don’t GET me started-

A hundred thinkpieces have already been written about the rise of the tradwife – or rather, I think it’s more apt to say, the rise of influencers portraying a certain lifestyle that then spreads out memetically, as most trends do. Because we sure love a meme, and we love an aesthetic, and we’re all so, so fucking done with bobbing along in the wake of the cruise ship of capitalism, hearing the party getting farther and farther away.

It can be seductive, when faced with the reality that working moms continue to also do most of the homemaking, to say: fuck it! Fuck it, why NOT opt out of doing that – why not make the bargain you were expected to make anyway (a lifetime of domestic servitude in exchange for comfort) and try to just make the most out of it? Everyone looks good in gingham, and golly gee gosh, wasn’t it so nice before ladies had bank accounts and birth control?

It is beautiful to devote your life to service, if that is your calling. Everyone who desires that for themselves, I hope they find a partner who cherishes and privileges them for all of their days. But influencers donning pretty dresses and kneading bread in their immaculate kitchens with nary a child in sight (while the nanny, cook, and cleaner do the actual labour) ain’t what that’s about.

I’m just saying, we already have a word for media that fulfills a fantasy that would be deeply unhealthy to use as a model for real life.


Panel 1 (Lindsay and Momo sit at a laptop)
Lindsay: You’re getting to the age where you’re going to start finding things on the internet that are meant for adults. Especially… relationships between adults. When you see something for the first time, it can feel more real, like it’s a secret truth that was hidden from you when you were a kid.

Panel 2 (open panel; blurred out fake screenshot of a video sharing site)
Lindsay (v/o): What you see on the internet isn’t real; it’s a story someone is making up to entertain you. They are selling you a story. It’s not what their real life is like. People who love each other don’t interact like they do in videos for adults on the internet. If they did, their relationship would probably not be very healthy.

Panel 3 (Momo, close-up, looking at the laptop screen)
Lindsay (v/o): Now, I am going to show you an example of what I mean. If you have any questions, we can stop and talk about it.
v/o from laptop: Welcome back to Homesteading with Heather! I’m a modest, clean-living traditional wife and mother of seven beautiful-