Over the past few days, headlines about something called trad wives have caught my attention. Trad wives is social media shorthand for traditional wives, women who have chosen to be homemakers in lieu of pursuing careers outside their home. A sample of those headlines include:
“Trad wives promote unrealistic stereotypes; not practical in today’s economy” – USA Today
“Trad wives promote a lifestyle that evokes the 1950s” – CNN
“Frilly dresses and white supremacy: welcome to the weird, frightening world of trad wives” – The Guardian
Why is there such intense opposition to traditional wives? Why are they considered an unrealistic stereotype, an economic mistake, an homage to a distance decade, a fashion faux pas, and an example of white supremacy? Really? A woman who wants to invest her life primarily in her husband and children is a white supremacist? That’s quite a stretch.
When the feminist movement started, the stated goal was assuring equality for women—particularly equal opportunity at school and work, along with freedom of choice about lifestyle issues. In many cases, those were worthy outcomes and have created new opportunities for women to enhance themselves and their contribution to communities. It would seem, if opportunity and choice were still the goals, women choosing to be trad wives would be celebrated as one choice among many women could make.
But that is not happening because contemporary social architects no longer advocate for choice. While they give lip service to tolerance, they are decidedly intolerant to anyone who resists their social reconstruction agenda. Women who choose to be traditional wives are a threat to the new social order committed to deconstructing the nuclear family. They cannot be tolerated because, as their tribe increases, they present a lifestyle alternative which undermines the ultimate goal of eliminating gender distinctions, gender roles, and—what is now the final step—eliminating gender altogether.
Traditional wives are not an unrealistic stereotype. Their lifestyle is a reasonable choice for some women. They are not an economic burden or a relic of an outdated era. Some trad wives may own frilly dresses, but most dress practically for their daily responsibilities—investing in their children, serving at church, or otherwise making a difference in their community. And, despite efforts to make any example of traditional culture an illustration of white supremacy, trad wives are also not closet racists.
There are many workable models of a healthy marriage. When a man and woman get married, sorting out the specifics of their roles and responsibilities involves many personal choices. While other options are both workable and permissible, there is nothing “frightening” about choosing the traditional roles of a breadwinning husband and homemaking wife. Many marriages function this way, with both women and men thriving, despite the doomsayers who are convinced these choices are oppressive or destructive. They aren’t, and social media influencers and other cultural architects need to stop the hate and practice real tolerance – not the fake kind that attacks anyone who disagrees with their agenda.
When the Bible warns the rich about misusing their resources, it is speaking to many American Christians.