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The "Trad" Woman: A Satirical Commentary on Women's Twitter Culture

 (somewhat of) a satire

It might be old news, but women are frustrated. Unfortunately, they can’t blame men anymore. They tried, they won, and now their rights are safeguarded by nuclear threat, and by the brains of nerdy, effeminate men willing to bring home the paycheck and change the newborn’s diapers. There just isn’t time anymore to open the car door or pay attention to which side of the street she is walking on. His picks up his dirty underwear now, but he also won't share a sock drawer anymore. And she feels slighted. 

Who licked the icing off the cake?

Women have lost their sense of identity, and it all started because they didn’t want men to spend so much time at the bars. Actually, they didn’t want their men to drink at all. Hence the reformation among Presbyterian and Methodist preachers to put down the bottle and ordain a few  women pastors. Hence the temperance movement. Hence the end of moonshine and the beginning of World Wars, pantyhose, and pink razors. Patriarchy fell, but the matriarch died at the invasion of electrical kitchen appliances, daycare, and opportunity in the workforce for women. Quality of pub life was policed, but women at last had the right to own land, keep a personal bank account, and get a 9-5 job. Thank goodness, you say. Don’t forget, she also can vote now. She doesn’t have to make the sandwiches anymore… nor the bread. There’s a machine that’ll work just fine. 

Maybe all modern women are feminists. Who in her right mind would rather stay home alone with the children while the man is off getting drunk with his buddies? Social workers can watch over children this weekend. We all recognize that the woman has just as many rights as the man to work, vote, and party and wear her spandex. A woman needs a drink sometimes, too. And she shouldn’t have to carry the burden of the traditional woman. 

Those women LARPing on twitter as trad women? They’re the truest feminist, maybe the first of the newest wave, but feminists all the same. They keep their dyed hair braided, the make-up, although natural, is still plastered on thick. They’ll wear dresses if they need to take a photo, but it’ll be made out of a thin synthetic, and made by some kid in Asia who still can’t afford a rice cooker for his meals. Normally though, their outfit is simpler: black leggings, cream crop top, a pack of highlighters, and an inspirational self-help paperback. They can’t do much with their hands, except recycle toxic waste. They have no time to reduce or reuse. They can’t—or won’t— cook without a recipe done in the finest calligraphy and a detailed grocery menu. Cooking from scratch has come to mean googling recipes that corroborate fake foods.

What do these “trad” women want? Their rights. “Cherish me!” they demand. They don’t want to split the bill anymore than they want to chop the firewood. They want to be seen as a woman and treated better than a man i.e. expected to do nothing and participate in nothing. They want a hierarchy, and they want to remain at the top of it, in their polyester frills, surrounded by kittens and puppies and expensive chocolates. They say they want the patriarchy, but they actually want a gay butler. Someone with hands soft enough to wipe a baby’s rear end. Someone to tell them who to vote for—if he said, “Honey, we’re not voting this year” they’d file for divorce. 

If an actual trad woman starts to speak, the LARPers rinse the blue out of their hair, pull their dress back on, and apply some mascara. If there were any sailors around, they’d blush. “How dare you tell me how to be a woman. My husband loves me and wants to pay the bills and do half the house work.” 

Of course, an authentic traditional woman is as rare as a ruby, as the old proverbs say. She’s from out of time, or from “third world” cultures. She doesn’t demand anything out of any man, except for him to stay out of her domain. And her domain is the home and the village. She is the master of foreign trade. The dough under the mattress is thick because of her shrewd thinking. She doesn’t bother with make-up… that’s for the Egyptian queens who poison their lovers. She doesn’t throw away money on recyclables, fads, or cosmetics. Her body odor is sweet, like that of ginger and saffron. She influences the world with her handwoven, hand dyed textiles, and everything she touches is ordained with intricate pride. 

And where is her man? 

He isn’t paying her bills or bathing the children. He’s sitting outside the city gates with the rest of the old men, enjoying a cigar and shooting the breeze. 

We’re in a new era. 

It’s still unclear if we’ve come full circle to where feminism retvrns to femininity once more. Maybe there’s a way yet to fall before we bruise our knees and revamp the wardrobe. There are many women who are tired of the shtick. Their inner matriarch is waiting, ready to dismiss the men to the woods and the machines to the landfills. As Gandhi burned all clothes that were not made by the Indians, women are regaining their pride, too, and washing their own mouths out with soap and water. They have no more use for vanities and vulgarities. They want respectability back.

They are worried about their future, and the dignity of their place in society. Perhaps there are no more aunts, cousins, sisters. There are few friends capable of preserving food, culture and gossip to be found. And the ship that might have made their wealth has long ago sailed away. The birth rate is low and inflation is high. Even if they don’t want it, they have to keep a hold of the rights won from them. 9-5 every day, by the sweat of their brow, wearing clothing made by the hands of children they have never met, eating food that disfigures their curves, they work to support 21st century debts.

But it’s not enough to want to quit their jobs. The LARPers have shown us that. There’s no glory for the men in that. An idle woman is a bitter woman. She must have a cause, be it a home or a man. And feminism, in its short-sightedness, has failed her, stripping her of her capabilities, intuitions, and beauty.

A woman doesn’t need the approval of industry and capitalism in order to have “rights”. Her vigor, open strength, and thoughtful whispers and lullabies is all she ever wanted to rock the cradle and stuff her mattress. What good is her land to her if her sons can’t inherit it? What good is her right to higher education if she can’t do her husband’s math exams? 

Women have never been demure, sweet, nor unseen. From Eve to Mary to every woman since they have done nothing but evoke rich change. It’s sweet when a man wants to help. But it’s a woman’s duty to scorn their attempts and banish them to the outdoors. Until we are ready to have the trash removed or the ice cream scooped. The mistake of the modern woman is in thinking men ought to be loud, proactive, and aggressive members of society. She forfeits her role in the communities. Her status as matriarch is trumped by the social well-fare hierarchy… big pharma, fast food chains, and corporations. It’s time the woman reclaims what has always been her rightful territory: her world. 


  1. I am not sure I really understand this post, nor how to comment on it. But I've had thoughts on this topic rattling around my brain, so here goes:

    I am not traditional, nor am I feminist. I have a job that I love that occupies most of my life, church and chaos and those I love filling in the rest.

    My life might go one direction or another from here, perhaps looking more traditional if I get married and have children, or more feminist if I keep working. But either way, there will be chaos: Late nights, spilled tea, cat scratches, firewood splinters, nosebleeds, singing off key, peanut butter on the wall. I work with children, and I want to have children. Likely I can be confident in continued chaos.

    The LARPers, both the trad influences and many others, promote an aesthetic rather than an attitude, I think. Be like me, and your life can look like mine, they say. I watch some of them. Some of the stories they tell are interesting, like reading a novel made of short videos of a person.

    But I don't think obedience to God (in spite of being beautiful!) has any particular aesthetic, no specific plotline. It can look traditional, or it can look feminist.

    This is not to say my life would look the same if I were more obedient. I hope that I will grow in obedience, and my life will change, and those around me will hopefully notice. But I don't believe that it will change in a way that people could point and say "Traditional" or "feminist" or "health-concious" or "eco-friendly" or any other LARP role. Perhaps "mature", but that's not a role.

    Somehow, both the LARPy social media "trad" movement, and in a subtler way, social media feminism want to put women in little boxes. And I'm with you: It's our world. Let's live in it, and not passively. She who has children will raise them for the glory of God, and those who have disappearing traditional skills will tat lace for the glory of God, and I will do a job with children that few men could do for the Glory of God. Nowhere does it say the lives of Christians must fit under instagram hashtags. I believe we should have union with our sisters "aspiring to live quietly, and to mind her own affairs, and to work with her hands" because we are all "with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

    1. Hello Elizabeth!! I love the long comments you leave... I'm sorry my response is so delayed! I'm actually mostly over at substak now, and thinking of being on this blog platform less in general.

      You perfectly capture the nuance of what it means to be a wholesome woman! I personally am a huge fan of aesthetics, mostly because they are BEAUTIFUL. Natually, not all beauty is cookie-cut the same. There are lilacs and daisies and tulips, etc... just as long as it's not ugly and distasteful (without purpose) I want to be surrounded by all the flowers!!!


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