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Why Do Working Women Look Down On Housewives?

By on Dec 25, 2011 | 14 comments

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I’ve observed this numerous times. Housewives *never* (yep, with asterisks!) get the credit they deserve for the work they do. The reason? Well, household chores are often treated less important than ‘going out to earn money’. Maintaining the house, keeping it clean, maintaining the monthly budget and all the related activity is considered as work-less-important than the ‘office work’. Following inequality summarizes the common belief people have towards the two types of work:-

Housework < Office Work

…and the beauty of this inequality is that it’s very generic. No matter the kind of work is done in office; it’s always of greater importance than any housework. Why does the world think like that? In my opinion –

  1. Office work is a paid job.
  2. Making money is important.
  3. The one who brings money home ‘assumes’ that he/she has an authority in all the matters.

I’ve been observing women who ‘work’ in offices often look at housewives with contempt. The feeling of ‘pride’ in their eyes and their inflated ‘ego’ and a false sense of ‘achievement’ gets into my nerves when they treat a housewife as someone with less importance.

Is Office Work Really That Hard?

Working women often use this illusion to show how hard they work. In reality, in every office; the real work happens only in the ~30% of the time. That is, if you work 9 hours a day; the *real* and *tiring* work can never exceed 3 hours. The rest is all time-killing activity. But no one admits it. If you come home tired; then it’s the traffic and your bosswho’s responsible. Not your work. In fact, the harder you work, the more energetic you feel.


House - Where The Real Work Happens

Have you ever noticed how lecturers and bank employees spend 8 hours in office and make a big deal out of it that ‘they work so hard’? In reality, they spend 5 hours gossiping, eating and resting. Three hours of real, hard work is all they do but claim the credit for 8 hours.

…and office is often used as the safest bet to show the world how ‘busy’ you are all the time.

Unfortunately; a housewife never gets that luxury.

Why Am I Writing This Post?

I do not mean to look down on working women. But I’m against their attitude of looking down on housewives and using ‘job’ an excuse. The false sense of ‘pride’ in them is what I hate. Of course, there are women who know the reality and have their brains intact and haven’t blown their egos. I respect them. But I’ve zero respect for those who try to look more important than they are. I could have written all I wanted to say with better sentences; but a part of my brain is filled with anger. I’m not even proofreading this post before I publish it.

I dream of a day when our society matures to treat household work equal if not more important than ‘office work’. A housewife does more *real work* than a working woman any day; without getting any appreciation or money. It’s a job more difficult than you think.

My Mother – An Example

My mother is a housewife. Had she chosen to work in a corporate world, she’d be a CEO of an big MNC; and I’m not saying this because she’s my mother. But she stayed at home for her kids – me & my sister. She was there when we returned from school. She’d give us all the dishes we’d ask her to cook. Never said ‘No’ to us. She taught us math, science, biology, history, geography- in a way no one could ever teach. She even taught us common sense – something that’s beyond education. She’s raised two amazing kids – and I think that’s the toughest job. The biggest of all; she never let any negativity surround us.

Even now, she helps us take business decisions and I get amazed by her knowledge and ‘people skill’. Not many know that she’s the one responsible for me starting out a venture. Had she not given me the courage & moral support to quit my job; I’d have never became an entrepreneur – a dream many can’t live because of lack of support from family.

I don’t want to imagine how’d our life be had she decided to go out to work just to bring home a few more thousand rupees a month.


  1. amy

    December 30, 2011

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    Great to see that somebody or some-man wrote about this. I really appreciate this. I was a working woman once. I think, raising children is much more tougher job than Office-work.

  2. Upd87

    March 1, 2012

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    What a narrow-minded view!  You kiddo say that people working 40hrs in stressful job is less than it is ? Count that people also spend a lot of time to get  to this job!

    Houseviwes just do half of job working woman do, coz working woman,after working 8 hours (plus commuting toit!!) have to come back home and basically do all the work that sitting at home housewife did during the whole day. Housewives have time for going to hairdresser and playing with their kids, how difficult. Sure they do work, but ONLY HALF! and they better dont bullshit they are not appreciated. Theybetter get their ass and work in the real stressful job. instead of spending money they did not earn.

    Housewive will work for around 5 years with kid, then kid goes to school for 6 hrs, when that woman has time to cook dinner and clean a bit, which can be done in 2 hrs!


  3. Upd87

    March 1, 2012

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    “The amount of time women spend doing housework declined from 27 hours
    per week in 1965 to less than 16 hours in 1995, but it is still
    substantially more housework then their male partners ” – fromWiki

  4. Guest

    March 15, 2012

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    I guess your post didn’t mean “Working women don’t do any household work” ? They are the people who contribute in increasing the working ratio of male/female in the country + they are not wasting their education (if not illiterate) in doing household work only and watching soap serials. 

    With due respect to your mother and ladies like her, I am a working lady and still hate the house wives who contribute nothing in anyone else’s life and just enjoy their lives with their husband’s salary.

    • Open Mind

      March 16, 2012

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      I read a quote somewhere. Instead of thinking about how can we leave the world a better place to live for our children, why don’t we leave better children to the world. Housewives have the power to fully dedicate their time towards making kids into great human beings. If every mother thinks about it this way, they are doing their bit in making the world a fantastic place.

  5. Mr. Clean

    October 31, 2012

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    Dear Housewife, will you close this account, get offline, and clean your friggin’ house, please. Every time I’ve stepped into a house where the women is a ‘housewife’, the house is ALWAYS filthy, never clean. What is going on here??


    February 22, 2013

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    I must congratulate this writer. A house wife actually an ultimate woman. She is a teacher, a nurse, a mantor, a sweeper, a cook, a manager, a finance expert, a mother and a wife. All these working women earn paltry amount and spent half of it to maintain themselves. Their houses are not upto the mark. Their kids eat ready made junk food most of the time, follow maid servents and learn all mean activities.
    Working women loose everything of womenhood but gain their so called independence. A housewife gives much those things to the family which can’t be bought by money. So by all means house wives are always a better women than working one. Normally women work in office to run away from responsibility of running a home which is more defficult than working in office.
    But offcourse women should be educated and self sufficient to work if required due to any unforseen reason in life.
    Most of the working women employes a maid, a teacher, a driver, a nurse and a caretaker to compensate her absence from home. So if you add this expense with the expense of her own maintenance, makeup, travelling etc.. you will find that what ever they are earning is much less in comparison to the services she is highering.
    What a mother/wife can give to family can not be bought by money.

    • The Big K

      February 22, 2013

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      For once, I am *NOT* comparing ‘housewives’ to ‘working women’. My point is simple – people shouldn’t look down on ‘house work’ and ‘housewives’. Their work needs more appreciation. Just because they don’t look ‘tired’ by the evening, it does *NOT* mean they didn’t work hard.

      My post is against the the general beliefe working women have that those who engage themselves in house work don’t do ‘anything’. I wrote that post because I observed this on multiple locations.

      My post is against people who come home ‘tired’ and make a big deal of it. I hate it when people show a ‘tired’ face and then demonstrate how hard they worked; while in reality all they did was work for 2 hours and spent the rest of their day either traveling or gossiping or sipping coffee.

      • Capital A

        February 24, 2013

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        nice strategy(came to notice in most posts) :- “whether you agree with me or not, I’ll never agree with you”. hahhha


        March 1, 2013

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        Gentleman, My point of view is simple and straight. Housewives are a better and more responsible women. They help family, society and nation by helping to raise better children and they definetly work more than the working women. Working women work for themselves and housewives work for others. Contribution of housewives to society can be estimated by the contribution of kids (who are raised by housewives) in any society.

    • Priya

      September 7, 2015

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      Do housewives not employ maids? Is that not ‘expense’ in your book?

      Whether its a male person or female, there are high earners and low earners. I guess you have only seen the low income group to actually calculate that they salary anyone earns can be completely consumed by the employment of the people you mention.

      When people are highly educated, they can easily spend less than 10% of their salary on all the things you mentioned. I have never understood why people insist on doing jobs by hand that machines can do…and machines can do them much much better e.g. dishwashers.

      I also feel like people who are educated and work manage to answer their kids questions with a lot more intelligence than people who are ‘out of touch with the real world’ and can only rely on superstition to answer questions. So the kids of housewives should actually be dumber and more superstitious. I have seen this first hand.

  7. Baldeep Kaur

    August 20, 2013

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    i was planning to write about this topic on my blog and that is how i came across your post.

    Who is more important- housewife or a working woman??? per your logic, it depends on the number of hours of work they do each day, like some per day worker. So housewives are better because they work harder than working women and these so called independent career oreinted women have the freaking audacity to look down upon them..OMG!

    So what if they work, that does not make them better than others. They work just to live an illusion; not to make their life better or because they like to work. They work so that they can feel independent and run away from housework.Right?

    And of course, this underlying logical assumption that a house of a working woman stinks and her kids usually end up in Tihar jail…Why? because how the hell can she take care of her kids better than a housewife..Wait? what about the husband or the father?? wrong question; his role ended long time back in a matter of seconds..

    No, it is not that time of the month Mr. K but all I am trying to say here please do not compare a woman’s life to a life of a bonded labor.

    Have a great life!

  8. Priya

    September 7, 2015

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    Work is work, whether it is housework, office work, charity…anything that involves effort and needs to be done to achieve a purpose. Having said that, the effort is different for different people. I have never seen or worked in an office like the one you described, where people only work 30% of their time. In fact, in the software industry, most people put in at least 2-4 extra hours per day and sometimes also work weekends. I am not saying that is the most efficient way to work, but that is a topic for another day.

    I have seen many housewives and many working women, and one thing that has stood out is how stressed the working women are because they have to do both home and office work. Thankfully, most husbands have started stepping up and sharing housework responsibility. In a virtual world like you mentioned where people work 30% of the time, probably housewives and office goers do equal work. But in the real world, office goers do many more times work than housewives.

    The other point is also about culture and respect and the ability to stand up for oneself. Being independent since a very very young age, I cannot imagine asking someone else for money to meet my basic needs. Imagine wanting to buy a T-Shirt and having to ask someone for money to buy it! I cannot imagine that in my wildest dreams. Even if they give me the money, I will not feel entitled to the money somehow.

    It was OK to have division of responsibility when cooking etc were tedious jobs involving a lot of technique and ancient grinders etc without machines. In the current world, things have changed drastically and anyone convincing themselves that they do a lot of hard work by cooking and cleaning has not really gone out into the real world and known what hard work really looks like.

  9. blinktastic

    December 25, 2015

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    Privileged housewives (excluding those who are forced to be housewives in countries which do not allow women to go to school and to work) do the same thing that everyone else does they just complain more. Working mums and working dads do the same stuff (cook, clean, look after children, look after grandparents) and complain way less than housewives, who complain about staying home and then complain about not being recognised for their ‘role’ and then complain that they are so stressed and harassed. Really? You stay home all day! Grow up! And stats are showing you spend most of your time surfing the internet or yakking to mates over coffee! Pffst.

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