I see myself as a traditionalist first and foremost because family life worked well in the past, much better in the past compared to today, this being provable by statistics. What made the past work, what are the key characteristics of the past that made it work so well regarding family life and relations between men and women? I think I would identify three main characteristics or principles that were in place in the past but not today; these being male dominance over women, women not working or more specifically not working for money, and religion or obedience to God as the central moral principle or organizing force.
Instead of male dominance over women we now have gender equality, instead of women not working, particularly married women not working, we have women working nearly as much as men, instead of obedience to God we have individual freedom and personal choice and mutual consent being the organizing moral principle.
Feminism as a specific dominant cultural ideology advocates for gender equality and feminism definitely promotes careerism and women working and being independent and not needing no man. The God or religion part is a bit more interesting, feminism has certainly sought to infiltrate religion and make religion more feminist friendly and feminism does not have an official policy against religion and there are plenty of people who call themselves Christians and yet still lead a feminist life but it is notable that religion does seem to be the main cultural force that pushes back against feminism from a traditionalist point of view and religion does at least make a claim that there is an objective truth beyond merely what is popular or fashionable at the time that one needs to stick to.
Feminism does advocate for individual freedom, personal choice, and mutual consent as the proper moral context to see things through; this being the general moral philosophy that is dominant within popular culture and is contrary to the religious moral framework that God and obedience to God is the center of moral judgments.
Traditionalism is men being dominant over women, men taking care of women, and obedience to God. Modernism or feminism is gender equality, men and women support themselves and take care of themselves in arrangements of mutual benefit hopefully, and people do what they want as long as they have the consent of the person they are most affecting.
Traditionalism was very good at taking care of the needs of children, modernism not so much. This should not be forgotten. The ideology of personal freedom and personal choice does not place the needs of children first. There is no reason to think that adults doing whatever they want as long as they have the consent of the other adult is in the best interests of children.
The obedience to God moral framework says that something is good if it is good according to its intrinsic moral nature; that some things are inherently good and other things are inherently bad; that the moral nature of an act is intrinsic to the act itself. The personal choice moral framework says that something is good if somebody wants to do it or if somebody perceives it to be beneficial for oneself; in this presentation of things the moral nature of an act is based on how the act is perceived or judged by the actor or by others affected by the act.
According to the God moral framework whether a married woman should work is based on whether married women working in intrinsically good or intrinsically bad, whether the married woman working is moral in its own right. According to the personal choice moral framework a married woman working is good if the married woman wants to work and is bad if the married woman doesn’t want to work; in other words the morality of the married woman working is based on the choice or the preference of the married woman herself.
Feminism is based on the personal choice mutual consent moral framework; traditionalism is based on the obedience to God moral framework. The question is, is an act moral because you desire to perform the act or see yourself as benefiting from the act or is an act moral because embedded within the act or as a consequence of the act something good will come? According to feminism morality is proclaimed as an assertion of the individual; according to traditionalism morality is proclaimed as an assertion of God or as the consequence of objective truth or the intrinsic nature of a thing.
The key aspects of traditionalism regarding family life seems to be male dominance over women, women not working, especially married women not working, and the obedience to God objective truth moral framework.
It is questionable whether feminism is anti-Christian or if it simply wants to take over Christianity and there are plenty of people who see themselves as Christians and call themselves Christians but live their lives as feminists. What is clear however is that feminism is opposed to the God based moral framework.
Which part of traditionalism is the most important? Is it the male dominance over women part? Is it the women not working / men taking care of women part? Is it the obedience to God obedience to objective moral standards part? I would say that men taking care of women is the central theme that is most important and that male dominance over women and obedience to God are the things that enable and promote the underlying fundamental goal of taking care of women. The reason why taking care of women is of fundamental importance is because taking care of children is of fundamental importance; taking care of women is a means to promote and further taking care of children.
Obedience to God is the most important central theme as far as moral philosophy is concerned by definition but in terms of family health and relationships between men and women obedience to God serves the moral good of taking care of women and it is the taking care of women part that produces good family health and good relationships between men and women.
Related article: Feminism as the Erasure of God