Steven Crowder’s naive and insulting marriage arguments

First of all, I’d like to say I appreciate Steven Crowder as a conservative activist and entertainer. Though I don’t agree with him all the time, I appreciate his passion, his sense of humor, and his understanding of new media. I also congratulate him on his recent marriage, and applaud his strength and conviction to save sex for the marriage bed. Kudos and best wishes!

So apparently, Fox News feels that Crowder’s recently-married status qualifies him as an expert on marriage. In “A Man’s Top 5 Reasons To Grow Up and Get Married” Crowder offers men a heaping load of donkey business and prods us to eat it. His points summarized, and my response:

“Grow Up and Get Married”

Well, Mr. Crowder, I am not sure what gives you the authority to define what it means to be a grownup man, but I think it requires a few more things than being hitched. I have enjoyed respectable success in my career. I live morally within my economic means. I stand by my word and try to be helpful to those around me. But apparently I’m not a grownup man until I find some woman and get married. Yeah… doesn’t make much sense does it?

1. You’ll be richer – Yes. Not only do married couples make more, save more, have a higher net worth and qualify for more benefits/financial incentives than lonely, single folk…

And the minute divorce proceedings start, this financial well-being becomes the property of the wife, her lawyer, your lawyer, and the court system. Men get utterly ruined in divorce through a combination of alimony, child support, and split of shared assets that generally benefits the woman. Nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce, with the wife initiating them 2/3rds of the time, often for less-than-dire reasons.

2. Would somebody please think of the children!! – The single biggest indicator of child poverty is whether both original parents are still together. Not only that, but children in married households get better grades, are less disruptive in class and less likely to develop behavioral disorders than children from non-married households. So be married long and prosper. Your kids will too.

In principle I agree with this. A two-parent home is the absolute best environment for children to grow up in. But again, this will all come to a screeching halt when divorce proceedings start and fathers find themselves treated lower than dirt by the court system. Fathers Rights are severely compromised. Women’s groups have aggressively lobbied against efforts to make things more fair to fathers. US courts put a primacy on maternal custody. And there is absolutely nothing obligating the mother to follow through on her custody obligations. Family courts are notorious for a failure to enforce custody agreements when the woman is at fault. But woe betide a man who misses a child support payment.

3. You’ll have more sex… A LOT MORE SEX

I acknowledge that married people do have more availability of sex than single people. But 10% – 20% of couples report having sex less than 10 times a year. In this day and age, there is nothing obligating spouses to consent to sex. An acquaintance’s wife stopped having sex with him after they got married and she had a child. She refuses to divorce, and has promised him he will never see his child again if he divorces her. And she refuses to go to therapy. So, basically, he’s screwed. Or not, as a matter of fact.

It is simply no longer valid to uphold opportunities for sex as a benefit of marriage.

4. You won’t be such a pathetic sloth – Married people are more productive. Married men in particular, have higher employment rates, work longer hours and receive better wages. It’s time to stop wading through puddles of your own filth as you reach for the hotpockets and have a dame whip you into shape. You’re welcome.

Should definitely consider whether this claim may be a fallacy of correlation = causation, because in the US, higher income people are more likely to get married in the first place. Also, Mr. Crowder can take his petty shaming language and shove it.

5. Don’t die sick, miserable and alone…. Married people not only live longer lives, they live healthier lives. There are too many factors at play here to even list. From married people statistically maintaining healthier weights, being more active and having lower mortality rates, to married women incurring less severe illnesses, enjoying better cancer survival rates and of course… lower rates of domestic abuse (as opposed to those merely cohabitating). Yes ladies, it’s true, living with an uncommitted, self-absorbed jackass can be hazardous to your health.

Crowder doesn’t source research here, but as far as I know many of the most recent studies done on married health vs. single health were done 30-40 years ago before the advent of no-fault divorce. Men are significantly more likely to suicide after divorce. And as we’ve discussed, women have legal and financial incentive to divorce. Also, I’m glad domestic violence was brought up, because that is yet another area where men get horribly screwed. Despite what women’s groups insist, domestic violence is not something that men only do to women. It’s actually reciprocal and generational in many circumstances, meaning both partners do it to each other and often their parents did the same. Yet the Violence Against Women Act has specifically pinpointed men as the bad guy for domestic violence, and by law, excludes male victims of domestic violence from support and legal avenues offered to women.

Lastly… Crowder, again with the pitiful shaming language? Why don’t you grow the f up.

You might ask why I’m directing so much bile at Mr. Crowder. Well, it’s because he and many other conservatives portray themselves as holy crusading advocates of traditional marriage. They obsess over preventing gay marriage, and they browbeat men into getting married. But they have done scant little to defend marriage itself. In fact, they have played an integral part in helping destroy marriage in the US. For example, VAWA was originally passed with broad bipartisan support, and still enjoys bipartisan support. Also, Ronald Reagan as governor of California was the first governor to sign a bill allowing “no-fault divorce” in the United States. Ronald Reagan, held up as the ultimate conservative ideal, opened the floodgates of frivolous divorce in our country with the stroke of a pen. In addition, divorce is well-accepted even within the Church as documented by the popular Christian blogger Dalrock.

To be fair, there are some conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly, Suzanne Venker, and the Independent Women’s Forum who have called for reforms on many of these issues. But if conservatives really want to defend marriage in this country, they should have made it priority #1 decades ago. They should spend far less time telling men to “man up” and more time working to help men and women enjoy equality in the eyes of the law.

So what do you say Mr. Crowder? Are you going to keep serving men horse hockey sandwiches and telling them it’s beef brisket? Or are you going to help save marriage? Your choice.

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