It’s Monday, March 27, and tomorrow evening I’m having supper with a trad-wife and her trad-husband. It’s really a trad-family, with four little ones, ages 7 and down, receiving a trad-childhood. The meal won’t be trad—the trad-wife is quite the gourmet chef—but this trad-guy, who is me, will enjoy it no matter what. We’ll say a trad-prayer over the food and then dig in.
Okay, I’ll stop.
After recently discovering that trad-wife was an online trend, I brought up the term in a conversation with a friend who had no idea what I was talking about. In case some readers may also be in the dark, trad-wife is short for traditional wife, meaning a married woman who stays at home, doing the laundry, raising the kids, perhaps teaching them reading and math—that 7-year-old with whom I’m dining has already read her way through the Little House on the Prairie books—preparing meals, paying bills, and much more, all while her traditional husband is the family’s breadwinner.
The fact that some women want to be trad-wives and make a home for their husband and kids has aroused controversy and scorn in certain quarters. If you search online for “is tradwife derogatory,” a variety of opinions pop up. Some people defend the movement while others relate it to white supremacy and sexism. One article opines, “The TradWives debate is a new and effective recruiting tool for the growing intersection between toxic masculinity and white supremacy.” If this criticism is just and accurate, then a number of young mothers I know must be goose-stepping fascists, which is clearly absurd.
In “There’s a Growing ‘Trad-Wife’ Trend That’s Making Feminists Furious,” Brandon Morse writes, “For feminists, this trend is dangerous because it invites a return to the sexism and racism of old.” As a result, Morse tells us, “The media is acting as if this is a contagion that needs to be suppressed and destroyed ASAP.”
As Morse then explains, however, the women who choose to live as stay-at-home moms in a traditional marriage aren’t demanding that all other women follow their example. They simply want to exercise that right promised 50 years ago by feminism: the right to a choice over whether they stay home or not.
So why, Morse then astutely asks, are some people so upset by this trend that they find it threatening. He delivers this answer:
“Because men, for the most part, love the idea of a traditional wife, and for many young women, being in a committed relationship is one of their heart’s greatest desires. If they find out that this is what men like, then they’ll begin the process of making themselves into more traditional women.”
Morse ends with this paragraph:
“But there is no denying that traditionalism when it comes to homemaking has a particular magic to it that seems fulfilling. Men love being breadwinners and having loving, caring wives. Women want to feel safe, provided for, and admired. The nuclear family scratches all of these itches and traditionalism seems to intensify the validation for a growing number of women.”
So, do all women possess the exact desires and emotions Morse describes here? Of course not. But those who prefer to be wives, mothers, and homemakers in the traditional sense should have the liberty, free from the insults and aspersions cast by their peers, to pursue their lives as they see fit. To demand that “a woman’s place is on the job” is no different than insisting “a woman’s place is in the home.” The hypocrisy here is self-evident.
For all of you women who choose the traditional role of wife, mother, and homemaker, cheers to you. You are the backbone of the family and America. And to all the young women and men out there feeling alone for wanting a traditional life, I’ll leave you with some words from Intellectual Takeout’s former editor Annie Holmquist to ponder:
“Has our culture made it so impermissible for men and women to hold traditional gender roles that no one wants to admit their tendencies toward them and their desire to find a partner who shares those same ideals?”
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