In case you're not familiar, a "trad wife" ("trad" here is short for "traditional") is a woman who devotes her life to submitting to her husband and taking care of their home. Unlike the typical stay-at-home mom, wife, or even girlfriend, trad wives subscribe to conservative and far-right ideology.
Trad wife content has a glossy aesthetic sheen reminiscent of the 1950s (or The Stepford Wives). Trad wives twirl through their (often suspiciously new-looking) homes in A-line dresses, kneading bread dough or making jam from scratch without a single hair out of place.
But look beneath the pretty surface, and you're likely to find antiquated ideas about gender roles, Christian fundamentalism, white nationalism, and other regressive hallmarks of the alt-right.
We're living through a trad wife content boom, but other creators like Tyler Bender (@tyler.benderr) are pointing out the dangers of this content — and being pretty freaking hilarious in the process.
In her faux-trad wife videos, Tyler dons a frilly dress to deliver gems like, "Because I'm better than you, I choose to make my children fresh bread every day. I tell them as a wife and mother, it's the yeast I could do." (You butter believe she goes heavy on the puns.)
In another video she says her lobotomy was "a no-brainer", and in yet another, she says, "I woke up extra early to make breakfast for my 455-month-old husband." Throughout all her trad wife-style videos, Tyler's face alternates between forced joy, suppressed rage, and glassy-eyed dazes.
Several of her trad wife parodies have been viewed over a million times.
She doesn't just poke fun at the never-ending drudgery these creators often glamorize. She also has a feel for the way they try to frame their regressive lifestyle as a rebellion against the modern world. Tyler starts one video by pouting, "It's never been harder than now to be a trad wife."
But I think my favorite is when she quips, "I hate when people say women belong in the kitchen, because how am I supposed to clean the rest of the house?"
I also love when she drones on and on in voiceover about making things from scratch when we can plainly see she's using store-bought products.
And in the comments, people are loving Tyler's satirical take on the trad movement:
However, Tyler's not just interested in cracking jokes. She has also created a longer YouTube video essay breaking down her problems with the trad wife movement — starting with the fact that they really aren't as "trad" as they might like you to think.
And she's careful to clarify that she's not making fun of stay-at-home moms in general. She's mocking trad wives in particular because of the ideology that they represent. She says, "My problem is that trad wives and this kind of content is about submitting to your husband."
"It's about taking down women who choose feminism, so much filthy stuff outside of being a stay-at-home mom, and that's not who I'm making fun of."
Tyler also gets into women's gender roles through history, rightly pointing out that the trad wife ideal of what a wife and mother "traditionally" should be didn't really come into being until the mid-20th century in America. And even then, the June Cleaver-esque trad wife ideal was only accessible to predominantly white and affluent families.
And she has so much more to say. You can watch the full video here:
Tyler told BuzzFeed that she decided to start satirizing trad wife creators because at first, she genuinely thought they were joking. "I initially thought these videos were satirical. When I realized they weren't, I saw an opportunity."
"While I appreciate content about homemaking and stay-at-home mothers, it becomes problematic for me when the messages take a politically-charged turn. As a comedian, my role is to point out the weirdness I see in the world, especially when certain videos spread negative messages or adopt anti-feminist talking points."