‘Tradwife’: Viral social media trend romanticizes ‘era where sexism and racism ruled’

The trend of the online ‘Tradwife’ movement, an era where some women preferred to step out of the working world to become stay-at-home mothers instead, in the 21st century, seems to be going viral. TikTok’s tradwives are using the social media platform to promote the traditional values from the 1950s, and one of them is 25-year-old Estee C Williams, who said, “It doesn’t mean that we are trying to take away what women fought for.” “No tradwife TikToker is saying every woman’s place is in their home. We, as individuals are just choosing to be homemakers. That’s all,” she explained.


Williams, who is documenting her life as a traditional housewife, narrated the criticism she faced in a TikTok video from September 2022, “There are a lot of people trying to make this a sinister thing or put some other, darker meaning behind the term ‘tradwife.’ Nobody is doing that,” as per Fox News. “I’ve had tons of criticism since I started posting on social media. A lot of people think I’m taking women back to the 1950s and find it completely distasteful. But I believe nobody should be shamed for their choice.” Williams told Mirror in February 2023.


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What is ‘Tradwife’ trend?

According to The Guardian, a “tradwife is a woman who doesn’t work so as to look after their children, their husband, and their home.” Williams defines that tradwife is “A woman who prefers to take a traditional or ultra-traditional role in marriage, including the beliefs that a woman’s place is in the home,” according to Fox News. “The husband is a provider, the protector and supports the family financially, and the woman is the homemaker in my view,” she described, per Mirror. However, Grazia accused the trend of “romanticizing an era where sexism and racism ruled.”


What made Williams opt for ‘Tradwife’ lifestyle?

Williams says she became a ‘Tradwife’ because of her “chaotic childhood with a struggling single mom” after her parents divorced. She told Vice, “I didn’t grow up traditional. And I think that does play a big part in my decision to move towards this lifestyle. I grew up in a very hectic household and my parents got divorced when I was younger. I just knew I didn’t want to be that wife or mother that went to work full time and came home and still had to do the cooking and cleaning. I really admired different families around me who had more of a traditional mother at home doing these things.”

“I chose the trad lifestyle because I believe that women have drifted far from our roots,” Williams, who lives with her husband, Conner, an electrician, in Richmond, Virginia, told Insider. She added, “For me, the hustle culture was not appealing. Being a wife, mom, making delicious home-cooked meals for my family, and keeping up a warm, inviting home is what truly spoke to me.”



According to NBC Bay Area, Williams, who first posted tradwife video on TikTok in July 2022, equipped by saying, “It’s 2023 and this is my choice.” “I put my husband’s wants ahead of my own, and this has done nothing but benefit myself and my marriage,” she added. On the other hand, TikToker Madison Dastrup, a stay-at-home mom of two, said, “I got my start on TikTok by making tradwife content and videos… however, I do not consider myself a tradwife anymore. I don’t associate myself with that term… While I still consider myself traditional, and I still hold on to those traditional values, I do not associate myself with the tradwife community.” And further added, ““Of course, with all things, you’re going to have extremists on every little corner of the internet… and the extremists within the tradwife community really just started taking over the entire community as a whole, condoning White supremacy and the r-word [marital rape] that I will not say because TikTok will take my video down… the r-word in marriage. Things like that, I do not agree with whatsoever.”


Adara Sherron, a Christian speaker and entrepreneur in New York, said, “I have seen career women look down on those who choose to be wives and moms first, and I’ve seen wives and moms put down career women. There’s no one lifestyle that’s right or wrong. As a society we have to be cognizant of the fact that not every woman wants a husband or kids. And that’s OK.”

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