I never thought I’d say I was grateful for Steven Crowder

He’s such an unfunny, horrible, selfish little man, but I am thankful that he has taught me about another plank of the conservative agenda: they want to abolish no-fault divorce. I had no idea! I assumed this was a safe and entirely reasonable right!

Steven Crowder, the right-wing podcaster, is getting a divorce. “No, this was not my choice,” Crowder told his online audience last week. “My then-wife decided that she didn’t want to be married anymore — and in the state of Texas, that is completely permitted.”

Crowder’s emphasis on “the state of Texas” makes it sound like the Lone Star State is an outlier, but all 50 states and the District of Columbia have no-fault divorce laws on the books — laws that allow either party to walk away from an unhappy marriage without having to prove abuse, infidelity, or other misconduct in court.

It was a hard-fought journey to get there. It took more than four decades to end fault-based divorce in America: California was the first state to eliminate it, in 1969; New York didn’t come around until 2010. (And there are caveats: Mississippi and South Dakota still only allow no-fault divorce if both parties agree to dissolve the marriage, for example.)

Researchers who tracked the emergence of no-fault divorce laws state by state over that period found that reform led to dramatic drops in the rates of female suicide and domestic violence, as well as decreases in spousal homicide of women. The decreases, one researcher explained, were “not just because abused women (and men) could more easily divorce their abusers, but also because potential abusers knew that they were more likely to be left.”

Today, more than two-thirds of all heterosexual divorces in the U.S. are initiated by women.

I had no idea. I was married in 1980, and I just assumed that this was an entirely voluntary association, taking for granted that she had the same rights I do. Was that a radical idea? I guess it was, once upon a time. What I take for granted is under threat from Republicans now.

Republicans across the country are now reconsidering no-fault divorce. There isn’t a huge mystery behind the campaign: Like the crusades against abortion and contraception, making it more difficult to leave an unhappy marriage is about control. Crowder’s home state could be the first to eliminate it, if the Texas GOP gets its way. Last year, the Republican Party of Texas added language to its platform calling for an end to no-fault divorce: “We urge the Legislature to rescind unilateral no-fault divorce laws, to support covenant marriage, and to pass legislation extending the period of time in which a divorce may occur to six months after the date of filing for divorce.”

If my wife were unhappy in our marriage and wanted to leave me, it would break my heart, but I recognize that I don’t own her and she has rights of her own and she is an autonomous agent. That Republicans want to deny women that right is eye-opening. I thought it was weird how Crowder kept harping on the idea that his wife was permitted to not want to be married to him, as if her agency was an affront to his right to compel her to live in an unhappy home, but that’s how the conservative mind works, I guess. Selfishly.

Now I’m wondering if right-wingers even have a theory of mind.

Also, further revelations about Crowder show why no one would want to associate with him for any length of time. He’s also a bullying, demeaning, awful boss, a spoiled tyrannical child.

In March 2018, Crowder and his crew were driving in a van when a former producer he liked to call “Not Gay Jared” fell asleep in the back row. “Steven was in front, and he was joking about what he was going to do,” a witness said. “He climbed over and dropped his junk on top of Jared’s shoulder.” The same ex-staffer recalled that Crowder had exposed himself to Jared in 2017 while they were filming a parody version of Ghost. And on a flight in 2018, a different employee claims they saw Crowder put his testicles on his childhood friend and assistant, John Goodman. Another employee remembered that Crowder had showed his genitals to Dave Landau, a comedian and former co-host who called Crowder a “bully” last week. (Landau claimed that Crowder installed a “‘Dave don’t talk’ button” on the show to get him to be quiet on air.) “At first, I took it as him trying to be friendly or one of the guys,” said an ex-staffer. “Now, I see it was a power play.”

Crowder allegedly sent production assistants to do his laundry and could be an “unreasonable micromanager” who would make wild requests after hours to “set people up for failure.” Ex-staffers claimed that he would “regularly” berate his team and threaten to fire people on the company’s Discord channel. He even went after his own father, Darrin Crowder, per one source, who claimed Crowder would yell at his dad in front of employees when Darrin was working as his son’s booker. (Darrin did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.)

All I can say is…I hope his ex-wife takes him to the cleaners, that his employees abandon him too, and and that not even a right-wing wealthy media site wants to syndicate him anymore. Not even the Daily Wire or Spotify will want to associate with this toxic person. More importantly I hope that every woman in the country becomes aware that a major goal of the Republican Party is to turn their marriages into prisons.


  1. says

    As someone who came of age in the 1980s, and was both married and divorced during that decade, this blows me away. I mean, I was only vaguely aware that no-fault divorce was ever not how it was done.

    “My then-wife decided that she didn’t want to be married anymore — and in the state of Texas, that is completely permitted.”

    There are no words. It never occurred to me that my then-wife would not be allowed to make that decision.
    If his friends/employees decided they didn’t want him to stick his dick in their ears anymore, would the state of Texas permit that? Time to review the laws in this area, I guess.

    Now I’m wondering if right-wingers even have a theory of mind.

    I think you’re on to something here.
    From the Wikipedia:

    Individuals who experience a theory of mind deficit have difficulty determining the intentions of others, lack understanding of how their behavior affects others, and have a difficult time with social reciprocity.

    Yup, yup, yup.

  2. raven says

    More importantly I hope that every woman in the country becomes aware that a major goal of the Republican Party is to turn their marriages into prisons.

    Vote, women especially, like your freedom depends on it. Because it does.
    Needless to say, don’t vote for the GOP.

    The christofascist GOP has always been pro female slavery and forced birthers. That is what those bans on abortion are.
    If you don’t even own and control your own body, what are you? A slave.

    You could say the same thing about their forced marriage bills that they keep trying to pass.

  3. says

    I suppose next Texas is going to say “those Magdalene Laundries were a good idea, let’s bring them back.”

    The state was founded in genocide relatively recently; they’re still barbarians.

  4. says

    It’s true, I am having to do all my own laundry this week. Reconsidering the virtues of chattel slavery now.

    Or at least I would be, if I were a Republican.

  5. Erp says

    Once the GOP was progressive, but, it has been many many decades since that has been true.

    But yes no fault divorce is recent, the ability of wives to be financially independent and not possibly have a bank require a husband’s signature to get a credit card or open an account is recent (1974). The idea of spousal rape being illegal is recent (and there are still actions in some states that would be legal rape unless the perpetrator and victim were married). One reason why the idea of legal same sex marriage is so recent is that until recently marriage was legally a very unequal relationship so if two men (or two women) got married who would be the boss legally? Look up coverture.

  6. raven says

    Even if the Islamic xian state of Texas or any Red state makes no fault divorce illegal, it is still going to happen.

    As long as people have freedom of movement in the USA, one spouse can just walk out, drive out, or fly out and leave. It happens all the time.

    I knew one woman who is very bright and also lives in a fantasy world much of the time. She managed to get herself into an abusive marriage and have two kids. One day she had had enough, put the kids in the car, and just drove away. She ended up in a small town in the middle of nowhere Montana, where she ran out of money and gas for the car.
    She managed to get it together enough to find a job, settle in that town, and lived there for a few years.

    Back in the Dark Ages, the big thing for divorce was…Las Vegas. When a lot of states had complicated divorce laws, Nevada set itself up as the place to go for quick divorces.
    The same thing will happen again when the christofascist states outlaw divorce. Women will just travel to a Blue state like Nevada and…get a divorce.

    The Blue states are constantly bailing out the Red states these days.

    If you are in Oklahoma or Alabama and have a failed pregnancy with a nonviable fetus, you have to go to a Blue state for a abortion or stay home and have a high risk of dying from state mandated substandard care.
    If you are Trans or have a Trans child, you end up fleeing from a Red state to a Blue state for medical care.

    In the state of Idaho, possession of marijuana is a serious crime and there is no such thing as medical marijuana. This makes getting marijuana so hard that people have to drive for a whole hour or two to find the nearest retail outlets, walk in, and buy some cannabis.
    If you want to buy medical or recreational Cannabis in Idaho, you travel to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, or Montana.

  7. ardipithecus says

    The Republican’s goals would be so much easier if they could get their pet SCOTUS to rule that the ratification of the 19th amendment was invalid. Five conservative males could do it.

  8. stuffin says

    A close friend of mine recently told me of her son’s divorce. They did not own a house and had no children. They weren’t even married a year (Disney World FL). Once they were married the girl took over the finances and completely destroyed their credit. Anyway, my friend told me once the wife was served, the divorce went through in less than 2 months. She said how grateful she was for the no fault divorce process here in NJ.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    PZ Myers @ 4
    That is why we need robots that are just below passing the Turing test.
    Or program them to like doing laundry -if such a thing is possible- otherwise you will have Marvin sulking all day long.

    NB – do not rely on the British ‘Laundry’ to get an entity to do the laundry for you. The Soul Eater might comply… for some time. Then you are toast.

  10. robro says

    raven @ #6 “As long as people have freedom of movement in the USA…” Don’t give them ideas. We’re one step away from that level of repression. They just have to pass a law to make “crossing state lines to get a divorce” a crime.

  11. Artor says

    The end of no-fault divorce wouldn’t change anything for Crowder. It would be trivially easy for his ex to prove that he is a rancid piece of abusive shit, because he has spent his career proud of those facts.

  12. StevoR says

    Last year, the Republican Party of Texas added language to its platform calling for an end to no-fault divorce: “We urge the Legislature to rescind unilateral no-fault divorce laws, to support covenant marriage, and to pass legislation extending the period of time in which a divorce may occur to six months after the date of filing for divorce.”

    Emphasis added

    Hmm.. perhaps I’m too tired but that last part seems rather odd & out of place there.

    OTOH, “covenant” marriage? I guess by that they biblical marriage as from the OT which, as Betty Bower’s explains here probly isn’t quite what they like to think & claim it is..

  13. says

    @laurian 15
    Maybe something in the area of territory marking instinct wise? Kinds of dominance display.

    Though I have a very broad definition of territory marking that includes drive-by “CANDIDATE 202X!” usually Trump.

  14. moonslicer says

    Jesus Christ! These Repubs never stop trying to come up with ways to hurt people. That’s the purpose of the party these days: to take power and see whose lives they can hurt.

    Night before last I was looking at the YouTube report on how DeSantis had signed legislation banning hate speech based on someone’s religion or ethnicicity. The righties were out in force and up in arms, protesting against this blow to free speech. (And what’s with DeSantis? A Repub of his ilk looking to ban hate speech?)

    The far righties these days are staunchly opposed to any limitation on free speech. It cramps their style. They want to be allowed to say absolutely anything, no matter how false or slanderous, towards their target of the hour. And they don’t consider that perhaps there are other sorts of freedom that are just as valuable as free speech: e.g., the right to live your life in peace and free from harassment.

    Basically, they’re whining because they want to harass Jews. What a noble endeavor!

  15. wzrd1 says

    @6, that’ll be next. Women won’t be allowed to travel without a male family member being with them, like all good Islamist nations.

    As for Crowder, the habituation of placing one’s testicles upon another person is referred to as “teabagging”. Had a Private start to try that one, that was aborted when he noticed my field knife in my hand and my smiling while relating how he’d be instantly emasculated were he to continue dropping his trousers.
    Some nearby infantrymen thought the entire episode was hilarious. My senior leader was present and happily explained to the miscreant that I was quite serious and that he’d not get vivisected trying to stop me.
    Sorry, but I question the sexual orientation of any man who wants to try such a thing, as that implies a desire to rape another of the same sex. I also don’t have a problem removing offending projections of such people.

    Next rights on the chopping block, women’s right to survive if a man wants her dead and the right to own property or vote.

    Bollock! PZ reminded me, I need to get my laundry done. While barely able to walk to the frigging bathroom… :/
    The profanity shall commence shortly.

  16. drew says

    You seem to assume that his wife is somehow not also a complete whackjob.

    I really doubt that “courting Crowder” behaved differently from “married Crowder” behaved differently from “I want to divorce this douche Crowder.” So what about him was appealing?

    If she’s any kind of sane, then she’s a gold digger who decided half their stuff is now enough stuff. If she’s not, then I doubt any “theory of mind” we can work up can help us understand her.

  17. kome says

    That would make for an interesting research study to add to the pile.
    “Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?” 1978
    “Does the autistic child have a theory of mind?” 1985
    “Does the normal brain have a theory of mind?” 2006
    “Do infants have a theory of mind?” 2012

    Might be fun to do a study and title the paper: “Does the political conservative have a theory of mind?”
    It might be the one that breaks the streak of answering “Yes”

  18. kome says


    None of my feelings on the matter hinge on what his wife’s beliefs are. Even if I assume Hilary Crowder is also a hardcore right-winger, she doesn’t deserve to be a victim of abuse just because she shares a lot of the same ideology as her abuser. She deserves the right to divorce her husband – even if he isn’t an abuser – and I want to protect her right to do so, even if she herself adheres to an ideological worldview that is ultimately trying to strip that right from her.

  19. says

    More importantly I hope that every woman in the country becomes aware that a major goal of the Republican Party is to turn their marriages into prisons.

    The problem is that Republican women don’t believe that this will affect them, just like they don’t believe that abortion bans will affect them, right to the moment they’re having a medical emergency and the docs shrug their shoulders. Their marriage will of course always be happy. Their marriage will last. Right to the point where contraception, which is also on the target list, has been banned, he has settled her with half a dozen kids and she finally gets a Serena Joy moment of unhappiness.

  20. antigone10 says

    Drew @20?

    I really doubt that “courting Crowder” behaved differently from “married Crowder” behaved differently from “I want to divorce this douche Crowder.” So what about him was appealing?

    Why do you doubt that? Abusers are good at love-bombing, they are also good at finding vulnerable people. Marriage and pregnancy are the two biggest “Mask off” moments for abusers, especially men abusers against women, because they feel they have people “locked in”. Research supports this.

    Victim-blaming; not a good look.

    On another subject- I always think it weird that “sanctity of marriage” types never push to make it harder to get married. Better to make sure people are ready for the relationship than to get out of a bad one, right? Same politicians support child marriage which full body shudder.

  21. says

    A “golddigger”? That’s exactly what Steven Crowder would say.

    From what I’ve heard, she was/is a conservative Christian who was sincere in her beliefs, and like many of her kind found Crowder funny — until she became the target of his “humor”. She was exploited by a manipulative psychopath.

  22. birgerjohansson says

    wzrd1 I have considered what you have said on previous threads. I do not know if emergent strategies to cure PTSD would be of interest to you and other veterans but I have read several such articles the last month.
    If you want I can post links at the Infinite Thread.

  23. gijoel says

    I’m shocked, absolutely shocked, that a man who makes a living mocking women, the disabled, the homeless and poor would be a complete arsehole in real life.

    Well not that shocked.

  24. Artor says

    Drew @20, Crowder’s wife’s beliefs are irrelevant here. She shouldn’t have to put up with that shit, even if she’s a horrible POS too. I wouldn’t even wish it on someone like you.

  25. silvrhalide says

    As we all saw on a previous thread, Crowder tried to prevent his wife from leaving the marital home for pretty much any reason, like “getting out of the house” and “getting groceries”. Why are you shocked or surprised that Crowder, among other rightwing assholes, wants to prevent women from leaving marriages at all? Unless HE’S the one kicking HER out.
    Everything about this guy is about abuse and control. Anyone and everyone is a target for this asshole, not just his wife.
    Although I do notice that it wasn’t seen as a problem until he started doing it to other white guys.

    @6 Sure you can walk out of a marriage sans divorce, but the costs to doing so are high.
    You are basically forfeiting all shared/combined/accumulated wealth. Wealth that could help pay off college loans (if you have them) or other asset loans, like auto, mortgage, etc. Bear in mind that you are still on the hook for the debts. Also, accumulated wealth can help provide a fresh start for the woman and any of her children that she flees with. Which is one of the reasons poorer women are more likely to divorce or walk out on a toxic/dangerous marriage–there’s so much less to lose. Middle class women aren’t staying in toxic marriages because they don’t want to give up the Benz, they stay in toxic marriages because they don’t want to be homeless or to have to worry about feeding their kids on SNAP cards or maybe they just want the ability to retire one day or have medical insurance for themselves and their kids. The danger increases if the woman or her kids have ongoing medical issues, like asthma, or severe allergic reactions (try buying EpiPens for your kid’s peanut allergy if you DON’T have insurance) or cancer. The dangers of staying have to be weighed against the dangers of leaving.

    Of course, if you don’t have a car or your asshole husband prevents you from using the ONE CAR in the household, traveling to another state that has no-fault divorce laws isn’t really an option is it.


    legislation extending the period of time in which a divorce may occur to six months after the date of filing for divorce.

    And where, exactly, is an abused woman living (maybe with her kids) while pointlessly and needlessly waiting for SIX MONTHS to pass so she can lose 200 lbs of useless ugly asshole? Don’t mistake that legislation for anything other than what it is: a legislative roadblock to prevent women from leaving toxic/dangerous marriages. It’s just as much a control move as Crowder’s refusing to let his wife use the ONE CAR in the household.

    @20 WTF
    Abusers choose their victims carefully. Men who can’t let go choose women who can’t say no.
    Abusers can be extremely charming and extremely calculating. Why is it if a con man cons you out of money, he’s the bad person but if a con man cons a woman into marrying him, she’s an idiot or in your words “a gold digger”?
    There’s a reason abusers’ first move is to cut their victims off from regular contact/communication with friends and/or family, ie., people who would say things like “WTF, that’s horrible/not right, if you need to leave, you can come back to the parental home,/sleep on the sofa” you know, UNTIL THE PROPOSED MANDATED POINTLESS SIX MONTHS HAVE PASSED AND YOU CAN FUCKING EXIT THIS TRASH FIRE MARRIAGE.
    Go look up the definition of “gaslighting”, a major tool in an abuser’s arsenal.
    Or just read this: (ALL the trigger warnings)
    From the link:
    ““When I married your father,” my mother always tells me, “he was the most brilliant man I’d ever met. And the funniest, and the most charming. At a certain point, he really was just the smartest, most amazing man in the world.”

    This is something she tells me, so that I can feel better about him. It’s what she can give me, after all that’s happened. But it’s also a warning, and a lesson — about people. About how they can change. About who you can fall in love with, and why, and why you should be careful.”

    @23 Well, yeah. Although I’d say “right up until the moment she dies in middle age from yet another unwanted pregnancy”.
    Roe vs. Wade has been the law of the land for so long and contraception has been freely available for so long that most people forget that a lot of pregnant middle aged women died during pregnancy or childbirth. That fact was just one of the reasons that contraception became available to women without their husband’s permission, which originally was literally the only way you could get birth control pills–you HAD to be married and have your husband’s written permission.
    Never forget that Republicans want to bring back “the good old days”.

    @26 Crowder’s wife can be a conservative Christian with sincere religious beliefs but those sincerely held beliefs can still be utter crap, as she is only beginning to find out now. The real question is: why should her sincerely held beliefs override my sincerely held belief that women are people with rights, not chattel property?

  26. nomdeplume says

    Is Crowder an incel? Because his behaviour is exactly like them. Women have to agree to be the property of men – all women, all men.

  27. silvrhalide says

    @34 Well no, if only because his then-pregnant then-wife gave birth to their twins.
    But the defining characteristic of incels isn’t so much their lack of sex, it’s their vituperative hatred of women and massive levels of entitlement.

    From Whatever on FTB

    Remember they are actually “volcels” — voluntarily celibate, because they’ve chosen to be crap human beings no sensible woman (or anyone else) would want to spend time with

  28. wzrd1 says

    @34, obviously not an INCEL, save if the child was the mailman’s.
    More a Chad that was an INCEL, but managed to somehow wrangle a woman into marrying him.
    Saw plenty of INCEL types over the years, a few of the latter, which said union rarely lasted for long, one resulting in the homicide of the wife. And one, who sought to pick a fight with me,half-assed attempting to assault my wife while she was trying to drive away, as his wife actually beat him and he sought escape via that route. And bravely turned and ran away when I opened my car door.
    To shelter behind his abusive wife, who pre-abused him.
    One of the few times I was actually willing to harm someone, rather than make them believe that I would. Both kids were in the car, the car was moving and he assaulted the driver, my wife.

    Yeah, lived in interesting neighborhoods.
    Preferring peace and quiet.
    Now, annoyed only by one nextdoor neighbor who laughs loudly and late into the evening, which is ignorable, ambulances for elders that are regular occurrences and emergency vehicles taking Front Street.
    With only the neighbor being annoyingish, laughing loudly like a human hyena, but then, I’m reminded that someone finds humor in life.
    Life’s a balance.

    @28 missed my acceptance of that and neglected my previous inexperience, although, it’s likely I’d do the same.
    I never suggested that I’d harm anyone.
    Although, at that time, I probably would’ve.
    Now, my extreme is a rule of warfare, fight and destroy everything you are trying to protect vs negotiate and actually protect that which you are protecting.
    Personally, I prefer trade. Trade of favors, trade of products, not trade of harm.
    But, I’m good at both. But, one can’t object to a preference, unless one is uber far right.

    Now, back to figuring out a third alternate route to return a frigging coffeepot…
    Got a public transit solution, working alternates up.
    I don’t take a poop without a plan. Taking a pee only needs a staff meeting. ;)

  29. says

    I said this before, but my father loved no fault divorce when it allowed him to easily divorce my Mom in 1980 so that he could marry his mistress in 1981 as the rest of his cohort that divorced their wives and married their secretaries. So when did this change for men?

  30. says

    It changed when women started doing the same thing, and men suddenly decided all this newfangled freedom and progress had GONE TOO FAR!!!

  31. nomdeplume says

    Just to be clear I don’t think Crowder is literally an incel (though he may become one after this…) just that his behaviour, treating women as property that you buy and control is just like incels – all part of the Right Wing/religious attempts to control women as they were controlled a few hundred years ago.

  32. silvrhalide says

    @37 It changed for men when women started making their own money, real money that they could live on (and by the way, your father’s generational cohort had some really ugly things to say about and ugly names for women who did just that). Once women had other options, including not marrying assholes out of economic necessity, boy howdy did they get bitter and nasty about “teh wimmens”. They still had the same levels of (mostly white) male entitlement, just without the options to indulge it. Suddenly, nicer guys (NOT Nice Guys) were getting “their” women and hey, those guys getting “their” women didn’t even make more money than Entitled White Dude! How did that happen? (Spoiler: it happened by treating women as equal partners and human beings. Which is probably why Alan Alda was mocked so deeply and viciously by men but curiously enough, not by women. And he was rich.)
    And then women started divorcing men.
    As was pointed out elsewhere on the thread, two thirds of all heterosexual marriages are initiated by women.
    Because once actual careers were an option for women, careers and jobs that you could live on solo, a lot of women looked up, looked around and said “working 80 hours a week and living in a crappier home is still better than living with you and your bullshit” and filed for divorce.
    You know, like Crowder’s wife did.

  33. flange says

    “My then-wife decided that she didn’t want to be married anymore…”
    No, she didn’t want to be married to YOU anymore.