I once called it that, but no more.: I first read IKDG while in college in Jamaica.
I’d moved there from the UK where I’d attended an all-immigrant congregation that packaged purity culture as counter-cultural self-empowerment and self-love.
I also read some of In the spring of 2013, I started a hashtag #noshamemov (short for No Shame Movement) so that people would have a platform for sharing their stories of growing up in purity culture. In the 3 years I’ve been doing this, lots of folks who shared their stories point to IKDG as either central or playing a significant role in how purity culture was enforced.
It came up so often I finally decided to check it out from the library.
I would never have known Josh Harris’s name were it not for this book and his elevation based on it.
Even though I didn’t see myself as his primary audience, I and others like me reaped the consequences of his work. I was always an avid book reader and since I took my evangelical faith so seriously, I wanted to learn all I could about dating.
The US church was afraid of sex and sin, and so we became afraid too. Even in the black churches that I attended, this book was widely read.
Of course, it isn’t as simple as all that and, really, IKDG is revealing a method that cedes self-autonomy for what God and your parents want.I was in high school when it came out, and many of the concepts around gender dynamics and “purity” were part of my upbringing.I think that was probably why I avoided it for so long., Elizabeth Esther tweeted that she never went to prom because of her Fundamentalist upbringing.
In response, one of her followers tweeted that she didn’t have a prom because of Joshua Harris, the author of the influential book was published in 1997 and quickly became a hit among the Evangelical crowd.
I remember seeing the cover, and thinking how cool it looked, tipped fedora and all.