I see that trad wives are all the rage these days. Peachy book out how long?
(Oh, by the way it comes out June 6th so you should pre-order now, etc. etc.)
This trad wave is excellent timing, for me at least, and I’m riding it all the way in. As some of you may know, my upcoming book, Domestic Extremist, is not about literal domestic extremists—you know, like these guys:
Instead, it’s a wholesome guide on how to be, for lack of a better word, a trad wife.
Or should I say, a wife.
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Even VICE magazine posted a helpful bit of unpaid book promotion for me a couple weeks ago when they uncovered the nefarious right wing extremism that beats in the heart of every pie-wielding housewife:
Thank you, VICE Magazine, very cool!
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Every time I hear some angry male feminist with erectile dysfunction (a common affliction among these poor souls) warning women about nasty right-wingers who want to kick us out of soul-sucking email jobs and send us back to cozy homes with our children, I hear this passage from one of my favorite childhood stories:
“Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Br’er Rabbit. “Only please, Br’er Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
“The briar patch, eh?” said Br’er Fox. “What a wonderful idea! You’ll be torn into little pieces!”
Grabbing up the tar-covered rabbit, Br’er Fox swung him around and around and then flung him head over heels into the briar patch. Br’er Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox’s fur stood straight up. Br’er Rabbit fell into the briar bushes with a crash and a mighty thump. Then there was silence.
Br’er Fox cocked one ear toward the briar patch, listening for whimpers of pain. But he heard nothing. Then Br’er Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.
“I was bred and born in the briar patch, Br’er Fox,” he called. “Born and bred in the briar patch!”
Oh no, please, please don’t make us stay home with the kids and hang out in pants with elastic waistbands! Anything but that!
(Yes, I just quoted Uncle Remus. Maybe I really am a dangerous extremist!)
Br’er Rabbit may yet have some wisdom to impart one us, despite his recent shameful expungement from the Disney parks. Br’er Rabbit did nothing wrong!
So, friends, what is a trad wife? Do trad wives live in longhouses? Is going trad really a new trend, or is just another meme lifestyle?
Let’s find out!
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Trads of TikTok
This is the busty 25-year old Christian lass who got Internet famous a couple weeks ago when her trad wife videos started going viral, and landed her in VICE:
Folks, she’s not bad, she’s just drawn that way.
For a devout Christian trad wife, Estee Williams has a decidedly non-trad hobby of posting TikTok videos cooking and baking for her husband in full 1950s pin-up mufti. I am going to make a wild guess that her fans are probably mostly men, for super obvious reasons. Oh dear, is it possible she is reclaiming her alluring femininity and using it to persuade others to consider the joys of a trad life with a trad wife?
Allow me to use my alluring femininity to entice you to become a subscriber.
Interestingly, Estee is no submissive little lady; she claims to be a serious weightlifter and a former extreme bodybuilder! (“Why I Quit Bodybuilding.”)
Her big natural online presence triggered all the right people (see VICE, above), because she is the most adorable feminist Kryptonite ever. She commits acts of violent extremism when she says things like,
“The husband is a provider, the protector and supports the family financially, and the woman is the homemaker in my view. This is a choice my husband and I made together and I'm very happy with it. It's very fulfilling, and it's an honor for my husband and I to live this lifestyle.”
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Her “choice!” Hear that, pro-choice ladies! It is her choice. I’m sure her loving husband would support whatever she wanted to do, but she chooses to dress and live as a traditional homemaker.
This is what the trad wives of America are reacting to. Second-wave Boomer feminism’s supposed goal was to liberate women from housewifery by giving them the choice to have a career and earn a living. But they grossly overshot the runway and crash landed in a dystopian future no one is enjoying. In this world, not only is it good for you to prioritize your duties at work over your duties at home, your work duties are the main source of your value to society. Please, won’t you think of the society?
Today the choice to stay home and even raise your own kids is impossibly shameful—and financially out of reach for too many. By trying to give women more “rights,” more “choices,” they demolished the one choice most women would overwhelmingly choose if they could.
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For those who say it’s not “trad” or “Christian” to display close-ups of your ample bust and sashay around for your audience, okay, true. For example, I will probably not be making TikTok videos wearing low cut aprons and push-up bras. Sorry to disappoint, friends.
Estee’s channels is more OnlyTrads than OnlyFans—wholesome, family friendly titillation that you either love to hate or hate to love. She’s the Alix Earle of the trads!
Oh, you don’t like Estee and her content? Up yours, woke moralists!
Being a “trad”—in other words, a housewife—is now a luxury lifestyle restricted to wealthy trophy wives: the ladies who lunch, Ozempic, and Pilates. Or perhaps you can choose the Gwyneth trad life: bone broth, dry brush, and infrared sauna. It’s the new “gym tan laundry”!
Just $5 a month can supply a hungry village of Montecito trad wives with bone broth for a year!
Are Trad Wives the New Juggalos?
Anytime a real, genuine subculture seems to emerge organically from the Great American Zeitgeist, I get excited. Authenticity! Something not manufactured for us by corporate marketing teams on Zoom calls! Real people coming up with the same nifty ideas at the same time—trend alert!
Most trends, of course, are an inch-deep. Just because you wore Madonna-inspired looks didn't mean you were going to troll Latin nightclubs looking for your own budget version of Carlos Léon. Maybe you were goth or emo, but in another milieu, in the next town over, you would have been preppy, or an e-girl or, if you were in a downmarket region God forbid, a Juggalette.
You remember the Juggalos—America’s favorite white-trash, poverty-stricken, raver dupe of Burning Man. (I was going to make a crude joke here about Juggalettes enjoying a different type of bone broth but this a family website, so I resisted).
I can never remember if Juggalo has two Gs and two Ls.
I doubt they can, either.
So where does “trad wife” fall on the cool new trend spectrum? Is the term just a contemporary reskinning of “normie housewife”—or is a real, authentic dissident movement booming among young women who are finally, actually rejecting modern feminist “liberation”?
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"Trad”: Fashion, Or Form?
I love fashion subcultures. In the early 1990s, a particularly stylish dissident subculture ruled the streets around mid-city Los Angeles, particularly the Melrose-La Brea environs. These were the Fifties People. You’d pull up next to them parked outside American Rag and gaze upon them enviously. The women were dressed like 50s pinups, Bettie Page, Marilyn. The guys channeled James Dean or greasers. Fifties people were into rockabilly music. They were punk rock, but in poodle skirts and beehives, plus some tattoos.
They drove around L.A. in beautifully restored vintage convertibles, the girls in cat-eyeliner and cat-eye sunglasses, red lipstick, silk scarfs tied over their coifs trailing in the breeze, smoking Marlboro Reds they bummed from their old man’s pack he had rolled up in his perfect plain white T. They wore period clothes. They only ate at ‘50s diners. They stayed in character!
You never saw them at the beach, or anywhere west of La Cienega. There were no car seats in the cars. They never went to grocery stores. They probably had old-fashioned drinking problems and did non-vintage drugs, but they looked good.
Meanwhile you were driving a black Jetta in your low rise jeans and your Mac Spice lipliner with a fresh mani-pedi in Vamp. Alas, we could not all be Fifties People.
By the time the nineties ended, they vanished back into the past (to be resurrected later as Amy Winehouse and then Lana Del Rey).
Tl;dr: they were “trad” in aesthetics only. The 1950s lifestyle stopped with their impeccably thrifted drip.
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But the question remains: is the current "Trad Wife” trend just a larp, a cosplay, another TikTok-friendly, highly aesthetic “lifestyle” that these kids today invented? Is yesterday’s Basic VSCO girl today’s aspiring trad wife?
And the big question: Can you look trad, but not be trad, and still call yourself a trad wife?
Is trad just the new Juggalo, or is there an important, potentially earth-shattering social shift happening here?
Tradition Is a Dirty Word
Everywhere “traditional” aesthetics have been torn down with fervor in favor of “superior” postmodernist ideals. See for example churches built after 1960, cars designed after the 1990s, the female hairdos of the woke corporate boardroom.
Pope Francis, our current Lord of Terrible Takes, has a particular hatred for beautiful art and design.
This man lives in the Vatican and yet:
Beyond bad postmodern aesthetics that replace traditional “classical” art, it is the traditional lifestyles that have sustained the greatest damage in our time. Traditional marriage (i.e., two people with intact and complementary genitalia), biological parents raising their own children (we used to call this bizarre arrangement a “family"), innocent childhoods, basic parental authority (like keeping groomers 50 feet from your kids), all the ancient and profoundly wonderful feminine and masculine virtues—all of this is hanging on by a thread, teetering above the stinking progressive abyss.
I, too, am hanging on by a thread above the stinking progressive abyss. Subscribe now, throw me a lifeline:
Of course, I have always been a traditional aesthetics enjoyer. I spent a lot of time studying 19th century British literature, Renaissance painting and sculpture, medieval Gothic architecture. I can’t help it, I love that stuff.
But I was never a lifestyle traditionalist. I was quite content spending my twenties avoiding marriage and kids, including my own.
Until, of course, I finally became a Domestic Extremist and discovered for myself the pleasures of the trad lifestyle.
Last week, I tweeted this in response to the excitement around a potential Trump perp walk:
In other words, I remain convinced that a reclaiming of our lost “traditional” roles is our only way out of our short-term political logjam—or at least, no real, lasting political fix is possible until we all stop f*cking up our own lives and making literally terrible personal choices.
A certain faction of the right did not love this like I thought they would. The rightwing anonymous personage known as BAP, who I consider a friend and ally, replied thusly:
Okay, sure—I mean, I am not as fully up-to-date on my Coptic history here as BAP, but:
I’m sure he’s right and the Copts were a lot like… every single other group of ancient peoples who tried to keep their culture intact by reproducing it in their descendants.
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Look, all I meant was this: voting for De Santis is not going to help my family as much as not sending my kids to full-time daycare when they’re six weeks old. That was my point.
I recently discovered the trad family to end all trad families: the de la Motte family. The de la Mottes don’t live on a farm, raise their own livestock, or write Substack posts railing against feminism. They live in a New York City apartment….with their ten children.
The reason they live in New York City is that all ten of the homeschooled de la Motte children are studying to be classical musicians. So far, at least half of them are in Juilliard.
Mrs. de la Motte is like Jennifer Garner if she was even cuter and more adorable. I can’t get enough. The more I watch her content the more I hate myself for letting my kids quit piano lessons. (What kind of trad am I?)
Quiz: Are You A Trad Wife?
There are a few hard-to-miss traits the trads tend to share.
They met and married young.
They have their kids about two years apart
They end up with slightly more children than normies can deal with.
They are presentable, even cute, and try to do their best with what they’ve got.
They are mostly happy, and do not regret sacrificing girl bosshood for the tiny boss babies at home.
Many have a powerful religious faith. They may even cling bitterly to it! Beware!
They aren’t ashamed of their lifestyle, and don’t hide it. They can’t—there are too many kids to hide when company comes over.
The secret is out: while you were on TikTok distracted by the blonde babes in frilly aprons, the real trads are busy doing super-trad stuff when the cameras are off.
Bad news for haters who think embracing traditional femininity and wanting to [trigger alert!] stay home to tend your family is a fleeting trend—it is actually being memed into reality as we speak.
Estee Williams is real, and she’s spectacular. I plan to check back in with her and her, ahem, appeal…after she’s nursed at least four children.
Trad wifery—in other words, women rejecting contemporary feminist ideology in favor of something better—is happening, folks. We are going to reclaim the word “wife” so we don’t need to modify it with “trad” anymore. We won’t even need cute little vintage outfits or hairdos (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
We can be normies in the streets and trads in the sheets.
We can do this. We ARE doing this. It’s happening.gif!
You can bet that, never gotta sweat that.
No one can stop what’s coming:
I can feel it in the air tonight—can’t you?
Thank you for reading all the way to the end! P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll enjoy my upcoming book, Domestic Extremist: A Practical Guide to Winning the Culture War (June 6, from Regnery). Pre-order your copy today—before I’m canceled for good!
You can also:
Learn more at peachykeenanwrites.com.
Nailed it. I’m the very lucky daughter of a tradwife. My four sisters are tradwives. As the one who went astray, I’ve learned the hard way how theirs is the life with living. Now I ache when I go to church and see the families with five, six, seven kids with the possibility of more to come. They freely accept all the little lives granted them, usher them in with joyful baptisms, bear their burdens with faith and hope, raise their children with books and games and piano lessons, and glow with a beauty not conceivably found on Instagram. Most wonderfully, the children share strong sibling bonds and will one day care for their parents and bury them with prayers and memories alongside a boatload of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They will have generations of descendants.
The indoctrinated woke do not have the eyes and hearts to see this true beauty and goodness. You make an exceedingly powerful point with Frances dwelling amid the most profoundly beautiful art on the planet and preferring ugliness.
When we married at 20, after dating exclusively for three years, she was my trad wife. I used to tell her, "You're the most beautiful woman in the world." One day she said, "You know that isn't true." I understood that she felt I was just flattering her, insincere and duplicitous. I was caught off guard because, in my mind, I meant it, sincerely. Then it came to me: "You're the most beautiful woman in MY world." She had no retort and we finished out our 45+ year marriage, ending only in her death -- just as we had pledged back when we were 20. I'd give anything and everything for just one more day together.