The phrase "barefoot and pregnant" seems to have been introduced in the early twentieth century by the American doctor Arthur E. Hertzler from Kansas, who said: "The only way to keep a woman happy is to keep her barefoot and pregnant. Damon—both 'barefoot and pregnant. A common assumption is that the expression relates to housewives not leaving the home, and thus not needing shoes.
Thanks in advance for any information. This stereotype has always caused me, a native Ozarks woman, to become angry with those who endorse this stereotype. Ozarks women today have many opportunities for receiving quality education past elementary or secondary school; they have adequate money to buy shoes; and they usually have small to medium-sized families. Why, then, did this stereotype come into existence? Although it does not characterize Ozarks women of , this stereotype did in fact characterize the women of the Ozarks in the past. In the early s and throughout the mid-to late iBOOs, women in the Ozarks received minimal schooling, could not afford shoes for their children, and usually had at least eight children.