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"Quit Being So Godd*mn Stupid" — This Gen X Woman Is Going Viral For Her Theory On Why "Trad Wives" Are Trending, And She Makes An Interesting Point

The trend's popularity is partly down to her generation, she says.

If you're unfamiliar with "trad wives," the term refers to women who are "traditional" stay-at-home wives and mothers and perform a lot of housework and childcare. On the internet, the term was originally associated with women who make content about that lifestyle, often encouraging others to adapt their way of living and even suggesting women take a submissive role to their husbands.

Arguably, creators like Nara Smith have been inappropriately labelled "trad wives" because their content centres on involved domestic tasks like from-scratch cooking. But as Cécile Simmons, a researcher at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, told Euronews: "The trad wife movement is an international movement of women who advocate a return to traditional gender norms through submitting to their husbands and promoting domesticity.” True trad wives try to convince women their lifestyle is aspirational, and even the best option, for women.  

Trad wife content, and discourse surrounding it, has taken over the Internet over the last couple of years. Some suggest the trend is due to a rise in alt-right beliefs across the world; others think it's because work has made us all so weary. But TikToker, author, and podcaster Meredyth Willits has a different reason as to why the topic is trending.

Google Trends graph showing increasing interest in the search term "trad wife" over the past 5 years

In a video that's amassed over 280k views as of the time of writing, the creator Stitched a video that asked, "Why is trad wife content suddenly blowing up?" Meredyth's answer began, "because people my age, that were traditional wives, are getting divorced and realised that they threw 20 years of optional available, could-have-been energy into the workforce."

Split screen with two women discussing the rise of 'Tradwife' content and its impacts

"Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade staying home with my children for anything," the creator added. "However, I would have insisted on some sort of investment into my future — either by way of a 401k, an IRA, a home in my name, or I would have had to have some sort of side gig where I could have put that on a resume."

Woman in a pink top speaking, with captions about valuing time with children and future investment

She went on to say that "People who are my age — women in their 40s and 50s — that have raised their children, who have been traditional wives, are coming forward and speaking about the realities of that." She pointed out that generations of women before her, like her grandmother, were often so financially beholden to their husbands that they couldn't leave.

Woman speaks in a video; captions discuss women in their 40s and 50s and realities of parenting

"And so I, being 51, I am like one of the first or second generations of women being 'traditional' stay-at-home-wives who are coming out and saying 'don't do this to yourself.'"

Woman on screen talking, emotional expression, wearing a pink top with text from her speech onscreen

"The trad wife is glamorising staying home and being a homemaker... there's nothing wrong with that," she says. "So long as you talk about the fact that if your husband dies, you're screwed — like triple-double screwed."

Woman speaking in a video with captions about a hypothetical family scenario

She adds that "it's great and all" to say, 'just marry a great man,' but "what if you're sick of this 'really great man'? What if he dies? What if he becomes incapable of going to work?" So, she argues, the reason trad wives are so viral right now isn't because everyone aspires to that life — "what's happening is we are the second generation of women coming forward to say, 'quit being so Godd*mn stupid and protect yourself.'"

A woman speaks to the camera, text overlay on video, message about women's self-protection

"This content isn't becoming popular because we're mean," she ends her video. "This content is becoming popular because you're glamorising a lifestyle that... you know nothing about. You're a baby trad wife... and that's okay."

Woman speaks to camera, captions about lifestyle glamorization visible, wearing a casual top

People had thoughts about her take. TikTok user @lifetaketwo Stitched Meredyth's video, saying that after dropping out of college and quitting her job for a husband in her 20s, she's now a "party pooper" for newlyweds. Now aged 50, she talks about how her ex-husband left her for broke six years ago, and warns other married women to financially plan for the worst.

Two side-by-side selfies of a woman with long blond hair, indoors. She wears a tank top and touches her lip thoughtfully in one shot

Opinions varied in the comments section of Meredyth's video. One app user said, " ok, but I'm here for the other side also. Married almost 19 years. 'Trad' wife SAHM to 4 kids. I think what makes us work is that we really work on our marriage."

Social media comment discussing marriage and the importance of working on the relationship

"The real tea is that she thinks she’s too beautiful to be left or cheated on. Classic internalized sexism & misogyny. She thinks she’s better than other women thus it can’t happen to her. She’ll learn," another TikToker said of trad wives.

Comment thread on social media with two users discussing a celebrity's perspective on sexism

"I mean ... all they have to do is speak to women who've done the trad wife thing for 10-20 years and they'll get the full picture 🙄" another commented.

Comment on social media suggesting speaking with women experienced in traditional homemaking to understand their perspective

What are your thoughts?