The Problem With The Tradwife/Feminist Dichotomy

I’ve always been fascinated by the ideological puritans who unwittingly make complete caricatures of the matters they wish to be taken more seriously.

By Simone Hanna3 min read
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Over the years, this has been seen predominantly among feminist groups; famously submerging themselves into a plague of overly sensitive, self-indulgent echo chambers in which they can make the opposite sex the base and forefront of their misfortunes. But there’s a new group in town, one that stands beside it with such contrast, yet is developing to be just as annoying – the “tradwife.”

The “Tradwife”

The tradwife would like to let you know that her ultimate dream is being barefoot and pregnant on a homestead. The tradwife would also like to let you know that she is not like you, nor is she “like other girls.” Most of the time the “trad” girl isn’t really trad at all; she spouts what she believes to be the ultimate truth but, once you really observe her, she lives none of these things herself. The tradwife sermonizes and sensationalizes the importance of exuding your femininity, yet has little to no idea of what femininity is. Key feminine qualities are, and forever will be, compassion and empathy, but the more you observe many of them, the more you’ll find anything but that. 

The tradwife sermonizes on the importance of femininity, yet has little to no idea of what femininity is. 

I should clarify, the “tradwife” is not the same as a housewife, even if she claims she aspires to be one. No, the tradwife makes a mockery of the housewife (the woman who simply wishes to live her family-orientated life peacefully, without input from outsiders); instead, the tradwife inadvertently makes the housewife look like a figure of satire. 

It doesn’t take long to see that many of these “trad” women don’t actually hold any traditional or religious virtues, for if they did, they wouldn’t spend so much time on the internet playing the part or belittling women who don’t conform to their beliefs, which is, quite funnily, what they usually poke at feminists for. If radfems and the newer “tradfems” have one thing in common, it’s that they fail to understand regular women, or (as observed with the more aggressive ones) see other women as beneath themselves. 

The TradFem Versus the RadFem

Feminists believe the patriarchy is toxic and leaves women slaving away in submission with little independence of their own, whereas the tradwife actually quite likes the patriarchy and doesn’t think of it like that at all. The tradwife thinks the patriarchy is a healthy and necessary aspect of society, one where women can be a homemaker, which they believe is an independence and job in itself. 

The modern feminist has always been generally judgmental towards women who strive for this lifestyle. To them, it’s not ambitious enough and is almost offensive to the women who fought so long and hard to pull them away from this way of living, forgetting that true feminism is allowing women the freedom to dictate their own lifestyle, just so long as it causes no harm to anyone else. Traditional women have a place in feminism, yet have spent many years being excluded by those who think their dreams are structured by internalized misogyny

Both the tradwife and the feminist belittle women who don’t conform to their standards. 

For this, I’ve often sided more with the “tradfem,” yet recently their logic and reasoning seems to be going downhill, with many resorting to the same failed ways of the modern feminist – belittling women who don’t conform to their standards and their definition of what a woman should be

The two groups are equally as entertaining in that they assume the other is miserable, unaware of how bitter and judgmental they appear to regular women. Attacking people for not sharing your virtues does not, and will never, make them think “yeah, maybe they’re the good guys.” It draws people away from you and makes you seem like an aggressor, which isn’t feminine at all. You don’t gain influence by being short-sighted or stiff, and that goes for both sides. Most women don’t fit into extreme feminism or new neologisms; they generally sit in the middle, and that’s fine.

The “Not Like Other Girls” Phenomenon 

A difference I have noticed between the two groups is that the trad side, when you really look into them, don’t actually wish to convert you at all. Why not? Well, they’d lose their unique edge. The tradwife doesn’t want the majority of women following in their footsteps, because why would they want to walk with the crowd? Contrarianism doesn’t solely fall onto conservative women, but they’re far from wary of it. In fact, they quite like it. 

I can’t blame them, a lot of us are guilty of it, but the personal desire to embrace more traditional lifestyles is not an excuse to attack women who don’t. Many of the women in this subgroup spawn from the desire to be different and unique, but their eagerness to be “unlike other women” leads them to pin themselves against them, to the point of placing hatred on others. Bitterness is not attractive. You don’t look virtuous, you look venomous. 

Savoring Sisterhood in the Modern Era

Most women don’t fit into this ideological bubble of “tradwives.” That’s not to say they’re ardent feminists either. Most women sit in the middle. There’s nothing wrong with women wanting to conform to more traditional lifestyles and settling down a little earlier, I would like to do so too, but looking down on women who don’t want that lifestyle benefits absolutely nothing but personal ego. 

Bitterness is not attractive. You don’t look virtuous, you look venomous. 

These subgroups of ideological purity only isolate those who don’t conform to a minority, making the subgroups themselves look off-putting and unapproachable. And, as I’ve stated before around the growing debates involving purity and hookup culture, these ideas are often just two sides of the same crappy coin. We shouldn’t force these ideas on one another, regardless of how passionate we are or how much we think that we have the “ultimate truth.” We’re all individuals who desire different things. 

Closing Thoughts 

Women need individuality, but it’s also okay to admit we want to be loved and taken care of too. It’s all fun and games to think and act radically now, but be aware of the kind of lessons you wish to teach your daughters someday. Do you want them to be kind, compassionate individuals who understand and empathize with their fellow women, or do you want them to be intolerant and inconsiderate? The choice is yours.

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