Rebecca’s Anti-Rape Raccoon, Rants, and More!

by | Apr 21, 2023 | Faith | 29 comments

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We are, quite frankly, gobsmacked.

It has been a LONG week for us, doing multiple interviews a day every day for several weeks, and increasing this week for the launch of She Deserves Better.

We’ve had an amazing launch team with 1000 people in it! 

And when the book launched, it actually got all the way to #123 on Amazon US (and #102 on Amazon in Canada). That means only 122 books on Amazon were selling better than we were. 

Amazon SDB Rankings

We were #1 in Christian women’s issues for a time (which is huge!), and even today we’re still sitting at 250 as I type this. 

I can’t tell you how phenomenal that is. 

In fact, we’ve sold so well that Amazon dropped the price of the paperback again! 

The Great Sex Rescue never got above 500 in paperback, but that was amazing too. We thought She Deserves Better would do well, but not as well as Great Sex Rescue. So to see so many of you rally behind it, and spread the word on Instagram, and write such amazing reviews–we are just blown away. So very, very grateful. So honored.

It feels like things are changing, and we’re very excited and hopeful that the evangelical church will start to change! We’re already seeing so many great stories come out of individual churches, and I think Aslan is on the move (may the reader understand).


Rebecca has said some super funny things on podcasts recently.

At the end of a Bare Marriage podcast three weeks ago, Rebecca and I were discussing spiritual bypassing, and how people often try to say something profound that makes them sound spiritual when someone else is going through a rough time. And it’s really better not to say anything at all!

Here’s how the conversation went (with thanks to Carrie, our transcriber, who does the transcripts for the Bare Marriage podcast!):


Sheila: Or is it just that you’re looking for something to say? Because if you’re looking for something to say and you don’t know what to say, often the best thing to say is, “I just don’t know what to say. I am so sorry.”

Rebecca: Yeah. You don’t need to say something that sounds profound because usually it’s going to be utter crap. I’m going to be honest. If you’re just pulling something out of your butt, don’t be surprised when it’s crap.

Bare Marriage Podcast Episode 186

Then, on Preston Sprinkle’s Theology in the Raw podcast, Rebecca pushed back when Preston was talking about how boys have a really hard time stopping. 

She said that if a rabid raccoon jumped in the car where the couple was making out, he could stop. We need to stop saying that boys can’t stop.

We had people ask us for merch of both of those things, and we came through!

We’ve got limited edition merch available until May 31 for both of those things! It comes in mugs, stickers, notebooks, coffee carafes, and more!

Your purchase of any of our merch (and we have lots of other designs!) helps support this site and podcast!

Sometimes Rebecca is super profound, too.

My daughter has an ability to encapsulate ideas into a single thought in a really inspired way. I often say that most of the pithy things in our books are hers.

When she started writing the Friday emails that go out to 48,000 subscribers, my open rate doubled. So many people love her weekly thoughts (and today’s is particularly good–you can subscribe here!).

Last week Rick Pidcock from Baptist News wrote a post on our Theology in the Raw podcast, and he quoted Rebecca near the end saying something pretty insightful. She was asked to comment on the conversation on Theology in the Raw, and the pushback that Sprinkle gave about how hard it is for boys to stop.


“What I’ve been thinking over is how in all these cases (Butler, Chandler, etc.), women were crying out that they were being hurt. The ‘twitter mobs’ were chastised for not having the ability to be reasonable and unemotional about this,” Lindenbach told BNG. “But that’s a privilege men have that women simply don’t. These issues surrounding male-centric sexuality and leadership are cerebral for men; they are visceral for women. It’s easy to debate differing opinions when you’re not the one bearing the cost of those theological differences. It’s easy to debate modesty when you haven’t had a fully grown man find you a ‘stumbling block’ before you even got your first period. It’s easy to overlook abuse cover-ups when you yourself are not at risk of systemic ‘God-sanctioned’ abuse.”

She continued: “Men are not more reasonable than women because they are able to disconnect emotion from these discussions. They are able to disconnect emotionally from these discussions because they are not affected by the outcome. Their ease with which they can have these debates without it causing distress, rather than being seen as evidence of intellectual actualization, should be recognized for what it is: privilege of not having to experience the real-world ramifications.”

Rick Pidcock

Baptist News, Preston Sprinkle’s strange interview with Sheila Gregoire and Rebecca Lindenbach

So many podcasts are dropping right now I can’t keep track of them all!

I’ve been recording between 3-5 podcast interviews a day, and they all seem to be dropping this week! It’s hard for me to keep up with them all, but I’m very grateful to each and every podcast that has hosted me and allowed me the chance to explain our research for She Deserves Better and The Great Sex Rescue. I’m going to try to highlight a few podcasts a post over the next little while so you all can listen!

Three Awesome Podcasts That Sum Up She Deserves Better

Bodies Behind the Bus Podcast

Faith and Feminism Podcast

Gravity Leadership Podcast

Gravity Leadership Podcast

Seriously, we can’t thank you all enough.

We have felt so supported and cheered on this week. I’ve seen so many of you tag me on Facebook and Instagram with your copies of She Deserves Better, and I can’t keep up with it all! 

But I see it, and it does encourage me, so thank you! 

This book was a real labour of love for all three of us. To see so many so excited about it, and to see all the reviews pouring in, has been amazing. I have three more interviews today, and a whole bunch on Monday, but I’m going to try to rest this weekend and just process all of this.

Thanks for being on our team!

She Deserves Better!

Because we all deserve a big faith.

Your daughter deserves better than what you likely grew up with in church.

What would it look like to prepare the next generation without toxic teachings about modesty, sex, or consent, and instead set her up for a big faith?

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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What exactly does "purity culture" refer to? Our recent book She Deserves Better spends about half of its pages addressing many aspects of purity culture, that was so common in youth groups between 1995-2015, and shows how it deviated from the gospel and from what we...


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  1. Cynthia

    Beyond all the great content, I love the relationship that you have with Rebecca. Your blog isn’t just about your own views anymore. You were able to have a genuine relationship with Rebecca where she could become an adult, with her own voice and views, and instead of seeing that as a threat, you celebrate and embrace that. You were able to listen to her and Joanna, and shift the whole blog from personal POV to listen to THOUSANDS of women and doing real research and analysis. That ability to set ego aside, genuinely listen to others, give space to those with other experiences and points of view, is SO important and too often missing today.

    Thank you. I’ve been loving Rebecca’s way of expressing herself and the “crap” line is pure gold.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thanks, Cynthia! She can articulate some things even better than I can, and often I refine my ideas by going on walks with her and the babies. She’s super insightful.

  2. Jane Eyre

    “Men are not more reasonable than women because they are able to disconnect emotion from these discussions. They are able to disconnect emotionally from these discussions because they are not affected by the outcome.”

    So true, and it’s actually about lacking empathy. If you have empathy and can feel how someone else would feel being on the receiving end, you’re not going to be “logical” about it. (Scare quotes intentional.)

    • CMT

      That is a great point by Rebecca and I think you are right to connect that idea of privilege with a lack of empathy. I suspect that is the underlying reason why some who love hierarchy and openly advocate male dominance also warn against the “sin of empathy.” If those with privilege begin to have empathy and true compassion for those who don’t, their system is at risk.

  3. Jo R

    Several months ago, I described to Mr. R. that I felt so free, so much lightness of being, because of your work along with others you’ve introduced me to, directly or indirectly, like Sarah McDugal, Ngina Otiende, Emily of Thriving Forward, Patrick Weaver, Andrew Bauman, Marg Mowczko, and others I’m forgetting.

    The best way I can explain it is like what Eustace must have felt when Aslan removed his dragon skin in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. So much weight fell off, imposed first by others, then imposed by myself to take it to the nth degree.

    I actually have real hope now, rather than just, well, waiting to die so the emptiness ends. Still on hold to really learn who God is and what Jesus has for me, but compared to six months ago, I’m out of the coal mine and into bright spring sunshine.

    That’s due to YOU, all of you on the team, and to many, many of the commenters as well. I cannot thank all of you enough. Hugs to everybody (with bodily autonomy honored).

    • Phil

      Glad to be walking with you Jo. I can tell you from my own personal journey. While it isn’t always roses That! It just keeps getting better as you work at it. Take the ride Jo. The Jesus ride. Talk to him, look for him. He will show you and it will be FUN!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you so much, Jo. That’s incredibly encouraging!

  4. Nathan

    I’m so glad that you’re digging your way out of the coal mine, Jo!

    And a great analogy with Eustace. He described the process as painful, but the end result was worth it.

  5. Sarah R

    Rebecca, you’re dynamite! Thus quote in particular struck m:

    “Men are not more reasonable than women because they are able to disconnect emotion from these discussions. They are able to disconnect emotionally from these discussions because they are not affected by the outcome. Their ease with which they can have these debates without it causing distress, rather than being seen as evidence of intellectual actualization, should be recognized for what it is: privilege of not having to experience the real-world ramifications.”

    This was exactly what I was saying to a colleague earlier about Jordan Peterson’s famous interview with Cathy Newman. She’s widely slammed by the JP fanboys for getting angry with him while he stays calm, but of course she would get angry — he’s saying some pretty offensive things, all with an unspeakably patronising air. Too many young men I know are buying his crap because he keeps things ‘intellectual’ — otherwise known as unemotional. But why would he be emotional about it? His ideas don’t make the world more dangerous for him or people like him.

    On a more positive note, I received my copy of She Deserves Better yesterday and I really look forward to settling down this weekend and reading it. Well done team — you should be very proud! 👏🏻

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Exactly, Sarah! hope you love the book!

  6. Elizabeth

    I keep hearing an argument made –an argument that does need to reframed, but I keep hearing it made seemingly without the middle.

    The argument that needs to be reframed: he has a harder time stopping, so she needs to be the GateKeeper or as it is sometimes presented she shouldn’t have started it.

    The way you guys are reframing the argument something is left out.

    I think a possible way to frame it is this: some guys may have a harder time stopping. If a guy knows this about himself, then he should be the one who does not start something he cannot stop. The same is true for women. If a woman knows she may not be able to stop, she should not put herself in the position where she will have to make that decision.

    This would be an equal principle that applies equally to both parties and involves discernment rather than rules.

    I know this to be true because I was a girl who would push it too far and become provocative. Thankfully I was with a better man who knew what he could handle and respected both of our wishes for us. He held me to my own standard and his when I could not. The respect I have for him has never been forgotten.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Well said!

  7. Ladybug

    Some men will not even notice that a woman has said no, or that she has said “ouch, that hurts” until she turns into a rabid raccoon. And then he will wonder what is wrong with her because he simply cannot conceive of the idea that he has done something wrong or inappropriate.

    • Anonymous305

      True, but grrrrr 😡😡‼️

  8. Anonymous305

    Some churches taught boys to disrespect girls just as much as they taught girls to disrespect themselves. However, just like in GSR, there were also churches where the boys had no clue what the church was telling girls.

    Specifically, I recently talked to my brother about what is harmful about evangelicalism, and he had no idea some of the toxic messages existed. I don’t normally talk to my brother about sex, but I wanted him to know how to help a theoretical wife recover from toxic messages. I did it for a woman that he may or may not ever meet. Anyway, he told me that in youth group, he got the message that he was responsible for his own behavior without any, “but what was she wearing?” I got the, “but what was she wearing?” WERE WE REALLY AT THE SAME CHURCH????

    Thankfully, he was out of youth group before Every Young Man’s Battle, but, even after it came out, he still ended up hearing that marriage won’t fix a porn addiction, and didn’t hear that a wife would be methadone. I’m glad for that, but whahuh???? Are we on the same planet??!!

    • Taryn

      This is so insidious to me. It’s like an elephant trained on a tether that won’t move even when the tether is removed. Or that poor girl in the Nexivm cult who was kept alone in a room, but the door wasn’t even locked. They stopped teaching the boys to dominate us, but still taught us we were in subjugation so we just policed ourselves!
      And then the gaslighting starts: “We didn’t tell boys they couldn’t help it if you got them started.” Why did I think I was responsible for guys thoughts & actions, then? “Did your husband ever explicitly tell you he would lust & watch porn if you didn’t have sex enough? You shouldn’t think he’s like that!” Well, no, but he & I both read Everyman’s Battle b/c it was recommended by our Christian university. “You should have had more discernment & thrown out the bad parts of those books, but there are still helpful things for some people in them.” At this point, I’m 35yo & mad ’cause how the H-E-double hockey sticks was I supposed to learn discernment in this environment?
      Anyway, now I’m 38yo and still mad after following Sheila, deconstructing & seeing even more of the rot. I can’t believe so many men my age got the kinder, gentler message (yes, EMB was bad for them, too) & to feel like they were progressive dudes who would never coerce their wives or force them to submit like past generations. But they didn’t know we, their future wives & sisters in Christ, were pre-groomed to submit & be sexually available under the name of God & threat of sin & divorce that would be our fault. They didn’t have to coerce us because we were coercing ourselves w/the voice of some youth leader or (vomit) Emerson Eggerichs in our ears that we mistook for the voice of God.
      I am so sad for us! Just grieved and broken hearted.

      • Anonymous305

        So true!! I hate when people imply that I shouldn’t be angry at books because the real problem is that I shouldn’t have believed everything in the book and should have ignored the parts that didn’t help. That’s a good way to approach books, but it’s not realistic to expect that of people who were told from age zero to listen to what church says at a church that recommended harmful books without warnings. If I shouldn’t have taken a book seriously, why was it written and recommended??

        • Laura

          Some harmful teachings that are in mostly good books are like the tiny bit of dog poop in a brownie. All it takes is one bit of toxic advice to stink up the entire book or sermon message.

  9. loruhamah

    Not sure if you will see this since so much is happening.

    I keep thinking of James 1 and “…an angry person doesn’t produce God’s righteousness.” (CEB, like the awesome Marj Mowscko recommends.)

    It’s exciting that people are waking up, but it feels to me like we need to be asking God to take our anger and leave behind power and courage and motivation for action, from the Holy Spirit… does that make any sense?

    Because of James 1, and also Ephesians about not letting the sun go down upon our anger. I do remember that anger isn’t sin… but I find that godly voices and actions have more reach when their anger is both fully acknowledged, and yet quickly let go of/released.

    • Anonymous305

      We should be motivated by love instead of revenge, but even a person motivated by love gets angry when someone they love suffers injustice.

    • Aron M

      I think it’s important to take that one sentence in James 1:20 in the context of the rest of the chapter. Immediately before that he warns us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and SLOW to become angry. Because being fastidious about what we allow to drive us to anger allows us to “be angry and sin not” by being angry with God’s anger instead of our human anger (which is generally motivated from pride, selfishness or fear). As James later wrote pure religion requires us to care actively about the plight of the oppressed. If you recall from the Old Testament prophets there was quite a lot of righteous anger expressed by God’s prophets toward the hypocritical religious leaders for their oppression and injustice. The rich selfish lazy women of Bashan were called out as “cows” because of their selfish disregard for the suffering of their countrymen in the outlying regions of their kingdom who were being slaughtered or dragged off as prisoners of war. Meanwhile they were only interested in basking on their couches in their fine linens and jewels. That’s a pretty angry diatribe, yet righteous. It’s ok to be angry by the things that anger God.

  10. Cheryl Bennett

    One more thing. I met a woman who spent time in a country where women were required to wear burkas. She said that when women went to pay for something at the store, the men taking the money would pull their hands back, forcing the woman to stretch her arm out to pay them so that they could get a glimpse of her wrist because that was so tantalizing to them. Women covering up doesn’t remove the lust in a man’s heart.

    • Terri

      I have to take issue with your argument. I think your example actually proves the opposite conclusion. If men’s lust is unaffected by what they see, then why would the store clerks have to do that? Pull their hands back so that the women would expose their wrists? They want to see more. Obviously, it’s a different culture but the same things happen here in the USA. A man might drop something so he can watch the women bend over so he can see more. Why then do we see women in posters in bikinis next to sports cars in garages, mechanic shops, etc? They’re not wearing business suits. Sex sells and men want to look at that. Posters with women in business suits won’t sell. I’m not excusing men, I’m just observing reality.

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        The issue with Cheryl’s example is that it doesn’t matter what women do–men will always find something to objectify. So where does it end? What if he has a foot fetish?

        • Terri

          True. Men will always find something to objectify, but I don’t have to make it easier for them.

          This is the same reasoning used by those who oppose gun restrictions.

          People will always find ways to shoot people with guns. We cant stop it.
          However, I don’t have to be the one handing them the bullets.

          That aside, I appreciate everything you have opened my eyes too. I have been trying to critically think through all of this.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            The point, though, is that we can’t tell girls that they are CAUSING men to lust because of their clothes.

            Have you ever seen the “What Were You Wearing?” exhibits, about what women were wearing when they were raped? Rows and rows of sweatpants and t-shirts or long dresses with high collars.

            The discussion about lust has to be separated from the discussion of clothing. We now know that when you tell girls these modesty messages–that their clothes can cause boys to lust–girls have a 68% higher chance of marrying an abuser; a 52% higher chance of experiencing vaginismus; a 30% higher chance of having low self-esteem. This is toxic, toxic stuff. It needs to stop.

  11. Terri

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and risk sounding really stupid. But I am truly trying to understand, so please don’t get angry or attack me. I am sooo confused. I listened to the Theology in the Raw podcast twice and some parts multiple times to understand both sides. First, can someone please define “rape culture”? I am a mom with grown sons and a daughter. If I believe men will leer at a woman dressed in revealing clothes then that means I am perpetuating rape culture??!! That is what Rebecca said on her Friday email. I don’t understand this. More concerning was her comment that implied that Preston, the host, said that boys can’t help but rape women because they have a harder time stopping. I thought “was I listening to the same podcast?!” Never did I hear him say that or even imply that, yet Rebecca said ,”yes, this was something actually said on the podcast.” Over three times he said, “I agree with you 100%”. He clarified at the 1:06:20 time, “in no way would I say…I am not saying that gives them the right to violate consent 100%.” I think this is such an unfair characterization of what he was trying to communicate.

    I don’t know Preston or anything about him, but his pushback and questions were my questions too. As a woman raised with a lot of these messages this is not something you just easily throw off or step out of. Both of you, Sheila and Rebecca have been studying this for a long time so please be patient with us women who are just hearing this stuff for the first time. Another issue was when Preston was discussing his daughters not liking being leered at his suggestion was that revealing less skin can reduce that from happening. My mind says, “I agree!” But you changed the topic to sexual assault. He wasn’t talking about sexual assault, he was talking about being ogled and leered at. Not all men who stare/leer are going to rape you. Obviously, what a women wears has little bearing on whether or not she’s raped. But, it does have a lot to do with whether or not she will be leered at. My reasoning is that women have the right to dress and wear whatever they want. If men stare, leer, lust, that’s on them. I can’t control what men do. However, if it makes me uncomfortable and I don’t like that, then I have the choice to choose outfits that will attract less attention. My confusion comes when women choose to wear very revealing clothing and then complain about the looks they get from men. That I don’t understand.

  12. Terri

    I would love to see a discussion on the difference between “temptation” vs “lust”. We need to clarify this. They are not the same thing. Temptation is not a sin. Lust is. We can’t control the temptations that come across our path. We can, however, choose to not give in to our temptations and commit the sin of lust.
    I’m just wondering how this distinction plays into the whole modesty debate.


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