The Historical Fiction of “TradLife,” The Meme Ideal That Will Never Bear Fruit
Trend forecasting is what gets me hired to work in politics. I’ve been on the anti-cultural appropriation train in the white bellydancer community since 2008 and wrote a famous piece on birth control in 2015. I never intended to really influence the direction of conversation, but by reverse engineering the arguments for current belief structures I can have a reasonably accurate view of how those beliefs will develop.
Some beliefs will go nowhere at all, because they were never based on truth.
One of those beliefs it that the tradlife meme will produce positive results for women or the wider right wing.
What is TradLife?
Tradlife refers to “traditional life.” It is a label always hung on women, and it is always underwritten by the fact that women are happiest when they are allowed to be women. Then, this fact is combined with the notion that women should be forced or led back to the stereotypical 1950s housewife role and and from there, it expands to add that women should stop going to university unless they are the minority who are fit to excel in STEM. From there, tradlife blossoms into its current iteration: That women in the right wing movement are at their best when they log off, got married and began a life as a mother, housewife, dedicated cook and homeschooler.
Online Quotes About Tradlife
“To some it means, housewives who wear skirts, homeschool, are submissive wives who are stuck in a fifties television sitcom. To some, it gives them a way to post to the world that they just washed dishes and because they attached the word, with a hashtag, someone should clap for them. To others, it simply means they are going back to basics, no fancy frills and whistles (example: primitive weaponry).
To me, I think it’s a sign of the times that females who are doing their feminine jobs, are using a word to try to get some kind of validation from people online that they most likely don’t even know. I also find it kind of depressing that doing things that pertain to this “Tradlife” word has become something of a novelty.”
20 February 2017, “Tradlife” thoughts, Mrs. Roper
“I have noticed that more and more of my peers involved in the right wing community are trying to conserve traditional values such as early marriage, having lots of children, being self sufficient and finding faith. All in all, I find it very refreshing.”
“I’ve posted tweet after tweet about being a former liberal, with pictures included of me with blue hair and hippie jewelry, from a decade ago. I’ve always had “former liberal who became trad life” first thing in my Twitter bio. When I shared the opening of my Trad Life book I’m writing it says, “I can offer this knowledge not because I am a success but because I was first a failure.”
Inquiry Into the TradLife Ideal
This is not an exhaustive list of failures but rather a starting point: If tradlife hinges on bringing women back to their 1950s existence, then:
- Women will have an excess of free time, because of modern access to the conveniences like laundry machines and cheap clothing stores.
- Women will be expected to homeschool children in an increasingly modern world without the experience or education provided by higher education to equip them to separate the wheat from the chafe in online resources.
Remember, the American 1950s were a unique post-war era that fell apart. If we take our tradlife 50s housewife into a rural area where she can spend her free time on raising farm animals and canning vegetables, that means her husband is going to live a life with limits. If you want your 50s housewife taking care of your home in a tradition setting, then their husbands can say hello to waking up at 3am to milk the cows.
Let’s say a tradlife women should be married at 18, 19, or 20. She has little influence on her income because she is busy having children and tending the home. She will be marrying a man 10+ years older than herself; if she is still having children in her last 30s, that means you are still having children into your late 40s — and that means you’re still waking up at 3am in your 60s to milk the cows. A tradlife for your wife means a hardworking tradlife for you, too.
And if you’re so bent on the 1950s ideal, is that based on an historical reality of the history of women or simply Coca-Cola ads? Tradlife is a perfect ideal to chase, like a man might idolize in-his-prime Arnold Schwarzenegger. You might not make it but it would give you something to strive for. Opening a time portal to 1955 will not release a torrent of coy women. Nor would opening a portal to 17th century England, where Churches were strict on procreation within marriage because Parishes were responsible for the care and support of single mothers and their bastard children. You might open up and receive one of the thousands of prostitutes caught in the upheaval of one of the many anti-brothel riots. As well, it was not uncommon for attempts at procreation to take place outside of marriage, with the proposal happening once the woman found herself in the family way. Intentionally having children out of wedlock could net a mother a consider sum from the father; and child support payments have been enshrined in English law for centuries. Tradlife is an ideal that prevent legal headaches and a turbulent life for the child, not an historical reality or a contemporary failure. Read more: Bastardy and Baby Farming in Victorian England, Haller
The Unstudied Modern Corruption of Women
Colleges takes the lion’s share of the blame for what corrupts modern women. Women, like men, are corruptible. We are material beings and if not for the grace of God we would all be doomed to degenerate into oblivion. College has been insulted to its death (the post-secondary financial bubble is engorged, prompting the SJW campus insanity to come to a head in referred pain) and the only aspect of modern post-secondary that I feel has been largely overlooked is the content of courses in even the respectable disciplines, not just Gender Studies.
It’s not Trans Activism 1000 that accelerates the whore’s story, it’s the advanced courses in English, Philosophy, Psychology and even Biology.
I believe that the modern corrupter of men is high definition pornography on demand.
For women, I believe that a strong liberal arts education after being coddled throughout high school and in their home lives is what shocks a crack into their brain. Of course, the shock is taking place earlier and earlier with more bizarre sexualized teachings. In the liberal arts where women reign, courses will be graphic, red in tooth and claw because the really great works of art explore the highs and lows of human existence.
If you, an aspiring tradwife, are reading William Blake:
“O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.”
You will soon find yourself comfortable with discussing sexualized imagery, as an adult, being treated like an adult by your professors for the first time. They are not there to police your morality; they are there to make sure you understand that Blake is talking about boning.
Perhaps, therefore, the answer is to encourage young women (and young men, for good measure) to work for a few years in the real world (perhaps choosing an apprenticeship) before attending liberal arts as an immediate post-secondary.
A Recommended Variation on Pushing TradLife for Right Wing Women
I adore my hippie liberal arts education. I often have a few books on the go, usually including one of the many books I had first read under the care of my professors.
The cry that right wing women are most helpful when they quit social media, get married and turn to a life of a 1950s Coca-Cola ad is ineffective. Even if we all did so, we would find ourselves some free time. Even busy women with children listen to YouTube videos or Rush Limbaugh.
If it’s natural for women to want to stay home and have families, then their natural inclinations will do the work of pushing women into a home life.
If I were to recommend a route for a conservative women in high school, I would recommend applying to several colleges but sitting on the applications. Visiting an employer with an acceptance letter from a good post-secondary institute is a valuable addition to your short resume. If your parents will allow you to stay home as long as you work, you can rely on them for support while you expand your skills and experience. One of the best lessons I’ve learned over the years is which jobs I don’t want to do, and the younger you discover that you don’t want to work in an office, or in a certain kind of business, the better. And if you, as an adult with working experience and a better sense of finances, chooses to take post-secondary you will be a harder worker and you are more likely to make better financial decisions. Perhaps after a few years you’ll know that you can reduce your costs by taking cheaper courses at online institutions before finishing at a more prestigious school.
Tradlife is a meme ideal that believes the perfect of the sunny, anecdotal past will fix every male and societal ailment, which in turn is just an expansion of the belief that women ruined everything and that if they’d all stop being such whores, we would all be back in Paradise.
Minor edits have been made for grammar and clarity.