“[The] housewife is a nobody, and [housework] is a dead-end job. It may actually have a deteriorating effect on her mind…rendering her incapable of prolonged concentration on any single task. [She] comes to seem dumb as well as dull. [B]eing a housewife makes women sick.” ~ Sociologist Jessie Bernard in The Future of Marriage, 1982.
“Housewives [are] an endless array of ‘horse-leech’s’ daughters, crying Give! Give!—[a] parasite mate devouring even when she should most feed [and who has] the aspirations of an affectionate guinea pig.” ~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relations Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution, 1898.
“A parasite sucking out the living strength of another organism…the [housewife’s] labor does not even tend toward the creation of anything durable…. [W]oman’s work within the home [is] not directly useful to society, produces nothing. [The housewife] is subordinate, secondary, parasitic. It is for their common welfare that the situation must be altered by prohibiting marriage as a ‘career’ for woman.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949.
“[Housewives] are mindless and thing-hungry…not people. [Housework] is peculiarly suited to the capacities of feeble-minded girls. [It] arrests their development at an infantile level, short of personal identity with an inevitably weak core of self…. [Housewives] are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps. [The] conditions which destroyed the human identity of so many prisoners were not the torture and brutality, but conditions similar to those which destroy the identity of the American housewife.” ~ Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963.
“[Housewives] are dependent creatures who are still children…parasites.” ~ Gloria Steinem, “What It Would Be Like If Women Win,” Time, August 31, 1970.
“[The husband’s work] provides for greater challenges and opportunities for growth than are available to his wife, [whose] horizons are inevitably limited by her relegation to domestic duties. [This] programs her for mediocrity and dulls her brain…. [Motherhood] can only be a temporary detour.” ~ Nena O’Neill and George O’Neill, Open Marriage: A New Lifestyle for Couples, 1972.
“Women owe Frieden an incalculable debt for The Feminine Mystique…. Domesticity was not a satisfactory story of an intelligent woman’s life.” ~ Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Feminism Is Not the Story of My Life, 1996.
“Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession… The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that.” ~ Vivian Gornick, University of Illinois, “The Daily Illini,” April 25, 1981.