The #TradWife is back. Picture: iStock
The #TradWife is back. Picture: iStock

What’s so bad about the return of the traditional housewife?

How marvellous it would be to be a #TradWife, even if just for a day?

And by that, I mean planning my day's activities solely around the needs of my husband to deliver a fragrant home while stirring an olive-adorned martini just so.

There's a #TradWife movement on the rise, and it's slipped a feather duster right under the noses of the shrill feminists who demand all women must want and have it all, from the corner office to the 2.5 kids and partner who dutifully changes more than half the nappies.

A #TradWife, or traditional wife, is a married woman who has binned her 9 to 5 slog and exhausting career ambitions. Instead, she has retreated to the family home and set about making that her sphere of work and influence.

For a #TradWife, there's nothing so rebellious as returning to the traditional. And it's a lifestyle being vindicated by a new play Home, I'm Darling, set to be put on by the Sydney Theatre Company in April about Judy, a picture-perfect '50s homemaker which promises to address the "complexity of women's choices through distinctly rose-coloured glasses".

The show's star character, Judy, was raised on a feminist commune, we're told, where cleaning was considered devil's work.

Why does it matter if a woman dreams of being a housewife? Picture: iStock
Why does it matter if a woman dreams of being a housewife? Picture: iStock

Instead of deadlines and traffic jams, the #TradWife life involves starching the mister's shirts and tucking the cufflinks away into a velvet box, making time to select the crispest apples and planning a three course dinner party with the mantra: husbands must come first if you want a happy marriage.

But The Sisters do not like it, accusing these happy spouses of retrograding women's rights and living in a rose-coloured world. And the spat is marvellous because it spotlights the hypocrisy of modern feminists - support all women, sure. By which we mean those women who advance the revolution. Those who don't toe the line - see the reaction to Bettina Arndt's winning a gong in the Australia Day honours - meanwhile, are doomed to be Twitter-mobbed and cancelled for eternity.

A British woman, Alena Pettit, has been sweeping the new broom through female expectation with her blog The Darling Academy, and the #TradWife social media onslaught which predictably has incited the response: "Hello the 1950s called and it wants back all those women in flour-dusted pinnies."

But in reality, mainstream Australia is where women don't make a fuss and get on with family life. It's less Stepford and more step back. These women have discovered their peak happiness lies in female domesticity, carrying out those home duties with gentle aplomb. What exactly is the problem with that?



Equality does not mean that everyone has to do everything equally well and get stressed out in the process. It's about choice, which feminists say is the number one goal. So if a woman would rather iron the trousers than wear them, shouldn't she get as much praise as a glass ceiling smashing alpha mum?

The Guardian's Hadley Freeman argues that this choice has a "dark heart and history".

"This isn't actually about fighting the system: this is about women fighting against their own insecurities about their lives," Freeman writes. "And because of these insecurities, they then insist they are the oppressed ones, the brave speakers of truth. In other words, it's another pointless culture war."

Yes we know all about pointless culture wars in this country. Not so long ago we had a feminist meltdown about Marie Kondo and her tidying method which was deemed sexist and hard evidence that it is women who are forced to manage everyone's stuff. This is known as the mental load or third shift, the project management task of the household added onto a full time job and then doing tasks around the home themselves. No wonder we are all stressed.

Women should be allowed to stay in the kitchen if they want to. Picture: iStock
Women should be allowed to stay in the kitchen if they want to. Picture: iStock

Each partner in a marriage has their strengths, so why not play to them? Especially if you're not at all interested in pushing for a taste of independence.

Being happy as a housewife and mother is surely the best revenge against the flinty feminists.

It has me both amused and bemused why women would feel threatened by the #TradWife movement.

What has evolved is a bizarre situation where modern feminists fear femininity and masculinity equally because they see it as the Achilles heel of both sexes. It shows weakness in women and toxic behaviour in men.

Rather than throw stones at women who actively choose to live a certain way, shouldn't we be happy for them that they have found their place in the world, a goal that eludes so many humans?

Criticising a person for the lifestyle they choose to lead is discrimination. And isn't that what feminists decry on a daily basis?

Let's make this a sisterhood issue. If a group of women - however small - are finding peace, fulfilment and happiness in creating a life as a #TradWife, all the sisters should be content with that.


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