When we think of the dangers of the internet, the worst-case scenarios always come to mind – pedophiles and predators, hackers and scammers.
But what if the real danger is exposing your impressionable offspring to ideologies drastically different from yours?
I’ve seen a lot of videos of so-called tradwives sewn into videos with people debunking them.
For those of you who are not up to date with the latest TikTok techniques, merging one video into another means cutting off part of a video and adding a small comment at the end.
Tradwife is a portmanteau of the traditional wife. Basically, these wives see the benefits of a life of bondage to their husbands. They quit their jobs, fill their days with chores, and maintain their physical appearance.
“It’s hard to understand why these young women would want to give up the rights that women before them fought so hard for.”
This isn’t about stay-at-home moms sharing tips to make life easier.
Last week I saw a video of a woman from one of the southern states of America talking about some of the rules that she and her husband live by.
One of them is that they are not allowed to register for courses (both still studying at university) in which the teacher is a different gender.
You are not allowed to sit next to someone who is of the opposite sex.
They are not allowed to reply to people of opposite genders on study message boards… The list goes on.
At first I thought it was satire. Then I watched her videos again and it turns out that maybe it’s real.
These are influencers of a different kind. They don’t force teeth whitening or lip fillers on their children, but rather a lifestyle based on the oppression of women.
I thought Andrew Tate was creepy, but I think this is worse. It’s more insidious. When he said things about “western women” not knowing how to behave towards their partners, it’s so easy to identify as misogyny, but when these sweet young ladies are preaching, it’s harder to see than that, what is it.
I mean, who doesn’t want to hang out at home cooking delicious meals and looking good doing it?
It’s hard to understand why these young women would want to give up the rights that women before them fought so hard for.
Maybe you want to approach young men, so tell them what you think they want to hear, a kind of “pick me” approach.
Maybe they really believe it’s their purpose.
I understand the longing for a simpler time – this generation has had a hell of a bumpy trot. They’ve had a few global financial crises, a worldwide pandemic, they’ll probably never be able to afford to buy houses in the capitals where the jobs are, but the answer isn’t to succumb to nostalgia for a time when women had fewer rights.
Unfortunately, experts agree that the more power you give up – financial or otherwise – the more likely you are to become a victim of adultery.
I was told by Lorraine Sheridan, associate professor and forensic psychologist, expert on abusive relationships, that male perpetrators of domestic violence tend to have negative attitudes toward patriarchy, misogyny, and the use of violence to resolve conflict.
So they will choose a mate who conforms to their patriarchal and misogynist beliefs, perhaps someone who looks and acts like one of those trad women—a more passive or submissive mate.
Unfortunately, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle, the victim will behave in a certain way that attracts a certain partner, and then the behavior will be reinforced by trying to avoid abuse.
In no way am I trying to blame the victims for the situations they find themselves in, I’m just describing a dynamic at play in these relationships.
Look, I’m not trying to be alarmist about the whole thing. I think it’s a lot of fun to watch Reels and TikToks, but I think it’s important to be aware of what’s out there so you can at least counteract the narrative when a young person you care about is starts to get into ideas like this.