What Is a ‘Housewife’? Defining It Through the ‘Real Housewives’

by | November 20, 2010 at 10:29 AM | The Real Housewives, TV News

Nene Leakes, Kim Richards, Adrienne Maloof & Taylor Ford-Armstrong on 'The Real Housewives.' (Photo: Bravo)

Nene Leakes, Kim Richards, Adrienne Maloof & Taylor Ford-Armstrong on 'The Real Housewives.' (Photo: Bravo)

What does the term ‘housewife’ really mean? This is the question Slate posed this week based on a Facebook post Sarah Palin wrote earlier this month. Addressing a Wall Street Journal critic, Palin wrote: “Now I realize I’m just a former governor and current housewife from Alaska, but even humble folks like me can read the newspaper.” (Not the biggest surprise, the Slate writer begged to differ that the Fox News contributor, Tea Party speaker, and now reality star could appropriately define herself as one who mainly focuses on maintaining her home and spawn.)

Considering that we just really heart bringing up the ‘Real Housewives’ any chance we get, it made us wonder how these lovely ladies would define the term. We looked at some of the cast members and came up with our own definitions:

Camille Grammer Donatacci
Being a housewife means: 1) Having four nannies to avoid dealing with most motherly responsibilities to children whom you didn’t actually give birth to (because you wanted to keep your dancer’s body) 2) Flirting with your friend’s husband to the point of making those around you swallow their own vomit 3) Remaining in a state of complete suspicion, insecurity, and paranoia while labeling everyone ‘jealous’ who doesn’t like you.

Kim Zolciak
Being a housewife means: 1) Re-decorating your kid’s room for $60K 2) Recording as many highly stylized studio-manufactured hit singles with little effort as possible 3) Sexually harassing gay men 4) Sleeping (and partially living off of?) a rich and still married Big Poppa.

Danielle Staub
Being a housewife means: 1) Involving your two daughters in your adult conflicts and asking them for advice 2) Constantly showing your dark side while proclaiming ‘Love and Light’ 3) Having the inexplicable skill of looking scary even when you’re happy.

Caroline Manzo
Being a housewife means: 1) Saying a lot of catchy phrases in arguments that make you look like a long-lost cast member of ‘The Sopranos’ 2) Crying at a drop of a dime when someone mentions your sons’ names (especially, Albie’s) 3) Fiercely protecting your family from Staubgoblins.

Kandi Burruss
Being a housewife means: 1) Forbidding anyone to question the way you produce music, especially wigged-out blonds who look at singing as a fun distraction to pass the time 2) Doing unspeakable things with Pop Rocks, powdered sugar, and other sweets to keep life under the sheets yummy.

Kim Richards
Being a housewife means: 1) Being in a state of despondency til Prince Charming comes along 2) Getting on your younger sister’s nerves 3) Living completely (and vicariously) through your grown children who really want you to have your own life.

Bethenny Frankel
Being a housewife means: 1) Being a wise crack 2) Turning cookbooks and margaritas into your own successful empire 3) Doing everything backwards: Snagging a boyfriend, getting preggars, getting engaged, getting married…then living it out on a reality show spin-off 4) ‘Skating With the Stars’ to keep relevant.

NeNe Leakes
Being a housewife means: 1) Cutting off the family jewels from all the men in your household by being the loudest and scariest diva possible 2) Being proud and vocal about all your plastic surgery endeavors 3) Announcing your impending divorce to the world before your brooding husband knows about it and gets the papers.

Michaele Salahi
Being a housewife means: 1) Lying about everything under the sun while still appearing like a functional human 2) Remaining in a complete state of denial 3) Maintaining a body weight of -5 lbs 4) Marrying a George Costanza look-alike whose personality is the exact replica as yours  but possibly even more repulsive.

Kelly Bensimon
Being a housewife means: 1) Disliking scrappers who are half your height but have the ability to outwit you, outsmart you, and punch your lights out (i.e. Bethenny Frankel) 2) Acting more childish and naive than your own children 3) Creating the term ‘systematic bullying’ in an effort to sound smart (but truthfully, you don’t know what that really means).

What does the word ‘housewife’ mean to you? Which of the ‘Real Housewives’ comes closest/furthest to your definition?