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Has the Trad-Wife Movement Gone too Far?


The last few weeks Twitter has been a-buzz with debates around the role and rise of the "Trad-wife", and divides are deepening, even within our corner of the Conservative movement.


For a quick refresh, "trad-wife" (short for traditional wife) is a term that made an appearance this year with viral videos of women on TikTok making their husbands sandwiches, wearing flowery dresses, embracing their femininity and traditional gender rolls all while praising and glamorizing the life of a stay at home wife. This is a shock compared to the typical content viral on tiktok.


This especially came at a fascinating moment when quiet luxury took over fast fashion at the beginning of the year after the wedding of Sophia Richie Grainge (pictured at top) who initially popularized the style with her demure, classy, old-money looks.


These trends would seem to point to the idea that culture is turning and women are returning to elegance and femininity. But is it all just a trend?


This week a leading trad-wife posted a take that points to many re-thinking the trend status of this moment, some going so far as to call it "Extreme" and "husband-hating" even in Conservative circles.


Megha, a self-proclaimed "experienced educator, mother and wife" with over 56,000 Twitter followers shared with them that men changing diapers was a defining problem and sign of much bigger issues in the home...


This begs the question...


What is the role of an elegant wife?


Elegance, of course, embraces tradition and thus this is a perfect scenario for my elegant readers to consider.


Upon deeper research through the comments, quote-tweets, and other commentators sharing their take on the inflammatory tweet, it is clear that many are taking the idea of a trad-wife to mean women who assume every responsibility in the home, be it cooking, cleaning, childcare, husband care, and more. However, this approach to marriage is incompatible with that of a classical wife.


What do I mean?


For decades, there has been a rise in wives taking pride in doing nothing around the home, and since the rise of the industrial revolution and household appliances, there certainly is less to do in the first place than ever. Women have culturally begun to embrace an attitude of hands off engagement with their husband and family for fear of coming off as a second mother to their spouse.



This approach could not be further from the wifely approach of women from the New Testament, who ran businesses out of their homes with their husbands... need I bring up Proverbs 31?


The cliche verses in the final chapter of Proverbs that are often positioned in support of extreme Trad-wifery are not contextualized to consider the role of the business within the home.


Back then there was no office to leave to go off to, no commute, or corporation to commit 40 hours a week to. The majority of families worked in the tradition of their fathers and grandfathers, honing a skill they could contribute to their communities. Proverbs 31 mentioned cloth weaving, like the role of Lydia, as a skill that women contributed to society. But it wasn't the equivalent of buying children clothes from H&M online. Instead, it was a joint effort, as a family, to source the materials and market, sell, and fulfill sales. There was a team in the husband and wife that was the root of the family stability and resources.



Today, reinforcing ideas about women being the only ones to contribute in the home-- like the tweet above-- serves as fuel for another division in the home, and disconnects fathers from the very important task of bonding with their children. Yes-- changing diapers is a form of sacrifice not only for fathers dying to themselves and helping their children, but also to their wives who they too love and serve. Although women will handle the majority of tasks around the home, as that is how we are biologically wired to be beautifiers, letting husbands contribute isn't a sign of your weakness. Fatherless homes are an epidemic in our world, and it is vital strong men rise up to support and set the examples for their sons.


Further, elegance is defined by a respect for generations, and some would argue that the nuclear family isn't enough to sustain a family culture. Instead, generational families are vital for ensuring success in child-rearing and instating tradition. Having grandparents assisting beyond just the wife is beyond what any trad-wife expects.


So is trad-wifery something to aspire to? Or is it just an egotistical trend for women looking to treat their husbands as an additional child? The classical elegant model of wifedom has been lost in all these tiktoks, and dear reader, I hope you see through this, too.


Married elegant ladies, don't think that to be a lover of tradition and leader in your home you must do everything... team effort and knowing where to give and take is an art of elegance.


For more on this balance, I recommend the book Eve in Exile, which presents a fascinating history on why the 1950's really isn't a lifestyle to pine for, but instead women have the opportunity to be Trail Blazers in our generation and rewrite the detrimental narratives being forced down our throats through modern propaganda.

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Hannah Brusven founded The Swish in 2018 to combat trashy & politically biased women's media and create a  place for young women looking for a little more than more society feeds them.

 

Here we believe elegance is powerful, and the key to unlocking confidence, persuasion, and impact. Explore trends, traditions, lifestyle, and more with The Swish-- for an inspired elegant life. 

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