Barefoot and pregnant

Meaning

What does Barefoot and pregnant mean?

Barefoot and pregnant is a male-chauvinistic phrase associated with the idea, that a woman’s place is at home doing the household chores and raising children.

Origin

What's the origin of Barefoot and pregnant?

The phrase “barefoot and pregnant” is known to be introduced around the beginning of the twentieth century by the U.S. physician Arthur E. Hertzler.

In his book Horse and Buggy Doctor he mentioned the notion of some vulgar person, that “when the wife is kept barefooted and pregnant there are no divorces.”

Spread & Usage

How did Barefoot and pregnant spread?

The expression got more and more popular after its occurrence in print in 1949 because of its oppressive and offensive nature, it was mentioned in many books and journals discussing gender and cultural issues.

Feminists often cite the phrase in a critical context.

Shinine Antony wrote a collection of short stories entitled Barefoot and Pregnant and said in a 2002 interview, that “Barefoot and Pregnant is a phrase that pokes fun at chauvinists who want their women barefoot (so that they are unable to socialize) and pregnant (helpless).”

The L.A.-based punk-band The Dollyrots released their 5th studio album in 2014 under the title Barefoot and Pregnant.

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