nb - i use the image above with irony!
'A married [sic] woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.'
when did this term become a derogation?
Derogation: 'The perception or treatment of someone as being of little worth.'
i certainly feel that it has become something of a derogation.
the 'feel' of the word seems somehow different now.
the conceptual 'weight' of the word has been altered.
it seems that to be described as a 'housewife' is now something to be looked upon as faintly embarrassing; as if a woman thus described is somehow 'less of a person' than a 'working mother'.
though of course 'working mother' [single mothers exempt] does suggest a certain tricky dichotomy.
i feel capitalism [and consumerism] are the forces that have allocated new meaning to the word 'housewife'.
there was a time when one parent looking after a child/children full time was seen as a very positive thing.
what does this notion mean to capitalism and consumerism?
it means these people are basically worthless.
they do not earn [independently]. .
they do not buy [independently].
they do not consume [independently].
they are non-people in a consumerist society.
a capitalist/consumerist society naturally wants [in fact is driven to demand] every single person to be an independent earning and purchasing unit.
hence the shift in meaning of the word.
housewife aside, consider the term househusband.
this feels like a term laden with effete and feminine associations.
it seems to cast doubt upon the very masculinity of any man referred to as a househusband.
is this an innate 'race memory' reaction?
or is the system in which we live changing social attitudes to suit the engines that drive it.
the reasons are complex to say the least, but i feel that capitalism has radically altered the concept of any parent, irrespective of gender, raising children full time.
it has [quite wonderfully and naturally] co-opted and developed the 'work ethic' as a weapon to recruit ever more 'independent earning and purchasing units'.
capitalism is a perfect machine which has only one enemy.
exactly what is wrong with a parent [irrespective of gender] wanting to attend to their child/childrens upbringing on a full time basis?
forgive me for dealing with complex issues rather simplistically.
i still find the final question is one that is well worth asking.
what's wrong with mother?