Do you like the tradwife trend?

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Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

“No wife of mine will ever have to work outside the home if she doesn’t want to.”

I uttered that cocky, naïve declaration five years before meeting my wife and 11 years before getting married.

Cold, hard reality forced us both to bring in paychecks and juggle household duties. (Well, we weren’t always home. Sometimes we spied on the rich folks as they enjoyed the decadence of ramen noodles and milk crate furniture.)

Today many couples are crunching the numbers and finding ways to survive with a single breadwinner and the “tradwife” philosophy.

In case you haven’t seen it trending on social media, tradwives (“traditional wives”) are a subculture of housewives who believe in clear gender roles, the importance of homemaking and admiration (if not subservience) for their husbands.

It’s true: not everyone is geared to handle the competitiveness of a two-income family. “Let me unload on you about what a jerk my boss and all the other commuters were today!!” “No, let me unload on you about what a jerk my boss and all the other commuters were today!!!” “Hey, let’s both unload on the cop who is at the door with the president of the homeowners’ association…”

I suspect lots of men with a decent income are intrigued by the idea of a tradwife, but many women either pity tradwives or feel threatened. (“Look out! She’s got a rug beater and she knows how to use it!”)

Tradwives take flak from women who have no desire for a husband or children. They also face denigration by women who feel driven to maintain both a high-powered career and a family.

As for the latter, I realize many women still cling to the idea of “having it all,” but the world captured in the old Enjoli perfume commercial no longer exists (if it ever did). No, now the jingle would be “I can bring home the plant-based bacon…fry it up in a pan on a non-gas stove…and never let you forget that you’re a man, unless that’s something you’d like to forget. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

There’s nothing wrong with trying the tradwife lifestyle, as long as a woman enters into it with both eyes wide open. Exception: if the wife gushes, “John says it’s okay to enter into it with both eyes wide open as long as I remove any skanky eyeshadow from my eyelids, fetch his pipe and slippers and cluck like a chicken,” she needs to grab the two-point-five children and skedaddle.

A lot of tradwives on social media proudly display clothing and decorations reminiscent of a 1950s issue of “Ladies’ Home Journal.” Nothing wrong with the old-timey theme unless it’s carried to extremes and provokes the sort of anxiety the tradwife lifestyle is supposed to eliminate. (“What if William brings Nikita Khrushchev to dinner? Does pot roast go with borscht? Will I be able to get the scuff marks out if he pounds his shoe on the dining room table?”)

If a woman feels fulfilled homeschooling her children, keeping the windows spotless, raising a garden and cooking from scratch, more power to her. Just as long as she doesn’t rely too heavily on heirloom cookbooks such as “The Lard Is My Shepherd” or “You Call That A Salt Shaker? This Is A Salt Shaker!”

Else, she might abruptly become a tradwidow movement influencer.

Copyright 2023 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”

Controversial author Harlan Ellison once described the work of Danny Tyree as "wonkily extrapolative" and said Tyree's mind "works like a demented cuckoo clock."

Ellison was speaking primarily of Tyree’s 1983-2000 stint on the "Dan T’s Inferno" column for “Comics Buyer’s Guide” hobby magazine, but the description would also fit his weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades" column for mainstream newspapers.

Inspired by Dave Barry, Al "Li'l Abner" Capp, Lewis Grizzard, David Letterman, and "Saturday Night Live," "Tyree's Tyrades" has been taking a humorous look at politics and popular culture since 1998.

Tyree has written on topics as varied as Rent-A-Friend.com, the Lincoln bicentennial, "Woodstock At 40," worm ranching, the Vatican conference on extraterrestrials, violent video games, synthetic meat, the decline of soap operas, robotic soldiers, the nation's first marijuana café, Sen. Joe Wilson’s "You lie!" outburst at President Obama, Internet addiction, "Is marriage obsolete?," electronic cigarettes, 8-minute sermons, early puberty, the Civil War sesquicentennial, Arizona's immigration law, the 50th anniversary of the Andy Griffith Show, armed teachers, "Are women smarter than men?," Archie Andrews' proposal to Veronica, 2012 and the Mayan calendar, ACLU school lawsuits, cutbacks at ABC News, and the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon.

Tyree generated a particular buzz on the Internet with his column spoofing real-life Christian nudist camps.

Most of the editors carrying "Tyree’s Tyrades" keep it firmly in place on the opinion page, but the column is very versatile. It can also anchor the lifestyles section or float throughout the paper.

Nancy Brewer, assistant editor of the "Lawrence County (TN) Advocate" says she "really appreciates" what Tyree contributes to the paper. Tyree has appeared in Tennesee newspapers continuously since 1998.

Tyree is a lifelong small-town southerner. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. In addition to writing the weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades," he writes freelance articles for MegaBucks Marketing of Elkhart, Indiana.

Tyree wears many hats (but still falls back on that lame comb-over). He is a warehousing and communications specialist for his hometown farmers cooperative, a church deacon, a comic book collector, a husband (wife Melissa is a college biology teacher), and a late-in-life father. (Six-year-old son Gideon frequently pops up in the columns.)

Bringing the formerly self-syndicated "Tyree's Tyrades" to Cagle Cartoons is part of Tyree's mid-life crisis master plan. Look for things to get even crazier if you use his columns.