When it comes to housework the one thing no book of household management can ever tell you is how to begin. Or maybe I mean why.
—Katharine Whitehorn (b.1928) English Journalist, Writer, Columnist
The works of women are symbolical. We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight, producing what? A pair of slippers, sir, to put on when you’re weary—or a stool. To stumble over and vex you… “curse that stool!” Or else at best, a cushion, where you lean and sleep, and dream of something we are not, but would be for your sake. Alas, alas! This hurts most, this… that, after all, we are paid the worth of our work, perhaps.
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–61) English Poet
Housekeeping ain’t no joke.
—Louisa May Alcott (1832–88) American Novelist
I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes—and six months later you have to start all over again.
—Joan Rivers (1933–2014) American Comedienne, Writer
Housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human self-actualization.
—Ann Oakley (b.1944) English Sociologist, Writer, Feminist
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
—Phyllis Diller (b.1917) American Actor, Comedian
God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done.
Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Dusting is a good example of the futility of trying to put things right. As soon as you dust, the fact of your next dusting has already been established.
—George Carlin (1937–2008) American Stand-up Comedian
You all know that even when women have full rights, they still remain fatally downtrodden because all housework is left to them. In most cases housework is the most unproductive, the most barbarous and the most arduous work a woman can do. It is exceptionally petty and does not include anything that would in any way promote the development of the woman.
—Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924) Russian Revolutionary Leader
Each home has been reduced to the bare essentials—to barer essentials than most primitive people would consider possible. Only one woman’s hands to feed the baby, answer the telephone, turn off the gas under the pot that is boiling over, soothe the older child who has broken a toy, and open both doors at once. She is a nutritionist, a child psychologist, an engineer, a production manager, an expert buyer, all in one. Her husband sees her as free to plan her own time, and envies her; she sees him as having regular hours and envies him.
—Margaret Mead (1901–78) American Anthropologist, Social Psychologist
The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses.
—Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) American Feminist, Writer
Perhaps all artists were, in a sense, housewives: tenders of the earth household.
—Erica Jong (b.1942) American Novelist, Feminist