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Rising Tradwife Trend Sparks Debate

by Busines Newswire
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The “tradwife” trend is currently sparking serious debate within online communities, and this discussion shows no signs of slowing down. The term “tradwife,” short for “traditional wife,” describes a lifestyle movement where women embrace roles and values reminiscent of the 1950s. This includes prioritizing homemaking, child-rearing, and adhering to traditional gender roles, including submission to their husbands. This lifestyle stands in stark contrast to modern feminist ideals which advocate for gender equality and women’s autonomy.

One consistent thing about trends is that they capture attention for a while before stabilizing or becoming normalized. For example, it was only recently that online chatting for adults was introduced, and right now, it has pretty much become mainstream. However, the traditional wife trend appears poised to remain popular for the foreseeable future.

In the past few weeks, numerous pieces of tradwife content have flooded online communities like TikTok , coming from everyday users and even top influencers. The tradwife trend has gained incredible support for being an empowering choice. However, others view it as a regression to outdated gender roles.

For Ivy Van Dusen, a social media influencer with over 110,000 followers on TikTok, the tradwife trend is a very positive development. She said, “When I hear about homemakers, when I hear about traditional women, I think of really amazing women. I was really close with both my grandmothers and even my great-grandmother, and they were just the coolest women.” Van Dusen says she recognizes that being a tradwife comes with some sacrifices, but for her, the pros outweigh the cons and the reward outweighs the risk.

For twenty-five-year-old Estee Williams, the decision to become a tradwife is primarily a matter of stability. According to her, “She (her mother) worked all these jobs, and then she would come home and try her best to make us really good food, have the house clean.” “I saw the stress and burnout, and I always knew that I did not want that.”

Abby Rothm, a former opera singer, has a different reason for joining the traditional wife movement. She said, “If you look at somebody’s tombstone, it’s going to say ‘wonderful daughter, wonderful mother, wonderful wife.’ It’s not going to say, ‘wonderful CEO.’” Evidently, for her, fulfillment is not a matter of how many degrees a person has but their family’s health. Being a tradwife helps her attain this level of fulfillment.

The arguments for the tradwife trend are compelling, but there are also significant concerns from those in opposition. Dr. Karen Tang, an author and board-certified surgeon, argues that the tradwife trend will isolate men from building vital experiences with their children. She said, “I take on a lot of things that I think people might assume are a woman’s role sometimes. Dads are missing out if they’re not having these experiences.”

However, she also stressed that in the end, women should always have the right to choose which lifestyle they prefer. “Women should have that freedom to choose. The problem is those who say that you shouldn’t have a choice. This is the ideal situation for everyone.”

According to Meg Sanders, in a special for the Standard Examiner, the tradwife trend is harmful because it celebrates an unrealistic lifestyle. She pointed out that tradwife supporters ignore the financial security and privilege many of these trend influencers possess. For example, Hannah Neeleman, a popular tradwife influencer, benefits significantly from her marriage to the heir of JetBlue, which undoubtedly eases her ability to maintain such a lifestyle.

Sanders also mentioned that most tradwives are dishonest about the true reality of what they’re facing. She said, “Tradwives present their lives in clearly curated ways, hiding anything that makes the life look difficult or less glamorous. It all has to look so effortless.”

Meg Sanders isn’t the only one who thinks this trend is dangerous. In an interview with Nightline, Monica Hesse, a columnist for The Washington Post, said, “The tradwife lifestyle is a vision of a lifestyle that is not really attainable.” She also mentioned that this lifestyle is sold as a beautiful concept to attract more people, but it’s all untrue. Considering that research has shown women tend to bear higher economic burdens as they age, there could be something here.

That said, the tradwife trend continues to grow despite the polarized views.