CO029 Rebecca Lemke on Purity Culture

Rebecca Lemke’s book, The Scarlet Virgins will be published soon. You can read about it, and her on her blog here, or on Facebook here.

In our discussion, we talked about Purity Culture and its disadvantages, and its thought leaders including Josh Harris, who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and Bill Gothard who advocates total gender separation before marriage.

I mentioned The Loophole by Garfunkel and Oates, which is very NSFW.


I’ve been looking at the news coming out of the white house and thinking of something that the alt-right blogger, Vox Day predicted about the way that the news media would report goings on in the Trump administration. Recently we’ve had the firing of F.B.I. Director James Comey, before that we’ve had the reported rivalry between Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon, the firing of Michael Flynn, and if I was Seán Spicer, I wouldn’t be making any long term career plans just yet.

I actually sort of agree with Vox Day there, that turbulence is not a sign of failure, and that trying things and dropping them quickly if they don’t work is a good management strategy. People can laugh at Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka, but Trump is rich. Sure, he’s tried a lot of businesses that didn’t work out, but on the whole he has ended up way ahead. One of the reasons that he’s still rich was that he didn’t cleave on to failing businesses. And that’s a good strategy.

Nobody can expect to never make a mistake. But if you are the sort of person to recognise when you are doing something wrong and stop, then you are more likely to be successful.

But hang on. Sure, giving up on lost causes is a good idea. It reduces losses. But just reducing losses isn’t enough. If you want to successful, you have to also have some wins.

Trump made big promises during the election campaign. That was one of the reasons that he won, other politicians were nervous to make big promises because their political experience told them to be cautious in what they promised.

Trump promised big, not just his specific promises like the wall, but other more implied ones like bringing work back to the rust belt from China or Mexico or wherever. There are going to be a lot of very annoyed people if those promises don’t follow through; the message from the White House that all the personnel stories are side shows. Maybe they are, but if Trump doesn’t put a performance on the main stage, that might not be enough of a line to tell for too much longer.