"We are all housewives. We would prefer to be persons." -- Jane O'Reilly, in the 1971 premiere issue of Ms. magazine.
Two-thirds of stay-at-home mothers in the U.K. dislike the word "housewife," according to a recent study. A third find it insulting. The housewife has taken a beating ever since she was born, and the last few decades have been especially unkind. These days, "housewife" tends to conjure an image of quivering Freudian repression, someone who vacuums the living room with a face full of makeup.