[Ads-l] Male and unmarried housewives

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Aug 9 09:21:12 UTC 2015

In Jay Brannan's "Housewife," the male protagonist wants to be a 
housewife (explicit lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNxzFPTA1y4, 
line at approximately 0:50). The antagonist is also male, so it is 
possible that gender determines whether one can be a housewife.

Wiktionary (http://bit.ly/1KbA74g) restricts housewifedom to women, and 
the Oxford Dictionaries site (http://bit.ly/1KbA88k) further restricts 
it to married women. Citations 1 and (questionably) 2 below agree, and 3 

Googling on "he's a housewife" got a small number of hits, most of which 
seem to be about a Beverly Hills housewife program or about Japanese 
anime characters.

Other queries or careful reading might yield many other instances of 
males being cast as housewives without the label "male." The internet is 
filled with instances of "male housewife" and Barry Popik 
notes "mousewife" for "male housewife." (I'm guessing it exists only as 
a zombie now.)

Googling on "unmarried housewife" shows that there are plenty of such 
people, some of who want to know what to know what you call an unmarried 

No hits for "female househusband."

1. From Birth to Death: A Consumer's Guide to Population Studies
William Petersen
P. 14

The impossibility of male housewives

The computer can also correct such impossible combinations as a male 
"housewife," a "widow" aged 10 years, a native-born "alien," and the 
like--though it may not always be obvious which half of the 
contradiction is in error.

2. Housework and Housewives in American Advertising: Married to the Mop
Jessamyn Neuhaus
P. 171

Even though he's worried about spots, his beer-drinking, pizza-eating, 
and football-watching activities ensure that he's not _really_ a 
housewife--he's a _guy_. It's a satire: men can't really be housewives, 

3. The Coming Matriarchy: How Women Will Gain the Balance of Power - 
1982 dated by Google
Elizabeth Nickles
P. 96

  Usually they ask what my husband does. And I say, 'Nothing, he's a 
housewife.' And they ask how we live. And I tell them I work.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

Learn Ainu! https://sites.google.com/site/aynuitak1/home

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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