more liberal husbands, too. Romper notes Jessa’s husband, Ben, has stated in the past that he doesn’t identify as a Republican. He’s also criticized President Trump’s decisions in the past and has supported the Black Lives Matter movement. We’re sure Jessa is also soaking in some of these more liberal standpoints.

The Bates women are probably still more liberal, however

View this post on Instagram

❤️✌️ #bestfriends4life

A post shared by Carlin Bates (@carlinbates98) on

From their wardrobe to their politics, there’s no doubt some of the Duggars have made great changes over the years. But it seems the Bates ladies still might be generally more liberal than the Duggar women. Fans on Reddit have noted some of the major differences between the two families that show how much more lax the Bates family is. It seems both the men and women are more open to hugging, human touch, maintaining social lives, and achieving employment as adults. The Duggar women may be getting pierced and wearing pants, but it appears they’re still deeply set in their ways. And we rarely see any of the Duggar ladies out with anyone other than their spouses or family members.

There’s still plenty of time for the Duggars to become more modern, of course. We’ll have to see if any of Jim Bob and Michelle’s grandchildren question their ultra-strict upbringing.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!