I need a derogatory term for housewife. I couldn't find any in online dictionaries and I'm not sure I have ever heard of any in any language I'm familiar with.
But I'm thinking there must be something with modern connotations, in the sense that it is used for someone who prefers motherhood over a career or freedom of choice.
What I want to say is tied to the way I wrote the character. After the failed marriage, she battles depression, she bounces back and starts a career in science. She sees her previous choice of being a homemaker as stupid and the career empowers her. Being a housewife feels like a prison, hence the "freedom of choice" bit.
@livresque's answer makes the most sense to me of the answers here, but with the context you give in comments, I think "Stepford wife" would also be a useful term. It has stronger negative connotations than hausfrau or wifey, which are often used casually or even playfully to refer to one's own wife.
The term "Stepford wife" entered common use in the English language after the publication of Levin's book and it is generally used as a derogatory term which refers to a submissive and docile wife who seems to conform blindly to the stereotype of an old-fashioned subservient role in relationship to her husband.
A term with precisely that meaning that will be readily understood in the United States (at least by those who are middle-aged or older), but probably not elsewhere, is Suzy Homemaker. The term was originally a brand name for a line of toys intended for girls, that enabled them to pretend to be homemakers, but as the Wikipedia article on these toys puts it, the term
eventually became an insult directed at women judged as excessively
domestic. It was used in this context by feminists initially, to imply
that a woman was reactionary and overly conservative in her habits. In
this sense, the "Suzy Homemaker" term meant any woman who embodied
conventional social expectations without questioning them.
Hausfrau carries a pejorative sense in English. Examples from Lexico liken hausfrau to "hoover-wielder" and describe a henpecking and fretful homemaker.
A woman regarded as overly domesticated or efficient.
This was the first thing to come to mind as an insult after "little wife."
Wikipedia also offers:
Hausfrau, pejorative: frumpy, petty-bourgeois, traditional, pre-emancipation type housewife whose interests centre on the home, or who is even exclusively interested in domestic matters (colloquial, American English only), sometimes humorously used to replace "wife", but with the same mildly derisive connotation. The German word has a neutral connotation.
informal A condescending way of referring to a person's wife.
‘men I had met had always wanted houses and a nice little wifey to cook for them’
‘It's no longer all about the little wifey having the hubby's meal on the table at 6pm on the button.’
Interestingly, the Merriam-Webster definition doesn't mention that it's either informal or derogatory (or even anything other than that it's just a synonym for wife), yet I immediately got that impression upon reading the word.
Although there are other example sentences, I find those that pair it with little to be the most condescending.
If it doesn't need to be a noun then domesticated is a possibility. It's essentially a pun with the double meaning of "domestic" meaning "pertaining to the home" and "an animal adapted to serve humans". So suggests (probably as hyperbole) that in being focused on the the home the subject has become more akin to a pet or livestock than a person.
It also works without the double meaning in only suggesting that the subject has become a pet rather than a person. This is more common with men although with or without the double meaning could apply to either gender given the right context.
a woman who has a child and becomes a different person than she was before [...] her conversations all revolve around toilet training, feeding schedules, and the occasional housework; so-called because there's a certain glazed look in the eyes and she appears to have been brainwashed
Note: this expression is really derogatory and one would likely never use it to describe her (past) self, but depending on the context it may be the right choice.
A modern slang adjective that could apply is "basic". It is good to be aware that it is more common on the web, I'm not sure how common it is in everyday life.
The meaning of "basic" here is meant to suggest an everyday simplicity and/or dullness that suggests a lack of intelligence or anything interesting about the thing/person.
Excuse the rough language, but I've seen it be used as "she's such a basic bitch", but the adjective is adaptable - you could say "those women are so basic" or "she is so basic" or "she is such a basic wife".
people who have no real purpose in life other than to pick up there children from school, take them to an after school program, (Karate,Soccer,Baseball, Football)and to be the trophy wife of a husband that hardly spends time with his kids.
A woman who gives you a transparent window into her “messy” life through perfect social media posts. She cannot believe she ever survived before using her MLM products and wants you to finally live and be free with her.