As a member of the #TradWives movement, I've noticed a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes that are tossed around on social media. To me, it's a group of women who prefer family values over career goals. So why has the media been so critical, even as the movement has gained popularity?
The #TradWives movement has received some rather scathing coverage from the media recently. They have been linked to the Alt-Right and described as white supremacists, oppressive, regressive, and a backlash against feminism. If these claims are true, then why has the movement gained popularity among women across the globe?
Women with Traditional Values
#TradWives is short for traditional wives. At the core, they believe in putting family and homelife above careers. They embrace a more traditional marriage structure whereby the husband is the main provider and the wife is a homemaker and the main caretaker of the children.
Women from different social classes, religions, and nationality backgrounds have flooded social media with photos and videos of their domesticity alongside the popular hashtag. Some of them are vintage home enthusiasts and others post about relationship advice, marriage life, homeschooling, health and beauty, femininity, cooking, and cleaning.
Women who are attracted to this lifestyle fall into a few categories. Many were working women who were tired of the rat race and didn’t feel fulfilled in their jobs. They had no desire to climb the corporate ladder or to become CEO but yearned for a simpler life. Others felt exhausted and overwhelmed by the 50/50 set-up where both partners contribute equally to the family income and household duties. And others wanted to embrace a more conservative and traditional lifestyle.
Defending a Woman’s Right To Be a Mom and Homemaker
Truth is, many people are tired of the constant pressure to feel fulfilled by “having it all.” There are a large number of women who feel they’ve had to put off family life because their careers have taken over. Reports show the average age to have a baby for women with a college degree is 30.3 years old, and there are an increasing number of women who are waiting until their late 30s and 40s to get married and start a family.
While the career model works for most in this day and age, many don’t want to run on the career treadmill and would rather be a housewife and mother, but these women are told that this isn’t enough to want in life and are looked down upon by the mainstream culture and media.
For example, an Australian mother posted on Facebook about how she felt proud of doing housework and preparing breakfast for her husband and children only to be slammed by journalists on national TV.
Many women in the #TradWives community also feel they are devalued and constantly have to defend their lifestyle choice. Why is that? Why do feminists or the mainstream media depreciate housewives as being “extremists” or lazy or regressive? If feminists truly cared about all women’s rights and empowerment shouldn’t they also be cheering on women who choose a life outside the boardroom?
Rather than belittling these women, maybe we should be praising them for what they do. They are the ones who are raising the next generation, they are the ones who selflessly serve to enrich the lives of their husbands and children, and they are the ones who are modeling happy and healthy marriages. Strong and healthy families are the backbone of society, and it’s important to acknowledge this. These women are good people who do good things, and they deserve recognition for their hard work.