Tradcon or trad-con is an abbreviation for 'traditionalist conservatism' and it is used as an adjective. The word is usually directed at conservative activists who want a return to chivalry (the man proves himself and protects the woman), traditional gender roles, religion, and the nuclear family (monogamy). The word “tradcon” is either used for identity politics or to level criticism at war-mongering, epistemic rigidity and the dangers of power abuse that may result from a high degree of cultural strictness, e.g. due to a state religion. This criticism often stems from a distrust that the promised benefits are a pretense to exerting control.
Criticism of tradcons[edit | edit source]
Accusations of hypocrisy[edit | edit source]
Tradcons and blackpillers are accused of that they typically do not show any real inclination towards traditions besides enforced monogamy and the subordination of women. Some claim monogamy can only be restored through religious vehicles, but others claim norms and laws will spread in a natural progression, once political correctness is defeated.
The general narrative from tradcon blackpillers is that the sexual revolution worsened inceldom, there was virtually no inceldom in patriarchal monogamous countries, and that by returning to patriarchy, and socially encouraged/enforced monogamy, men and women will naturally want to come together and establish stable sexual relationships.
While there is evidence that sexual liberation has indeed drastically increased divorce rates overall (though they have declined a little in recent years, per capita), marriage data from the 19th century US does seem to demonstrate that there have always been a large amount of unmarried younger men, aged 25-34, in that country at least, many/most of whom were presumably incel.
The TradCon counter-argument to this is that generally lifelong, unions are preferable to more chaotic serial monogamy (which benefits only a relative few desirable men, at the expense of others). There is indeed some evidence that traditional religious strictures do benefit men who are able to obtain a marriage, in terms of lower risk of facing non-paternity and infidelity, at the hands of their wives. One could question what relevance this has to incels who are unable to secure relationships at all though, let alone marriage.
The narrative that traditional gender roles lead to less inceldom has strongly been criticized. While the sexual revolution may have exacerbated inceldom, it does not logically follow that we can simply dial back the clock to previous gender roles. They argue that technology, rather than cultural changes in themselves, led to the sexual revolution. Technological innovation is impossible to roll back on a civilizational scale(short of societal collapse or severe decline).
Some also argue the blackpill has an incorrect thesis that more rigid gender roles would be something anyone would even want to follow along with at all, especially in modernized societies where they are less necessary for ensuring immediate survival. In fact, according to research on global rates of sexual satisfaction, there seems to be no significant correlation between how rigid gender roles are and how sexually dissatisfied a modern country is.
Some outside observers have also noticed a discrepancy between movements in the manosphere towards traditional values, and the values of the space they populate, for example Angela Nagle:
Can “traditional ideas about gender” really be bursting forth from an Internet culture that also features gender-bending pornography, discussions about bisexual curiosity, and a male My Little Pony fandom? What’s more, can a retreat from the traditional authority of the nuclear family into an extended adolescence of videogames, porn, and pranks really be described as patriarchal?
An explanation besides hypocrisy in this case would be, however, that rightist forums tend to be free-speech absolutist which attracts highly diverse forum users.
Tradcon women[edit | edit source]
Tradcon women, often accused of being tradthots, are notable for feeling sympathetic toward incels. Many incels, however, see this as dishonest attempt at attention whoring. Some incels also claim that genuine tradcon women are even more hypergamous than feminists as they claim the tradcon women are exclusively looking for betabuxxers. There is some evidence for this assertion. In fact, the wageslave role of men is so important to tradcon women, many men who like traditional work still feel constrained by this desire of tradcon women. Tradcon women were often bullied in their younger years, leading to them seeking out betabuxxers much earlier in their adult life. They see incels as overlooked betabuxxers, or, in other words, people who would be great at wageslaving for them while they sit on their ass, drink tea, and rant aboutfeminism.
Tradconism as cope[edit | edit source]
The claim that a return to traditional values can solve the problem of inceldom for most men is by some seen as a coping mechanism because there has always been a large underclass of males who have not reproduced. There are similar trends in modern times, though the majority of men in Western societies become some sort of father, biological or step.
Though it is argued that many of these men may be at risk for cuckoldry, with rates varying drastically by social class, race and research methodology. These facts prove that even the wealthiest man is still at (low) risk for being cucked. DNA studies have given a clearer view of the dating market, now and in the past.
Some would argue that hyperfocusing on a low risk of explicit cuckoldry is indicative of paranoia or excessive risk aversion, but high divorce rates and high female infidelity rates (15-50% depending on sample) also present a challenge to those advocating for committed, monogamous relationships. Indeed, allegations of naivete (in the terms of having a romantic view of how sexually loyal and chaste people were in the past) are a common critique of those who advocate traditional gender roles and monogamy. Their opponents argue that no one is (or has ever been) safe, there is no 100% guarantee of relationship security.
Tradcons would argue this frequent lack of fidelity in relationships is the result of modern degeneracy, rather than being indicative of a natural human aversion towards monogamy, or instead that strictly enforced tradcon norms are required to suppress a natural human tendency (especially an alleged innate female tendency, in the case of blackpilled tradcons) towards sexual profligacy.
It is also argued by opponents of tradcons that returning to the past is pointless because the past did not actually have a better dating market for most men than times now. Being a male whom does not reproduce is perfectly normal. This is partially due to men of the pre-modern era being violently killed or perishing to disease before they could even reach the age when they would be expected to marry however. Though it is indeed likely that women's mate choice, the preferences of women's parents for resourceful men, and dominant, high status men hoarding wealth and passing wealth on to first born/early born sons, leaving later sons with nothing, plus harsh intrasexual male competition in the form of polygyny, also played very large roles in mediating men's inceldom in the past.
Tradcons, critics suggest, cannot perceive this due to suffering from selection bias due to their fathers, grandfathers, and or male ancestors in general, being wealthier or higher status than many other men of that era who failed to reproduce due to low status. A kind of regression toward the mean. Thus the tradcons believe if they were born in that time, they would be wealthier and or higher income than most other men as well. The reality is that most super-low-status men in said traditional societies still ended up incel.
A counter argument to this is that while sex used to be very unevenly distributed in the barbaric human past, it was more evenly distributed in certain societies of the past, particularly in the 18th century to the mid 20th century with strongly enforced monogamy. Most tradcons prefer returning to this state (reverting the sexual revolution) rather than underdeveloped, polygynous societies.
Traditionalism vs satisfaction and happiness[edit | edit source]
There is mixed evidence on the link between traditionalism and life satisfaction and happiness, suggesting overall that traditionalism does not guarantee a higher quality of life.
For one, liberals, especially liberal women, report a substantially higher rate of mental issues. However, this could be attributed to liberals being more likely to seek a medical diagnosis of their mental health, being closer to academia and emphasizing mental vulnerability. Women with careers and bereaved of their natural domestic role appear to be particularly unhappy as mentioned in the hypergamy article. There is some evidence that liberals have a bit less sex compared to conservatives, and that marriage has a (weakly) protective effect, possibly slightly more so for men, with regards to their mortality and well-being (see adverse effects of inceldom).
However, a number of results bring into question whether traditions in particular are necessary to achieve these benefits of marriage. Using a random-intercept cross-lagged panel model, one highly powered longitudinal study found robust evidence that religiousness plays no causative role in determining life satisfaction over the course of 20 years. Further, contrary to many traditionalist's opinions, highly promiscuous women are not particularly unhappy, and male swingers who share their wives were even found to be more satisfied, happy and confident compared to the rest of the population. However, promiscuity is undeniably associated with various risks, e.g. a much greater risk of contracting a sexually transmissible disease. And swinging may not be a viable life style for slow-life strategists. For further discussion and citations on these issues please see the promiscuity article.
While being married may be slightly beneficial for high career achievements, having children is generally considered to be detrimental for high career achievements, as evidenced by many of the most accomplished scientists often being childless, hence contributing more to the meme pool than the gene pool. While raising children is a real burden generally slightly lowering life quality, having adult children and grandchildren slightly raises life quality, and lowers the chances of having to live in a nursing home. About 85% of childless adults wish they had children, while only 9% of parents regret having them; 12% of high-school dropouts and only 3% of college graduates with children regretting having them, suggesting that parenting is more difficult in lower socioeconomic classes and/or that those classes have more difficult children. Smarter individuals may also be better at judging when it is appropriate to have children. Only 4% of the population over the age of 40 has no children and is satisfied not having them (15% of the childless older than 40). Bryan Caplan analyzed the benefits of reproducing in his 2011 book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids and concluded that those who are considering having children probably benefit from them. Nonetheless, childlessness even at old age are just as happy as other according to one study, suggesting that the regret not having children is usually not strong enough to outright deteriorate well-being.
The lack of an effect of traditionalism on quality of life may be explained by the simultaneous benefits and downsides of its strictness. On the one hand, cultural strictness prevents one from doing regrettable things (like catching STDs, getting a full-body tattoo or completely alienating oneself from one's tribe), and it guarantees some structure that may ease the mind and guarantee the fulfillment of some basic needs (especially sexual and affiliative needs), but at the same time strictness limits freedom (e.g. the freedom of divorcing from a toxic partner), and it also limits epistemology which results in worse decision making overall as the world is perceived less accurately. Restricted epistemology and strictness may also limit advances in science and technology, as well as the flexibility in policies by communities all the way to nation states to adapt to changing realities. This is also known as the explore-exploit trade-off. Another explanation may be that traditions are not for everyone. In particular, slow life-strategists might benefit more from a structure that guides them through their (to be expected) long marriages, while fast-life strategists might feel too limited by such structure.
Pros and cons of economically exploiting women[edit | edit source]
After the invention birth control and the realization that many women have high IQ, Western nations have begun to educate women in the early 1900s and started to employ them more by tricking them into believing they want careers. This increased their economic output and, today, many women do important work in medicine, science, healthcare etc. However, there are also costs associated with employing women as much, as well as side-by-side with men. For example, Edward Dutton argued, children of intelligent women get worse education when they are educated by dumb indoctrinated educators rather than by their smart mothers. Another cost is that women themselves are unhappy with women's happiness having experienced a secular decline following their sexual liberation, being naturally, cross-culturally actually more inward-oriented, focused on child rearing and cooking, and also finding it difficult to balance work and life today. Employing many women in important positions side-by-side also may be detrimental due to their worse intrasexual cooperative abilities, and side-by-side with men it increases the incidence of sexual harassment and in response to this draconian laws are established in attempt of regulating men's natural coercive sexual behavior.
Another issue of strongly including women in the workforce is also the resulting low birth rate which contributes do the demographic transition, reduced economic output, reduced growth and worker supply, leading to extreme immigration policies to compensate for the worker shortage. The fewer children women have, the more investment each child receives, leading to overmothering and helicopter-parenting which which might cause inceldom, but (in combination with modern medicine) also to reduced selection pressure leading to higher mutational load in the gene pool. Another argument for a dysgenic trade-off can be made that particularly intelligent and healthy women with careers tend to have a low reproductive success, resulting in their genes, which are beneficial for society overall, not being propagated in the gene pool. Women are also more neotenous, solipsistic, sneaky and hysteric than men, which might result in suboptimal regulation when many women enter politics. Employing too many women in sciences may also decrease standards due to a lowered bar of entry, as summarized in the women in STEM article.
A full return to women's more natural place would likely be economically infeasible without substantial automation or a reduction in consumption. A full return may also be undesirable because many women are highly economically productive and some are even fulfilled by their work and derive meaning from it. Confining women to the home is also unnatural today due to how lonely and isolated today's small families are. Historically, women were heavily integrated in larger communities and they did work reconcilable with child-rearing and cooking like water fetching, laundering, pottery, weaving and basketmaking. However, work used to be much more segregated by gender. As such, the tradcon claim that 'women belong in the kitchen' is an extreme claim that likely mismatches women's nature, though this particular phrase may also be a strawman of traditionalists' wishes, or may result from political polarization.
MRA criticism of tradcons[edit | edit source]
Proponents of traditional conservatism see their values' past success as indicators of future success, but critics of traditional conservatism see tradcon values as gynocentric, misandrist, and/or archaic. For example, some tradcons believe it is a men's duty to die in a war while not being entitled to a companion if he returns unscathed.
Accusations of similarity to feminism[edit | edit source]
MRA's tend to criticize TradCons as to how they deal with criticism by shaming men, which bears striking resemblance to feminists. Just like feminists, they aim their insults almost exclusively at weak men and/or incels. Feminists will insult a man for being incel (aka not being able to sexually interest a woman enough for her to be around him) and "creepy" (i.e. ugly or unassertive). Tradcons will insult men who do not assert dominance (as "betas"), marcels, i.e. married men who fail to sexually satisfy their female partners, resulting in infidelity (as "cucks") alluding a cuckoldry where the man is so weak that he admits her wife the freedom to see other men. Traditional men tend to despise men who admit this freedom fearing once such behavior becomes normal, it would make it harder to mateguard their woman. Tradcons may also use the "cuck" and "beta" to insult white knights and other types of male feminist who display overly submissive and desperate behavior towards women.
A small but growing number of MGTOWs and MRAs have been complaining that their spaces have been overrun by trad-cons like Janet Bloomfield or "enabling" tradcons, like Karen Straughan does (allegedly), and that trad-cons are worse than feminists (which they also dislike) because they think trad-cons generally believe that men should exchange work for sex, and other 'anti-male' gender roles that put men in a slave-like position.
Accusations of whiteknighting[edit | edit source]
"This last one is probably the biggest point to show how feminism overlaps with traditional conservatism. It screams both at the same time. “Save the women!,” “Fight for women!."
Paul Elam on tradcons[edit | edit source]
Prominent Republican-leaning MRA Paul Elam has also stated his opposition to trad-conism, which many view as disingenuous. Despite hiring some anti-tradcons for his very earliest blog, he has recently hired some radical trad-cons for his site, and increased his tradcon rhetoric. His hiring of trad-cons like Janet Bloomfield drawing him criticism from aformentioned MGTOWs and MRAs. Paul has stated opposition to any men's movement which tries to reduce sex differences (anywhere?).
Most controversially Paul has stated support for 'unhealthy hierarchies that lead to suicide, burnout and negative male health-outcomes', because he alleges they are necessary for society, common tradcon talking points. This drew Paul further criticism as 'anti-male'. Such as here:
AVFM on tradcons[edit | edit source]
On polyamory/cucks/etc[edit | edit source]
In the conservative world, there are numerous harmful stereotypes floating about when it comes to sex. For starters, all men are not seen to be potential rapists but potential adulterers.
On stay at home wives[edit | edit source]
In the conservative world, the burden of work takes an even more troubling turn as woman are taught they have a right to stay home with their children and if their husband cannot afford to provide the standard of living that makes this necessary, then he is out of God's will, a sinner, or backslidden. When the talk turns to Titus 2 or other other verses used to support this women's right, there is not an admonishment to wives to be frugal, to be industrious and start a home business, a garden for cooking and canning, or so forth, just a strict requirement for men without a rule of cooperation on the part of women. Staying at home is simply her right, with no responsibility to aid the burden of breadwinning.
Differences between tradcons[edit | edit source]
Traditionalist vary in the degree to which they want to return to traditions. Some luddite tradcons want to revert most of the technological revolution. Religious tradcons desire a return to religious traditions (churchgoing etc), with some being less overtly religious, but also generally opposing various forms of materialism, in favor of vitalism. Reactionary and monarchist tradcons seek to dismantle the legacy of political and social liberalism, e.g by ending universal suffrage. Many blackpillers, on the other hand, are only interested in restoring monogamy, the subordination of women and the nuclear family without any additional historical baggage.
Anti-tradcon sites[edit | edit source]
- One notable anti-tradcon site is /r/PussyPassDenied.
- Pro-male collective is an extremely anti-tradcon blogging and activist collective.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228641949_A_Global_Survey_of_Sexual_Behaviours table 4
- https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Emil-O-W-Kirkegaard/publication/339541044/figure/fig20/AS:[email protected]/a-Mental-health-outcomes-by-political-ideology-and-sex-treatment-for-mental-health.png
- Steven M. Platek and Todd K. Shackelford (Eds.), Female Infidelity and Paternal Uncertainty: Evolutionary Perspectives on Male Anti-Cuckoldry Tactics. Cambridge University Press: New York, 2006.