For years now, Jinger Duggar has had a reputation as the most rebellious member of her ultra-conservative family.
Conversely, her older sister Jana Duggar has so fully devoted herself to serving her domineering parents that at the age of 29, Jana is still single, still childless, and still living in her childhood bedroom.
We say this with no judgment toward Jana, as that’s not an unusual set of circumstances in 2019.
But the choices she’s made are highly unusual in the Duggars’ world — an ultra-conservative, extremely old-fashioned community in which women are taught from a young age that procreation is their primary reason for being.
The fact that Jana is still single remains a frequent topic of discussion among Duggar fans.
Theories vary widely as to why she has yet to start a family of her own.
Some believe she simply hasn’t found Mr. Right, while others maintain that Jana is a lesbian who has been engaging in an illicit same-sex affair with longtime friend Laura DeMasie.
But whatever the hypothesis, the central thrust of the narrative remains the same, and it’s widely agreed that Jana is something of a disappointment to her grandchild-obsessed parents.
Jana has offered only vague responses when asked why she’s still single, and it’s entirely possible that either she’s made a conscious decision to remain unattached, or she’s still in search of a suitable partner.
However, there’s another theory that’s gained traction among Duggar watchers in recent months — it holds that Jana is being oppressed by her parents, who are forcing her to remain at home in order to help raise her younger siblings.
Proponents of this line of thinking insist that Jana is not a disappointment to Jim Bob and Michelle at all and has actually devoted her life to doing their bidding.
Perhaps, they reason, Jana will be set free when her youngest sisters are of marrying age themselves.
But since Jennifer, Jordyn, and Josie are only 11, 10, and 9 respectively, it may be quite some time before their caretaker is permitted to leave the Duggar compound.
That means, of course, that defying her parents and setting off against their wishes might be Jana’s only option in terms of starting a family of her own.
And what does all of this have to do with Jinger Duggar?
Well, all this week we’ve been bringing you exclusive reports from our Duggar insider — a longtime employee of the family who developed close friendships with several of Jim Bob and Michelle’s children during his years of working with their parents.
First, he informed us that Josiah Duggar is clashing with Jim Bob like never before and may be headed for a mental breakdown as a result of constant strife within the family.
After that, he closed the book on the ongoing mystery of Mary Duggar’s death by drowning.
Now the source is sharing his views on Jana Duggar and her controversial marital status.
It seems he’s of the opinion that Jana is indeed being held back by her parents — and that Jinger represents her only chance to break free.
"Jana is the one I hope can break the bonds that hold her," the insider said in an interview with The Hollywood Gossip.
The source made it clear that he believes Jana deserves more than the lonely fate she’s been assigned to — and he feels Jinger is the only one who can lead her to independence.
"Maybe Jinger is just what she needs," he said.
"She’s such a wonderful woman whether she’s gay or not. Somebody is gonna be lucky to have her. She’s the epitome of pure love."
Well, the 25-year-old mother of one has inspired rebellion in her sisters on previous occasions — such as when Jinger wore pants in public, becoming the first Duggar woman of her generation to defy the family’s infamous dress code.
Since then, she’s broken from her parents’ worldview in a number of subtle but significant ways.
In Jeremy Vuolo, she found a husband who’s vastly more liberal than her parents, and when the couple moved to Los Angeles so that Jeremy could study at an area divinity school, Jinger’s parents were so upset that they reportedly disowned her.
If there’s anyone who can inspire Jana to wriggle out from under her parents’ control, it’s Jinger.
Sadly, it seems the likelihood of Jana seeking freedom dwindles with each passing year.
Asked about the fact that Jana appears to have accepted the possibility that she’ll forever remain single, the informant resignedly remarked, "Such is life."
Sadly, he’s correct — women in strict evangelical communities give in to patriarchal pressures every day.
But millions of Duggar fans are not yet ready to give up on Jana.
And hopefully, she’s not ready to give up on herself.