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My Greek town doesn’t need more tradwives Reactionary feminism is hardly radical

Greece is stuck in the past. Hy Simon/Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Greece is stuck in the past. Hy Simon/Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images


April 9, 2024   5 mins

I remember the first time I realised I was not like British girls. It was my second day in the UK, and I was at a freshers’ week club night. I was dolled up and trying to femininely, if awkwardly, dance next to some Italian girls who plucked me from my student dorm and adopted me for the night, when, suddenly, a flock of British girls dropped like a glitter bomb in the middle of the dance floor. They wore heavy makeup and clothes my Greek mother would describe as man-repellent, and danced like nobody was watching, limbs flailing around like inflatable tube men. I was mesmerised by their evident disregard or ignorance of what is attractive to a man. I was green with envy.

Wiggling joylessly in my skirt and tights, I craved to be on whatever they’d taken. Luckily I was soon to get my fix. Feminism, I was told at my London university, was what allowed British women to live their lives free of striving to be the embodiment of femininity, a value enshrined in my DNA as a Greek woman.

British feminism was thrilling and contagious and shared generously among students like freshers’ flu. Even international students caught it. At the height of my student council career, I campaigned to ban the song “Blurred Lines” from being played in student-union venues and then followed it up with a zero tolerance to sexual harassment campaign. As a Left-wing immigrant woman, my student politics career unfolded brightly before me. These were simpler times.

My disillusionment began when this brand of feminism started to conflict with my Greek heritage. It was 2013, and the height of Lean In, and I had British friends who saw make-up as optional and being comfortable and authentic as mandatory. But most astonishingly, they were certain they never wanted to get married. I was impressed and intimidated. I had no blueprint for a life without the barebones of the nuclear family.

Some years later, during lockdown when everyone was going a bit mad, reading about the tensions between liberal feminism and wholesome traditional values seemed way more exciting than chasing dust bunnies with my Dyson. I started consuming content that challenged the feminism I had found so delicious in my first year in London. Even in mainstream ideological corners, women started questioning liberal and queer feminism’s excesses. Books, podcasts, and Substacks popped up and did very well: these months were filled with episodes of Red Scare, Areo magazine and rewarmed Camille Paglia. I swiftly was red-pilled on this neo-prude feminism.

Intellectually, feminism was no longer untouchable; culturally, it was no longer cool. Girl Boss was used as a sarcastic snarl, reserved for women with outward success and questionable values, who were preoccupied with themselves and their image. The conversation had moved on; feminism is mainstream now — what’s next?

“Intellectually, feminism was no longer untouchable; more importantly, culturally, it was no longer cool.”

It wasn’t just the reading matter that gave me pause. I had flown back to be with my family in Greece to avoid being in London during the pandemic. And nothing will make you stop questioning feminism faster than spending six months in your hometown locked in with your mother. I was slapped in the face with a parallel reality I had forgotten about. People back home, including my mother, are not just pro-marriage — they are obsessed with it. Stereotypes are never a fair depiction of reality but can indicate trends, and girls from my hometown, Thessaloniki, have a national reputation. “Thessalonikia” denotes a woman who overdresses, over-grooms herself and is always feminine. The recurring meme is a girl dressed like a Love Island contestant with the tag line: “Thessalonikia going to the library to study.”

I used to find the stereotype charming. But after moving back, it started to make me sad. My city is both one of the most youthful and one of the worst hit by the financial crisis, with high youth unemployment — especially among young women. I began to see the emergence of the Thessalonikia as related to the economic and social position of women in Greece. My hometown girls were not expressing their personal style; they were desperately trying to distinguish themselves to attract a partner — what they perceived as their only ticket to financial security and social status. There was little in terms of civic life and professional opportunities to lift them up. While the phrase may inspire eye-rolls in Britain, in Greece the “male gaze” was still omnipresent. And as a result, more young women spend an increasing portion of their diminishing resources on attracting and keeping the attention and affection of men.

My mother, released from the constraints of having her adult daughter physically removed from her orbit in a foreign land, scrutinised my socialising with a toothcomb. Her dormant maternal instincts were itchy. Raising stray kittens would no longer do; she wanted human grandkids. And I remembered why I left.

My wider social and family circle constantly assessed my appearance, the criteria tightly tethered by banal visions of womanhood. My social life was a means to an end. My career and education a tick-box exercise on the way to the matchmaker. Maybe feminism overreached in some select intellectual progressive spaces in the English-speaking world — but these are cultural elites, not global majorities.

As far as women in need of feminism go, my mother is hardly the worst case. Much as I baulked at her traditional worldview, I also, over time, saw the emotional and practical value in it. She wants what most of us do: a good balance of feminism and family life. She built her own business and planted her office next to our home, feeding me spoonfuls of lentil soup with one hand and shouting at clients on her Nokia flip phone with the other. She stressed the importance of education for women, not for intellectual fulfilment but because she had seen too many women, abused or cheated or otherwise humiliated, locked into marriages they could not afford to leave.

I am not surprised, then, that my sexual reputation and safety was her top concern. My childhood gang in the village on the island of Crete, where my mother was born, would share casual tales of fathers who tied them to bed poles, boyfriends who gave them black eyes, of being locked in wardrobes and spat on by neighbours. It’s comical even to imagine talking to them about our latest metropolitan feminist debates about whether the sexual revolution was a net positive or net negative, or about whether marriage benefits men or women more. It would be the equivalent of telling a child who hasn’t learnt to read yet to steer clear from Harry Potter because its author gets cancelled in the end.

The same problem applies to trad-wife feminism: it’s only considered radical within an elite metropolitan milieu. Everywhere else, it’s just the oppressive norm. Thus there is something distasteful about fashionable neo-prudes — often successful journalists or influencers — telling women to return to the hearth, while millions of women around the world still dream of escaping it. Affluent women may have grown tired of equality, but they shouldn’t give up on the revolution before it’s gone global. If I have to pick between extremes in my Greek hometown, I’d rather see Thessalonikias become Girl Bosses than trad wives.


Stella Tsantekidou is Head of Policy and Campaigns at Catch22. Her Substack is The Human Carbohydrate.

Stsantek

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Ali W
Ali W
1 month ago

Bill Maher said something about how Americans don’t react, they overreact. I think this is true of much of the affluent anglosphere. The fringes of society have so much power over our culture, we keep swinging from one side to the other. I should enjoy that the modern feminism I grew up with, which looking back wasn’t much more than internalized misogyny, is starting to die off. But what takes its place? A hyper-glamorized, commercialized fantasy of domestic servitude.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago
Reply to  Ali W

Bill Maher is a deeply ignorant man. To think of Christian marriage as servitude is to believe the same lie as the serpent in the garden, who claimed that God only put rules in place to stifle us.

I recommend leaving that worldview behind and coming to Christ.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago

I recommend you confine your beliefs to a more appropriate forum, i.e. your church, where you can share them with like-minded people.

The alternative is for this forum to become a reductionist battleground rather than a space where (hopefully) intelligent discourse can take place.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I appreciate your recommendation, but I think the Gospel belongs in a place like this. It is meant to be shared, not just with believers, but with anyone with eyes to hear and ears to listen. If the mods want to ban me, they can. Until that time, I will speak my mind. I have no interest in battling, only proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.

Users on this site have already rejected large parts of the neoliberal worldview. I commend them for that. I’m suggesting they go a little deeper and reject the materialistic, atheistic philosophy that undergirds it.

On another note – you use a term like “intelligent discourse”, but keep digging into the philosophical presuppositions of that statement. What does it mean to be intelligent, to understand, to reason, to use logic? These are all immaterial things. They are transcendent. They point back to their ultimate origin – namely, the mind of God. That we are able to discuss things in this way is proof that we are both made in the image of God.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago

Don’t presume that by seeking to engage that your words have any effect other than to take up space.

Nor does your use of “transcendence” do anything but seek to exclude. The transcendent experience does not require religion; it’s a huge failure on your part to believe otherwise.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

God is my judge, not you. So I’ll work to please Him, and to you I’ll focus on speaking the truth as best I can.
What do you mean by “exclude”? Exclusion isn’t bad per se. Truth excludes lies. I’m just pointing out the fact that transcendent qualities, like truth, beauty, goodness, logic, etc. – all point back to the mind of God. I’d appreciate your explanation as to why I’m wrong, instead of an assertion that my belief is a “huge failure”.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago

I love this comment: ‘Exclusion isn’t bad per se. Truth excludes lies.’ I’m going to borrow this next time I’m forced to say what I’ve done to expand DEI at work this year.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago

I have a grasp of beauty, goodness and logic that you will never understand with your belief that these things “all point back to the mind of god” which is demeaning of our humanity.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

You’re grasping what, exactly? Your own subjective assessment of these things? What’s to stop someone else having a completely different idea of the good, thinking it’s good to burn everything down?
You still haven’t given any basis for justified true belief. All you have done is assert that you have a knowledge beyond anything I can comprehend. But how can you justify knowledge in your worldview? How can a clump of cells arising from blind evolution ever trust its own thoughts? You don’t come from a rational source, right, so why should anything about you be rational? If you were being intellectually consistent, you would admit that your worldview justifies nothing but a will to power, nothing of any meaning, goodness, truth, beauty, whatsoever.
Instead of admitting that, however, you keep smuggling in claims that rely on a theological foundation. I’m just pointing out that you’re using a standard that your own worldview cannot justify.
Of course, your comment about “demeaning of our humanity” reveals your true concern. You somehow think that worshipping God degrades you, makes you a slave. Nothing could be further from the truth. The slavery comes from believing the lies of the deceiver, who said that God wanted to hold us back. The depth of this lie is hard for me to express, and it seems you are still in its grip. I hope you find a way out.

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Without God your humanity is already demeaned. Without God we are all no more valuable than any other animal.

Julian Morgan-Jones
Julian Morgan-Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

“I’m just pointing out the fact that transcendent qualities, like truth, beauty, goodness, logic, etc. – all point back to the mind of God. I’d appreciate your explanation as to why I’m wrong”

I’m keen to hear why you think Archibald is wrong too. Sincere question – Where do you think these qualities come from? Are they material perhaps and can be proven to exist by material measures? Also why would they be demeaning of your humanity and why wouldn’t your understanding of these things be demeaning?

My intuition is that from your firm but unsupported statement you have no considered views on this, but would be thrilled to proven wrong and learn something new.

Of course, an alternative is that you have never considered the origin of and cannot explain these qualities and this may be your (and my) opportunity to learn something from Archibald.

Stu N
Stu N
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

It’s quite disheartening that the loopy bible thumper is getting so many upvotes here. Never using one word when forty are available instead, chuntering on while saying absolutely nothing of substance. And a majority seem to support this… nothingness.

Unherd? Moooo!

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu N

Is there anything of substance in your comment? All I see is a string of ad hominem fallacies.

Happy to hear your counter-arguments, if you have any?

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu N

Maybe a lot of us have seen what has happened to the West since it abandoned Christianity and are appalled by what we see. Maybe Christianity makes sense to a lot of us. Maybe we just don’t like anti-Christian bigotry (the only bigotry the secular left embraces whole-heartedly).
I love how you think believing everything the secular left tells you about human existence makes you an independent thinker.

N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I recommend you keep your bigotry to a more appropriate forum.

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Secular ideologies hold no privileged place over religious ideologies. The current progressive “woke” ideology is ever bit as much a religion as Christianity. It’s actually a less rational religion. Christianity believes in the supernatural, but does not reject the truths of the natural world.

Konstantinos Stavropoulos
Konstantinos Stavropoulos
19 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

If that where true you could either enlighten us with your argumentative wisdom or let the guy speak. Or if you were curious enough ask him to explain his position. You are talking at the edge of bulling and this can not give more credit to your opinion.

As a matter of fact, Unherd is hosting a dialogue on these issues that does not exclude opinions of faith. On the contrary. Besides, all opinions include meanings of faith.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago

A vital word is missing from this article: Christ.

A community of believers addresses all the issues you mention. The male gaze is brought under control. Women are modest and not getting dolled up to go to the library. And wives don’t dream of escaping the home because home is beautiful, full of love, and they are married to a man who they respect, because the man respects Christ. And the rewards of a career are understood to be nothing compared to the rewards of the Kingdom of God.

That this community sounds fanciful just underscores how worldly we have all become. There is nothing more precious than family and God. Feminism is a massive deception, and the sooner we restore true Christian patriarchy, the happier we will all be.

Kevin Hansen
Kevin Hansen
1 month ago

This is the online equivalent of answering the door before looking through the window to see who is there. At least I didn’t get a leaflet.

b blimbax
b blimbax
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin Hansen

I suppose you consider yourself an open-minded person.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago

I would definitely agree that there is nothing more precious than family but, while some sort of spirituality is also important, I think God is not.

Why do some women think being a trad wife means a life of domestic servitude? Sure it will have its boring parts but so does being a trad husband or just any lifestyle. Why can’t we /society see marriage as the team that it is; a team trying to deliver the next generation. The most important, and satisfying, life that there is.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

What do you mean by ‘spirituality’? That sounds nebulous to me.

The universe had a beginning. Time and space both came into existence around 13 billion years ago. That means the cause of the Big Bang must be outside space and time, and also immensely powerful.

Suddenly, we’re well on our way to describing the attributes of the God of the Bible. We’re not describing some energy force or whatever – we’re describing a mind.

Tony Nunn
Tony Nunn
1 month ago

“And God said ‘Let there be light.’ And there was the Big Bang.”

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony Nunn

Not sure what you’re trying to say here. The Genesis account is equally powerful for people living thousands of years ago and today. If God had written the Bible as a bunch of equations, it just wouldn’t work in the same way.
In His infinite wisdom, God has chosen to deliver His Word through the medium that resonates most with us: the story. And when He revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ, He made use of parables that speak to the very depths of our being.
It’s almost as if He knows us very well indeed…

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago

Just because something written down thousands of years ago may have seemed “powerful” for a while does not make it true in either a physical or spiritual sense. It’s a fable, composed by those who had no means of knowing how our universe came about. That you think there’s something worth retaining from those early efforts to come to terms with our existence is a sign of spiritual bankruptcy.
Throw off your chains, and rejoice in your humanity free from the shackles you’ve imposed upon yourself. I recommend it.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Of course, the things you mention aren’t what makes it true. What makes it true is how it corresponds with human nature, reality, and metaphysics.
If you think there’s nothing worth retaining from Genesis, the account of the Fall, Cain and Abel, and all the other stories contained in that book of the Bible alone, then I’m truly sorry. You’re missing out on the most decisive insights into the human condition, the literal foundation of our entire civilisation. Ignore it at your peril.
As for your comment about throwing off my chains: I have already been set free by the grace of our saviour, Jesus Christ, the only one who can give us true, lasting freedom. What you offer is illusory licentiousness. I’ll pass, thanks.

Adam Grant
Adam Grant
1 month ago

If one takes the dispensationalist view that God reveals himself in different ways in different eras, the bunch of equations approach may now be coming into vogue, at least for more technically-minded elect.

Ali W
Ali W
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

My bigger issue with the trad-wife trend is that it’s just a bunch of influencers selling a fantasy on social media. It’s all polished marketing and no substance, so the fact a bunch of young girls are eating it up is disheartening, especially since many of them likely have no real-life experience with women staying at home managing child-rearing and the household. So, they see a beautiful woman taking care of her calm children, making sourdough bread and gourmet meals, and they don’t understand the reality that this type of lifestyle requires sacrifice. My sister is a housewife, and she is a great mom with 2 amazing little girls. However, her lack of financial autonomy causes some serious issues in her marriage. For many women it’s worth the ability to focus on raising a family, but for the girls being fed this glamorized trad-wife trend, their bubble is going to seriously burst when they have to deal with the realities of needing to discuss with their husband every superfluous expense (or any of the other humble realities of being a homemaker). This is especially true because so many of them were likely raised with both parents working, so they’re going into this fantasy completely blind.

M Shewbridge
M Shewbridge
1 month ago

I’m not convinced that the situation in your Greek city is related to feminism.

This is a story of economic scarcity. Most of the men won’t be attractive to those women, who will only be dolling themselves up to attract the high status men.

It’s not like the women aren’t allowed to get jobs, from what I gather; it’s that the jobs aren’t there to be got.

The poor are fucked, just like in Britain.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 month ago
Reply to  M Shewbridge

The Declaration of Feminism , November 1971, advocated the destruction of marriage as an institution because it “existed for the benefit of men; and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women.”
Several prominent feminists are now reflecting on the sexual revolution that followed, lamenting the consequences of the “free sex” movement as damaging to women, and proposing a return to traditional dating, as opposed to hook-up culture. The pill made it possible for women to have sex like men, or so they thought until the emotional and psychological implications became apparent.
We’re currently at the stage of “well, we tried that and it didn’t work. We poured scorn on marriage and male chivalry but now we’ve decided we like it after all.”
The question now is
 are men prepared once again to bend to whatever women demand or are they going to consider their own interests?

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  William Shaw

I’ve upvoted, though I’m less optimistic. Originally feminists were at least consistent. I’m a strong independent woman: you don’t have to pay for my meals, or buy me drinks or hold open the door for me – in fact I don’t need men at all. And I can compete with men on a level playing field.

The modern version: I’m a strong independent woman: I need special treatment, I want you to pay even if I earn more, I want all that old chivalry stuff but all the equality stuff too when it suits me, men’s lives should Centre around me. I want to do whatever I like, preferably with him footing the bill. It’s pure entitlement, and a lot of men are starting ask what, realistically, they get in return.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 month ago
Reply to  William Shaw

The proliferation of single mother families indicate that marriage may have been an institution that controlled women but that it controlled men even more.

Adam Grant
Adam Grant
1 month ago
Reply to  William Shaw

It’s been suggested that having lots of sexual partners reduces a woman’s ability to pair bond. An interesting question is whether the same is true of men, or can an attractive male have lots of hookups before committing meaningfully to a long-term provisioning relationship with a wife and kids?
As to the question “are men … going to consider their own interests” we should ask what men’s interests are. If we take the evolutionary biology angle that a man’s interest is in maximizing the viability of his descendants, birth control is so recent that men’s reproductive behaviours are unlikely to have compensated for it, in at least two ways. Case A) when birth control is effective, short-term hookups are a distraction, delaying a man’s search for his eventual wife. In case B) a low-value woman baby-traps a man into long-term provisioning, when his instincts had categorized her as a marginal “inseminate and move on” prospect. Here, the male assumes that birth control will allow him to have his cake (move on without consequences) and eat it too (gratify his instinct to spread his seed widely).

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Did you actually read the article? The traditional women’s place in the home is still by far the most common arrangement globally. Not all women just accept that, despite the sometimes absurd excesses of western ‘privileged’ feminism.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

The recurring meme is a girl dressed like a Love Islandcontestant with the tag line: “Thessalonikia going to the library to study.”

This is funny.

But the only difference I see between this and a British city is that the chances the girl is going to the library in Britain are pretty slim.

The overly made up, overly self-sexualised British girl is probably just less self aware. If you ask her why she displays her status, sexual characteristics and group membership so obviously and openly, she will tell you she does it for your herself – exhibiting a lack of self awareness that would put the average plank to shame. At least Greek women seem to know why they are dressing up.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Affluent women may have grown tired of equality, but they shouldn’t give up on the revolution before it’s gone global.

I kind of agree with this, but with a few caveats: learn from the mistakes that have been made, don’t just replicate them; purge your own feminism of the man hating element that dogs it in the U.K. and U.S.; focus feminist effort where it is needed, rather than pretending that massive work is still to be done in countries like the U.K.; don’t allow the frankly spoiled and entitled feminists in the U.K. and US to hijack things – they love pretending to be vicariously oppressed because women in other countries really are.

The trad wife thing (ie as instagram pose) is a silly fad. It’s more about fashion than the serious business of creating families that work.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

I think there’s a more serious movement underway in the UK than whatever’s trending on instagram & it’s a much needed one. Writers like Louise Perry & Mary Harrington are trying to correct course for a revolution that’s done so much harm to a couple of generations of women & girls – though to my knowledge neither has presumed to speak for other countries. British Radical feminism, with which I used passionately to identify, has become its inverse & is now actively harming women & girls in a number of ways which, if exported globally, would do unspeakable amounts of damage.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Writers like Louise Perry & Mary Harrington are trying to correct course for a revolution that’s done so much harm to a couple of generations of women & girls

Yes and I agree. But they are all writers, and serious women to boot. I doubt they spend their time inefficiently prancing about the house in fifties dresses and posting endless pictures on instagram.

Hence my care to insert a parenthesis about instagram.

Christopher Edwards
Christopher Edwards
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Sorry to be obvious but feminists we’re created and led by lesbians, and still are. If you couldn’t see that (men could), you need to give your head a wobble.
Q. What’s the most important job in the world.
A. SUCCESSFULLY rearing a child.
End of….

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

focus feminist effort where it is needed, rather than pretending that massive work is still to be done in countries like the U.K.
Intentionally or not, this sentence highlights the reality of activist. Its purpose is not to address and resolve problems, it’s to perpetuate the appearance of those problems for the self-enrichment of those involved in the cause. Feminism, civil rights, and organized labor have achieved their original goals, at least in the US, yet none of the three will ever claim victory. Because doing so means what has become a racket must end.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I would say that organised Labour has been on the retreat for decades, effectively stripped of its power. Hence increasing inequality and greater returns to capital. And of course poverty is still with us – even staging a comeback.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago

‘British girls dropped like a glitter bomb in the middle of the dance floor. They wore heavy makeup and clothes my Greek mother would describe as man-repellent, and danced like nobody was watching, limbs flailing around like inflatable tube men. . I was mesmerised by their evident disregard or ignorance of what is attractive to a man. I was green with envy. ‘

British woman here, that frequently dropped like a glitter bomb in pubs and clubs all over England. This is a ridiculous generalisation of how British women dress to go out. And how they behave. Just because you and your mother don’t approve doesn’t mean the girls actually are ‘man repellent’. Plus you are not a man so how can you say what is attractive to every man in Britain. Surely that is different for each man. In head to toe primark, shot in the face with a rimmel make up gun, I never struggled to find a man to climb. Sounds like you needed to learn to let go a bit love.
That evident disregard of what is attractive to men – we didn’t always go out to intentionally find a man, sometimes we left boyfriends at home so we could go out, as a group of girls, and do the dance like nobody is watching thing JUST TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. Nothing to do with blo*dy feminism, or finding men. That’s what British night life used to be about anyway – having a good time. Just that. Wearing something you like, with make up that you feel comfortable in. Maybe they don’t do that in Greece.

‘At the height of my student council career, I campaigned to ban the song “Blurred Lines” from being played in student-union venues’

Jesus Christ, thanks but no thanks, you can count yourself into one of the early cancel mobs then. Didn’t you have anything better do or learn about at university? Banning music of any kind is sacrilege. Same as burning books or destroying art work. Please keep your weird Greek feminist tendancies in Greece next time. What did you hope to achieve by banning this song. Do you really think intelligent male citizens take there cues from every song they hear. What about nelly furtardos ‘man eater’. Or Britneys ‘oops I did it again’. I could go on. Should you not, in the interest of balance, have banned that too? Save the men from getting eaten? Or seen as disposable?

‘liberal feminism and wholesome traditional values seemed way more exciting than chasing dust bunnies with my Dyson.’

Please, give me my Dyson any day over reading about that sh*t.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

Great comment

“In head to toe primark, shot in the face with a rimmel make up gun, I never struggled to find a man to climb.”

Just brilliant.

Ryan Scarrow
Ryan Scarrow
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

So you read the essay but apparently didn’t read about how her views changed as she grew up and experienced more things? You now come to the comments to shit on her for your selective cherry picking of things that she now says ‘Oh yeah that was something I did back then and I’ve learned since then’?

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Ryan Scarrow

The conclusion was – ‘If I have to pick between extremes in my Greek hometown, I’d rather see Thessalonikias become Girl Bosses than trad wives.’
How have her views changed then?

She spends the first bit moaning about her mother’s traditional views like she was raised in some 1900s trad family. Then contradicts herself saying her mother actually ran a business. And she was allowed to leave to go to uni in London. Not exactly tied to the hearth then was she. If her mother really thought trad wifing, obsessed with marriage I think her words are, was the main priority she would have had her married off ASAP and not bothered educating her. I don’t expect that was cheap, probably partly funded by the mother she keeps moaning about. Then contradicts herself again by saying she sees value in her mother’s traditional views. Then contradicts herself again saying we should be girl bosses not trad wives.
I would say I’ve never read such a load of self indulgent sh*t. But unfortunately that’s not the case.

Please, tell me where I am getting the wrong end of the stick.

Don’t you think the generalisation about British women is absurd?

b blimbax
b blimbax
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

The one place where I think you have gotten the wrong end of the stick is where you refer to the author’s “weird Greek feminist tendencies.” I don’t know that there is anything particularly “Greek” about her tendencies. In other words, I think maybe you are making the same sort of absurd generalization of Greek women as you charge the author with making in the last sentence of your comment.
Otherwise, I found your comments very interesting and perceptive.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  b blimbax

Well I think that’s fair enough, thank you. I retract the weird Greek feminist tendancies.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

Could you run a course in real feminism?

“No need to be a bloke, no need to hate them, just don’t take sh*t.”

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I think that your one sentence covers the subject very well actually, perhaps a course wouldn’t be necessary if we just stuck to that. Then women at uni would have time to worry about real issues instead of banning songs.
I think it’s funny she landed in Britain, apparently met a load of very liberated British women, happily dancing, presumably without getting harassed by men since she describes what they are wearing as man repellent, then decided that actually we aren’t that liberated or safe and that banning music and some kind of anti sexual harassment campaign was still necessary.
My head can barely cope with the head f*ck.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

I was mesmerised by their evident disregard or ignorance of what is attractive to a man. 

I must say that I didn’t recognise this description of British women on a night out. To be blunt many of them dress like prostitutes. They know exactly what attracts men. Does she mean “attractive to men” as a marriage prospect? For a serious relationship? To hang around with after breakfast? Well no. They don’t dress like that kind of girl. They look like they are desperate for sex, but are in fact desperate for validation and attention. I know a lot of them look like a dogs dinner – but does the author think they go to all that trouble to intentionally look unattractive? Of course not. Unbelievable as it may seem, they think they look like the bees knees.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

To be blunt many of them dress like prostitutes.

I see. What kind of bars do you frequent then?
Prostitutes dress differently depending on the job.
For example a high class escort will look fabulous and expensive. A dominatrix will dress very differently. You seem naive to the demands of prostitution.

Jon Morrow
Jon Morrow
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

This is interesting – do you have a more complete list available you could share with us?

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon Morrow

Sorry you’ve lost me, a more complete list of?

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

It’s a standing joke that on a U.K. street on a Friday or Saturday night the prostitutes can be identified by their relatively conservative dress.

Lou Davey
Lou Davey
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

Thank you for voicing my irritations with this muddled and immature article far more succinctly and colourfully than I would have managed, B Emery. Beautifully put!

Unherd how did this get past your editors? Compare it to the articles by your regular writers Kathleen, Mary, Kat, Julie et al
 this reads like a sixth former’s essay.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 month ago

Two points. The author has not received an education, she has been indoctrinated. Secondly, no mention of her father. Does she expect her father to be traditionally protective and economically supportive whilst rejecting everything he stands for?

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
1 month ago

So you banned a song?

Lone Wulf
Lone Wulf
1 month ago

Why is the desire of a mother to have grandchildren so scary?
Where is the desire to have children and raise a family?
Shouldn’t feminists also fight for the rights of mothers to be protected and children to have a mother dedicated to them?
The discussion is clearly unbalanced in favour of economy and narcissism.
The weakest pay the price.

Christopher Edwards
Christopher Edwards
1 month ago

Girl boss feminism is very popular up to 30, then it drops of a cliff. The only ones left are lesbians and their fool enabalers, shrill, entitled wimmin…..

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

As far as women in need of feminism go, my mother is hardly the worst case.
This poor child has never considered that perhaps her mother neither needs nor wants feminism, but rather, made the life choice that works for her. Whatever else feminism did to or for the author, it closed her mind to every option except the one pushed by the activist dogma.
To hear young women whining is the same as hearing it from young black people – both groups stand on the shoulders of the generations before them, yet neither has the humility or self-awareness to realize it. The feminism that once championed choices for women now scoffs at those who make the ‘wrong’ choice.

b blimbax
b blimbax
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

“To hear young women whining is the same as hearing it from young black people – both groups stand on the shoulders of the generations before them, yet neither has the humility or self-awareness to realize it.”

I think your statement is of much broader and general application. Today’s modern, atomized individual thinks he, or she, has no need of the generations that came before (let alone those that will come afterwards).

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 month ago

I am not sure how old or experienced the author is but I have a feeling mid to late 20’s and not very experienced yet. I had to look up the definition of Trad Wife and it seems perfectly fine with me as the woman, or man, chooses this lifestyle if they can afford it. As mentioned in other posts, when you are poor the choices are very small and you do have to choose to survive in your environment. Her mother seems very modern, and enlightened, yet she still is a mother looking out for her daughter.
Instead of dissing Trad wives in Thessaloniki, she should be working to raise the incomes and opportunities of the folks in her hometown. I enjoyed her article, witty and well written. Now is the time for Stella to take action, not just comment. What are the odds?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 month ago

While reading this I couldn’t help thinking about the novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and specifically how the Greek siblings Lefty and Desdemona solve their own marriageability issues by marrying each other.
And also how a former German boyfriend of mine informed me quite proudly that I was “an unusual British girl, because you aren’t drunk all the time and you aren’t fat.” There was a compliment in there somewhere.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

a former German boyfriend of mine informed me quite proudly that I was “an unusual British girl, because you aren’t drunk all the time and you aren’t fat.” 

This is the reputation of British women abroad. largely deserved, though it’s a shame for those who don’t fit the stereotype. I’ve never heard them described as “liberated” for this before – unless it’s liberated from good taste and good sense.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

Most men and women want a house and a family. A trad life if you like…the elites do try to confuse us with versions of feminism that try to put people off this vision because it has become unaffordable. But real feminism is about education and rights to work and property. It should be conducive with a trad life

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 month ago

Any woman eulogising the trad wife should be asked whether they have a bank account in their own name or a joint bank account. No genuine trad wife would have one. She would rely on the money her husband gave her. Second question is whether she will automatically comply with her husband’s demands for sex. A genuine trad wife would.