How The Toxic 'Tradwife' Internet Trend Promotes Misogyny

Countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland have been promoting gender equality for decades. Their policies and social rules go against gender stereotypes, giving everyone the same rights and freedoms. For example, Icelandic companies must ensure equal pay for all employees, regardless of gender, race, or sexual identity. Moreover, 42% of managerial roles in the country are held by women. Meanwhile, a new trend is taking over social media, promoting misogyny and gender stereotyping.

We're talking about the so-called "tradwife" movement, which romanticizes an era where sexism was rampant. This ideology revolves around the 1950s housewife, embodying almost every stereotype one could imagine. Proponents say women are supposed to stay at home, pray, raise children, and serve their husbands to keep the marriage strong.

"I see women moving away from their roots to compete with men," said Estee Williams, a tradwife and TikTok influencer, in an interview with the New York Post. "That's not the way it should be. We are women, and we need to embrace that," she added. And if that wasn't concerning enough, the tradwife movement supports gender segregation, religious fundamentalism, and misogyny. 

The tradwife lifestyle romanticizes sexism and patriarchy

In 2022, former kickboxer Andrew Tate made headlines after expressing his misogynistic views towards women. In his opinion, women belong at home and should submit blindly to their partners. His "philosophy" brought him fame on the internet, garnering millions of followers — especially men. What's even more shocking is that women worldwide share similar views, willingly giving up their rights. Many are as young as 16, and their goal in life is to become perfect housewives.

Some classic movies are filled with blatant misogyny, but one wouldn't expect to witness such things in this day and age. Yet, here we are, talking about traditional gender roles and how women are supposed to behave. For example, tradwife Alena Kate Pettitt said this ideology is all about "submitting to and spoiling her husband like it's 1959," reports the BBC. "I wouldn't expect my husband to come home from a long day's work and have to cook for me because my role is being at home; my job is essentially housework," she explained.

Laura Spencer, a housewife based in Sydney, Australia, said, "For me, being a traditional wife is choosing to uphold the values that are very important for our family. That's family connection, time with our children ... just slowing down at this season in our life," she told ABC News Australia. That makes sense, but other tradwives go as far as attacking feminists, people of color, and just about anyone with different views, sharing far-right propaganda.

Why the tradwife movement is all wrong

Staying at home and raising kids is a personal choice, and there's nothing wrong with it. The role of being a mom has changed throughout history, but we're free to decide how we want to live. The problem with the tradwife craze is that it promotes toxic femininity, patriarchy, and white supremacy. "In its simplest manifestation, what we see are [far-right] tradwives talking about birth rights. So to defend your race, you need to have as many white children as possible," said historian Kristy Campion, Ph.D., in an interview with ABC News Australia.

These women try to impose their ideas on others and don't believe in gender equality, explained Campion. Moreover, they blame feminism for sexual violence, female objectification, divorce, and other issues. For example, political activist Lauren Southern said she has been called a "degenerate" for not having a husband and kids in her early 20s. Some tradwives don't even recognize marital rape, as they believe that women belong to their husbands and should do whatever it takes to make them happy.

The tradwife movement is a revolt against women's empowerment and the world as we know it today. For some, it's a way of securing financial stability and embracing "traditional" family values. But for others, it's a means of anti-feminism and far-right propaganda, which has dangerous implications for the younger generation. 

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