In the bustling realm of social media, Victoria Yost, known as @thymeandtenderness to her 215,000 TikTok followers, offers glimpses into her life as a “tradwife.” From homemade yogurt breakfasts with her toddler to baking homemade Oreos, Yost embodies the traditional wife archetype with a touch of modern flair.

Yet, behind the perfectly curated content lies a deeper cultural clash between tradition and feminism, encapsulating the ongoing debate over gender roles in the digital age.

Picture-perfect scenes of immaculately styled hair, vintage attire, and meticulously prepared home-cooked meals adorn social media platforms, offering a glimpse into the world of “tradwives.”

These women, often associated with conservative Christian beliefs, are capturing the attention of millions on TikTok, sparking both admiration and concern over the portrayal of traditional gender roles.

What Is The Tradwife Phenomenon

The allure of the “tradwife” trend lies in its simplistic portrayal of domestic bliss, encompassing activities from homesteading to homeschooling, and from home baking to homemaking.

Embracing traditional gender roles, these women, known as tradwives, project an aesthetic of softness and femininity that resonates across social media platforms.

“Tradwife” is internet shorthand for “traditional wife,” and while tradwives emerge across the political spectrum, a subset aligns with far-right ideologies.

According to UK-based extremism researcher Julia Ebner, around 30,000 women identified as tradwives or Red Pill Women, aligned with the far-right ideology of the online male community Red Pill. Their presence on platforms like X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, and Instagram indicates a growing cohort, with roots reaching into Australian social media circles.

Far-right tradwives view contemporary society as mired in decadence and moral decay, blaming feminism for eroding traditional values and weakening the white race. By embracing the tradwife lifestyle, these women believe they are safeguarding their cultural heritage and resisting perceived threats to their identity.

Our research shows far-right tradwives believe their roles as mothers and wives guarantee the survival of the white race, while actively weakening enemies,” states Julia Ebner, the UK-based extremism researcher involved in analyzing far-right tradwife communities.

Influencers Leading The Race

Influencers like Estee Williams, with substantial followings on platforms like TikTok, advocate for traditional gender roles, emphasizing submission to husbands and adherence to conservative principles within marriage.

Estee Williams, a prominent influencer within the trad wife community on TikTok, provides insights into the essence of tradwife life. She explains, “It doesn’t mean you’re below the man, because if you think about it, it’s a compliment.” Williams reflects on her personal journey into the tradwife lifestyle, sharing, “I was pushed into college so that way I could depend on myself. That’s what I was told… but the ‘tradwife’ life called to me.”

A tradwife is a woman who chooses to live a more traditional life with ultra-traditional gender roles,” explains Williams. “So the man goes outside the house, works, provides for the family. The woman stays home and she’s the homemaker.”

Williams emphasizes the belief in submitting to husbands and servicing families as core tenets of the tradwife lifestyle. In her eyes, tradwives are homemakers whose priority is cooking, cleaning, and being subservient to men. But such submission isn’t ‘degrading,’ she says. “It’s her choice.”

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Alena, residing in the UK, expresses a desire for “submitting to and pampering her husband as it was 1959,” alongside advocating for a revival of “traditional English etiquette, way of life, and principles.

Life is stressful, and everyone deserves a few minutes every day to turn off their brain,” acknowledges Paulette, a viewer of tradwife content on TikTok. “If you find the ‘soft girl’ aesthetic of tradwife videos soothing, will that really derail decades of feminist activism?

The rise of tradwife content on platforms like TikTok has sparked both admiration and controversy,” says journalist and author Jo Piazza. Critics argue that idealized portrayals of domesticity and submission set unrealistic expectations for women and reinforce patriarchal norms.

However, supporters view tradwife culture as a celebration of choice and empowerment, challenging conventional notions of feminism and gender roles.

It’s particularly worrisome to see the popularity of tradwife videos rise while legislation that limits American women’s reproductive rights is stripping women of their autonomy,” notes writer Caroline Burke. “If you’re not able to choose this way of life, does the appeal remain?

Victoria Yost, in her content, showcases her daily routines as a tradwife, from homeschool lessons to household chores. “Ultimately, my heart belongs to my home, husband, and family, and there should never be any shame in that,” she adds.

While some viewers find solace in the escapism offered by these meticulously crafted narratives, others question the authenticity and accessibility of the tradwife lifestyle. Skeptics point out the privilege inherent in dedicating oneself to homemaking, highlighting the socioeconomic factors that shape tradwife influencers’ lives.

Ultimately, tradwife content serves as both a source of inspiration and a reflection of broader societal tensions surrounding gender, autonomy, and tradition in the digital age.

Is Tradwife Trend Political?

Tradwives, spanning the political spectrum, uphold the belief that a woman’s place is in the home as a wife and mother. Whether driven by personal, political, or religious convictions, these women justify their lifestyle choices as a return to traditional values in an increasingly modernized society.

In recent years, the identity of the tradwife has been adopted by women preferring domestic duties over the modern workforce,” notes journalist Sian Norris. “The tradwife aesthetic is soft, feminine, and sometimes political.”

One Australian tradwife influencer with a substantial TikTok following similarly exalts submitting to her husband,” remarks journalist Sian Norris.

Far-right tradwives epitomize a broader trend within the far-right movement, leveraging gendered narratives to promote racially focused agendas. Their advocacy for traditional gender roles and condemnation of feminism align with far-right ideals, framing women’s empowerment as detrimental to societal stability and racial purity.

Critics highlight the danger of weaponizing traditional gender identities to advance extremist ideologies, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and reinforcing patriarchal structures.

Feminism is seen to erode ‘traditional’ gender norms by undermining the roles women and men are biologically destined to fulfill,” observes journalist Sian Norris. “While acknowledging women’s autonomy to choose their lifestyles, these critiques underscore the insidious influence of far-right narratives in shaping societal norms and attitudes towards gender and identity,” she adds.

Journalist and author Jo Piazza offers a critical perspective on the trad wife aesthetic, cautioning against its potential harm. She argues, “It’s a false nostalgia for a time that didn’t exist for the majority of the population… incredibly demeaning, condescending, and difficult for women.

Piazza acknowledges the validity of women’s choices but warns against elevating one lifestyle as superior, stating, “The dangers in that are when you say: ‘This is the only thing a woman should be doing. This is the only role that a woman should be playing.'” Piazza believes there are aspects of the tradwife aesthetic that can be harmful to young, impressionable girls. “The purported ’50s sitcom lifestyle was just that: a television ideal more than a real-life one.”

Contrary to common misconceptions, not all tradwives align with far-right ideologies. Williams emphasizes the diversity within the trad wife community, saying, “There’s this idea that tradwives have a sinister intent of white supremacy, but there are tradwives of every ethnicity and race online.” She asserts her intention to share her lifestyle without imposing judgment on others.

Over the years, societal expectations regarding gender roles, which dictate behaviours, attitudes, and responsibilities deemed appropriate for men and women, have evolved significantly.

Historically, these roles were rigidly defined, confining individuals to predetermined positions within families and society. Women were primarily tasked with domestic and child-rearing duties, while men were expected to serve as the primary breadwinners and providers.

Recent studies shed light on the complex dynamics surrounding gender conformity and its repercussions. Research published in Psychology of Women Quarterly underscores the nuanced relationship between adherence to traditional gender roles and the psychological challenges it may pose for individuals, particularly those who identify as tradwives.

By steadfastly adhering to conventional gender norms, tradwives may expose themselves to a range of psychological risks. Another study, featured in Media and Communication, explores how vloggers within the tradwife community strategically incorporate alt-right anti-feminist ideologies into their content.

Through visually appealing depictions of feminine identity, domestic life, and family dynamics, these influencers effectively disseminate anti-feminist sentiment to a broad audience, blending it seamlessly into the larger online influencer culture.

As documented in an article in Persona Studies, talks about the online presence of self-proclaimed tradwives and their advocacy for traditional gender roles and family structures.

While some tradwives cloak their movement in feminist rhetoric, a closer examination reveals potential ties to radical white supremacist ideologies. In certain instances, the tradwife identity intersects with overtly white supremacist content or hashtags, indicating alignment with extremist groups.

This research highlights the role of online identities in facilitating extremist radicalization, either implicitly or explicitly, as tradwife profiles expand their networks across various platforms. This shows the diverse pathways through which the tradwife persona intersects with gender conformity and extremist ideologies, necessitating a critical examination of its associations and implications.

While individuals have the right to embrace traditional gender roles as a personal choice, the tradwife movement’s association with the alt-right and its potential links to white supremacy underscore the importance of scrutinizing its ideologies and influences.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: BBC, The Mirror, The Guardian

Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi

This post is tagged under: tradwife, right-wing, conservative, ideology, submissive wives, traditional English wife, gender roles, personal choices, individuals, associations, gender, online supremacy, TikTok, regressive, idealistic, dependent women

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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