Barbara Bergmann

The liberation of women from exclusive domesticity did not originate in feminist books, or a war, or a big inflation, although they contributed to its progress. The rising enrollment of women in the paid labor force is a straightforward consequence of the industrial revolution of two hundred years ago.

To be a housewife is to be a member of a very peculiar occupation, one with characteristics like no other. The nature of the duties to be performed, the method of payment, the form of supervision, the tenure system, the market in which the workers find jobs, and the physical hazzards are all very different from the way things are in other occupations.