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Monday, January 22, 2018

While sexism and inequality was rampant in the 1950s, housewives then were not downtrodden door mats but "tough and ultra-organized." While men earned the money, housewives decided how it was spent and balanced household finances with military precision.

Today, Pew Research Center estimates that there are 370,000 highly educated and affluent housewives (defined as married mothers with children under 18 who have at least a master's degree and family income over $75,000), which equals 5 percent of all stay-at-home moms with a husband.

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Today's Random Fact:

The word "housewife" is from the early 13th century husewif, meaning "woman, usually married, in charge of a family or household." The word "hussy" is an alteration of the word housewife and originally meant "mistress of the household."

Bonus Fact:

Even housewives in the early 20th century had no dishwashers, clothes driers, supermarkets, food processors, or washing machines. They made beds with sheets and blankets (no duvets). They boiled the toweling and cloth diapers (which were at least 10 per baby per day). They could not take out loans or mortgages or hire purchase agreements. They even needed their husband's consent to get a C-section. A wife who left her husband faced destitution. As the suffragettes complained before WWI, "Husband and wife are one person, and that one person is the husband."

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