The answer to this question could be answered in two seconds flat. A TradWife, is simply a Traditional Housewife - but since this rarely spoken about creature seems to be of great curiosity and divided opinion, I thought it would be beneficial to clear up a few things about her…
A TradWife is not subservient.
Though a traditional housewife may submit to her husband, she is not considered of lesser importance to him, or allows herself to be in a position that threatens her rights. A traditional woman’s place is not under a man’s feet, but under his wing, by his side. A traditional housewife chooses her husband based on his ability to care for people, provide for their children, and most importantly upon his integrity and values. Good wholesome values! In this, she is smart in choosing a mate she can trust, and give over/submit certain responsibilities to him in order for them to have a clear division of emotional, administration, and physical labour in the home.
A woman’s place is not under a man’s feet, but under his wing, by his side.
A TradWife is not controlled by others.
Neither by her husband, or her boss. In fact, she has more freedom under the headship of her husband than she does an employer. What’s more, her husband cares for her emotional wellbeing and health far more than any employer ever could.
A TradWife believes she is worth far more than a salary.
Women’s Lib turned women out of their homes and into the workforce, this was a fantastic move for equality, but their new found sense of ‘freedom’ was purchased at an overwhelming cost. It was at great spiritual cost that we learned to perceive our value in the balance in our bank, how many degrees or college certificates we possessed, and how many glass ceilings and ladders we could climb - instead of who we are as contributing members of society. TradWives do not measure their value in being able to produce monetary income, but in how they can save their family money, how they can produce fine children, and create a loving home which is open all hours. Working women would do well to honour this side of them just as much as their workplace contributions.
A TradWife honours her femininity and what makes her different from men.
As much as it seems the powers that be want to neutralise everything in this world - you cannot deny that nearly all living things which reproduce offspring, from humans, to cats, to cows, to flowers, to the vegetables and grains we eat - all need genetic male and female parts in order for that miraculous process to happen. Those parts, their functions, their genetic makeup and their personalities, and needs are vastly different. A TradWife honours the natural order, and believes that though she is just as important as the male of her species, she is created differently, and embraces it. In a modern world that wants to coerce us into gender neutrality, she knows this goes against the laws of nature, and so rejects it.
A TradWife is not racist, she is inclusive.
As much as she believes in the natural order to gender, so she believes in the natural and rich tapestry of life which brings with it a variety of races, cultures, and beliefs. People matter to her, and she does not think herself superior to anyone, regardless of their title, gender, or skin colour. She sees the person, not the package. She is categorically not a white supremacist(!?). Open your eyes and you’ll see proud traditional housewives of colour from all over the world!
A TradWife rejects distasteful elements of feminism.
In its purest form, which fights for equality she loves feminism, and is thankful for those who fought for her rights. However she openly rejects the side of feminism that is man-hating, takes a victim mentality in all things, and promotes that “The Future is Female”... How does she explain to her young sons that ‘the future is female’ and there are no marches and catchy slogans for him? No, she believes the future is family.
A TradWife doesn’t want to “send us back” to the 1950s.
She simply likes that time because it was the last time her occupation was celebrated in mainstream media. The last time there were aspirational role models for housewives. Not to mention the last time ladies dressed up in clothes that “were tight enough to show you’re a woman, and loose enough to show you’re a lady”.
A TradWife believes that family comes first.
A TradWife is brave.
In a world that insists on exposing the risk she is taking (not that she isn’t aware of these already), she is brave enough to “risk” not having a paid job. She is brave enough to “risk” taking her vows seriously, she is brave enough to be “reliant” on her husband for money. But at the same time, she is smart. Smart enough to budget, smart enough to save, smart enough to have life insurance, and smart enough to educate herself at home on current affairs and things that interest her.
A TradWife reaches out to her community.
During the time that would otherwise have her sat in a glass cubicle day in day out, she uses this to reach out to her community. She may be a member of her local Women’s Institute, she may volunteer in a school, a church, a hospice, or a for a local charity. She knows her neighbours deeper than a courteous wave and is aware of their emotional or physical needs (particularly the elderly). She is able to help out fellow mothers when they fall ill, or if they need help with the children. She knows her local shopkeepers and has time to shop with them to keep bread on their tables. She is a lynchpin in her community. She is the hands and feet.
A TradWife is industrious.
She learns to carefully budget and manage her family resources to see that they are never hungry. She is also talented enough to earn a little extra income on the side if she so wishes, but this does not make her a career woman as this industry comes second to the needs of her family and is never relied upon to fill the coffers.
A TradWife is a Proverbs 31 woman.
Regardless of whether she is a believer…
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fibre. She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.
She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all! Proverbs 31:10-29 NLT
Does this sound like a lazy, bigoted, racist person to you? Or simply a loving wife, and doting mother who, when she married, became one with her husband working towards a common goal? A loving mother who decided that she is the very best resource her children could ever need, and so chooses to stay home to raise them herself.
Despite the fact that she is ‘unpaid’ to do all these things, she has never felt happier or more fulfilled.
The difference between TradWives and the current day housewife is that we take the career of a housewife very seriously, and celebrate each other in the community for it. Alena Kate Pettitt
Would you like more?
I had the honour of being a guest on the Firefly Ignite podcast with Lauren Roberts.
We spoke at great length about what I’m really trying to say with this “movement” - sometimes it’s best to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Listen in here.
Some publications over the past year have been very gracious, such as The Epoch Times.
Remember, feminism should mean that a woman is able choose what she wants for her life, and if that means being a housewife, then we should be celebrating that choice too! Feminism isn’t strictly for career women.
If you found this post useful, would you kindly consider supporting the blog and buying the author a one-off cup of tea?
1950s illustrations courtesy of Google. All rights belong to the owners.