'Raise them to breathe fire' post about Anna Duggar goes viral

 

A local mother promising to raise her girls "to think they breathe fire" is flooding newsfeeds of women across the country. 

"I just couldn't stop thinking about Anna,"  Jessica Kirkland told 11Alive's Julie Wolfe

Anna is in the wife of Josh Duggar, former star of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting.  After admitting to molesting underage girls, he called himself "the biggest hypocrite ever" when his name came out in the Ashley Madison hack. In an open letter, he told the world he's addicted to pornography and cheated on his wife. Before his downfall, Duggar lobbied for a politically powerful conservative group called the Family Research Council. 

PHOTOS: The Duggar family

But Kirkland, a mother of two, was more concerned about his wife.

"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. Anna Duggar did that! Anna Duggar followed the rules that were imposed on her from the get-go," she wrote. "While she was fulfilling her 'duty' of providing him with four children and raising them. She lived up to the standard that men set for her of being chaste and Godly and in return, the man who demanded this of her sought women who were the opposite. 'Be this,' they told her. She was. It wasn't enough."

 "We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don't have to marry a man their father deems 'acceptable' and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE," Kirkland said. But it was the final line in that post that has inspired memes, hashtags, and hundreds and thousands of likes: "As for my girls, I'll raise them to think they breathe fire."

 

 

"I had a moment thinking, maybe I shouldn't post it," Kirkland told Wolfe. "Being from Georgia, I have a lot of friends and family members who are devout Christians." She said she didn't intend the post to attack Christianity, but to fight the idea that "you need to be a certain way in order to meet a standard your community demands of you." 

 

Kirkland said she's received thousands of notes from daughters thanking their mothers, and moms vowing to raise their daughter to "think they breathe fire." 

"I hope the message stands alone," she said. "I want girls to know their worth and accept nothing less." 

Kirkland's own mother called her after she read the post. She was proud, but warned her not to let the viral fame go to her head.

"But I have to admit I was tickled," Kirkland said, when she saw a meme with her words over the Mother of Dragons from HBO's hit Game of Thrones.

I wasn't tickled; I was inspired. As a new mom, I want to raise my daughter to know her own worth. I want her to refuse to live inside a box others build around her. Like all parents, I want her to be happy and well-adjusted. I WILL  raise her to think she breathes fire. Her mother does. 

11Alive's Julie Wolfe is multimedia journalist and Manager of Social Media and Engagement. She's also a new mom and passionate about covering news that affects kids and families in the Metro Atlanta area. 

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