If you’ve ever been on Twitter, you may have seen the hashtag #Trad or #TradWife going around. Some women use it to say that they like living a more traditional lifestyle – being at home and raising their children – which is great! But some use #Trad hyperspecifically – and in a way that hurts more than it helps.
What’s the Difference between #Trad and Classic?
As the creator of Classically Abby, my motto has always been “Let’s Be Classic.” Being classic means tradition refined. It means embracing femininity, elegance, poise. It’s about knowing what your priorities are as a woman – being a mother, a wife, and part of a community – and that can include a career that serves those priorities too.
Being classic means tradition refined.
The #Trad movement was originally meant to celebrate stay-at-home mothers in a world where motherhood is shunted to the side in favor of careers. But some definitions of #Trad don’t just celebrate stay-at-home moms – they actively demean women who do not follow their strict guidelines. This hyperspecific version of #Trad tells women that they are not traditional if they work outside the home and that they must be submissive to their husbands in a way that prevents them from being good partners. I recently spoke about this in a video on my YouTube channel. Throughout this piece, when I write #Trad, this is the definition I’m referring to.
Women Can Have Careers AND Be Traditional
Being a classic woman means believing in traditional values and keeping those values at the forefront of your lifestyle. But many women in today’s day and age either have to work to help pay the bills or want to work because they enjoy their careers. A classic woman can be a traditional wife and mother even if she does work because she knows that her passion for her work is there to support her traditional life at home. Where feminism proposes that women should actively choose career over family, being classic says that work and family can go hand-in-hand.
Where feminism proposes that women should actively choose career over family, being classic says that work and family can go hand-in-hand.
Many people who consider themselves #Trad might agree that this fits in with their version of the idea. But the more specific version of #Trad that I’m discussing here doesn’t allow room for women to have careers – a woman is only a “real” #TradWife if she is a stay-at-home mom and allows her husband to do the providing. Of course, being a stay-at-home mom is a beautiful thing and if you choose to do that, that’s beautiful. But by deeming only at-home mothers “real” #TradWives, this kind of #Trad unnecessarily excludes those women who are traditional but aren’t at home full-time.
#Trad Doesn’t Allow Wives To Be Helpful Partners
One of the great things about marriage is how much you and your partner grow over time. You point out things they can work on, and they do the same for you. As a classic woman, you should be asking your husband to better himself because both of you should be working toward being the best version of yourselves. In a traditional marriage, we recognize that we are made us with a purpose and that spouses are invaluable for keeping each other accountable. The partnership between spouses is a truly beautiful thing and it doesn’t allow for built-up resentment because you are constantly checking in with one another.
Marriages should be based on partnership, not subservience.
#Trad seems to actively encourage wives not to speak to their husbands about change and growth. Because this #Trad definition expects wives to be submissive and husbands to be dominant, it creates an inherent power imbalance in the relationship. When the husband is dominant, it would be disrespectful for the wife to ask him to be better. This isn’t what traditional marriage is about AT ALL. Marriages should be based on partnership, not subservience.
Traditional womanhood is a beautiful thing. But some approaches of the #Trad movement are too specific. They leave out women who are traditional but not necessarily stay-at-home moms, and they discourage women from being partners to their husbands, instead, pushing them to be submissive. That’s why I advocate being classic. Because being classic encompasses traditional values while also leaving room for women to find what works for them when it comes to work – as long as family, faith, and friends come first.
Abby Roth is the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. Abby is an opera singer with three degrees in operatic performance from USC and Manhattan School of Music. You can find her website at www.classicallyabby.com and follow her on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest at @ClassicallyAbby.