I went back and forth about writing this, because I’ve seen too many people in the political world use the misfortune of others to get on a soapbox, and promote their worldview. It repulses me, and under no circumstance did I want to find myself guilty of it.
But I don’t think that’s what I’m doing. I think I’m pointing out an uncomfortable truth, and I think I have to do it because I don’t trust anyone on the Left, the Right or even in the center (whatever that means these days) to communicate exactly what it is I have to say.
I don’t like the idea of publicly dissecting people’s personal lives. But I’m not really here to write a thesis on Steven Crowder, his marriage, or his character. I’m here to write about the lesson in what we’ve seen, that I think too many people will either miss or purposefully ignore.
I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t keep up with Steven Crowder, or really any influencers for that matter. It’s just not my thing. I watched some of his YouTube videos early in his career and listened to some episodes of his podcast when I carpooled to work with my friend in Virginia. I liked his content. I remember him writing about his wedding day, and describing the contrast between him and his wife vs another couple that had clearly treated the day like “one big party.” And while I admit that my ideal wedding day definitely includes elements of the couple’s he was scolding, I was moved by how he spoke of how sacred and serious that day was to him.
I never took the time to fully understand his Daily Wire drama, but I was turned off to learn that he recorded a conversation between himself and someone that considered him a friend. There are exceptions to every rule, but in general, people with pure intentions don’t behave that way.
But like I said, influencer drama isn’t particularly interesting to me, so I went on with my life without thinking much of it.
I saw his video about his divorce where he accused Candace Owens of extorting him, and I thought the words “threat” and “extortion” to describe her actions seemed far fetched – and remember, I don’t like her. I think she’s absolutely the kind of person to threaten and extort someone, but that’s not what I got from that clip. I noticed the way he framed things.
“I loved a woman so much that I married her…a woman who despite all of this, I still love as the mother of my children. She wanted something else for her life…that’s not my choice…she simply wanted out. It’s no one’s fault but my own…in that I picked wrong.”
Initially, I just took his words at face value – because things like this can and do happen. People fall head over heels only to learn years down the line how selfish and cruel their spouses can really be. I felt bad for him. I remembered the way he talked about his wedding and marriage in general, and I assumed his wife just gave up when the going got tough.
I assume that’s a conclusion a lot of other people reached watching that video too – especially people that watched him more regularly than I did.
And then, the Ring video went public – and it became clear to any decent person that “marrying the wrong woman” was far from his only mistake.
If I’m being honest, I usually roll my eyes at phrases like “emotional abuse” because I think they’re thrown around carelessly, and used too often by people with no appreciation for the weight of their accusations. Zanab from season 3 of Love is Blind is a perfect example. She was ready and willing to ruin a man’s life because of her own insane projection. But that’s not what was happening in this video.
That video was absurd, and some of the reactions to it were as well.
Some people insisted it was a routine argument for a couple. Others were adamant that there had to be more context.
I like to think of myself as a pretty objective person that waits for evidence as opposed to jumping to emotional conclusions, but I just can’t wrap my mind around a situation where it’s acceptable, reasonable or normal for a grown man to berate his extremely pregnant wife like that.
I can’t imagine a friend speaking to me like that – let alone the father of the children I’m carrying while I’m in one of my most vulnerable states.
My heart broke for his wife.
It broke for the people in relationships so bleak, they thought what happened in that video was commonplace.
And it broke for women and girls on the right in general.
Because as we move further and further into this ultra traditionalist worldview, we don’t just revere and respect marriage, we degrade and demonize being single – especially in women.
You might think I’m over sensitive as a single woman at the end of my 20s, but I don’t go looking for these conversations. I go on the internet looking for deranged memes and cute clothes, and before my eyes can even adjust to the blue light I’m bombarded with these reductive, boring condemnations.
We’re told we’re on ticking clocks from the day we turn 18, and if we don’t manage to lock down some guy and pop out 5 of his kids before we turn 30, we’ve basically wasted our lives and failed as women.
We’re told the very worst thing we can be isn’t abused, or trapped, or in a loveless marriage, but single and childless, and that the only way we as women can find any real meaning or value in the world is as a wife or mother.
I see so much harping on getting married, but so little discussion about the importance of discernment in that decision, or applicable advice to young women about how to choose who they’ll spend their lives with. Sure, they might say “make sure he’s a man of God” or “make sure he treats his mom well” but those platitudes won’t help most women in a significant way.
And when more emphasis is put on getting married and having kids as soon as possible than marrying and having kids with the right person, we’re setting women up for exactly what we saw in that video.
The best relationship advice I’ve ever gotten didn’t come from someone at a conference or in a viral tweet, it came from church.
The only thing worse than being lonely is wishing you were.
Being single is hard. We weren’t designed for it. But being married to the wrong person is harder, and we can praise marriage and uphold it as a worthy goal without downplaying or dismissing the risks that come with doing it with the wrong person for the wrong reasons.