In old movies or television shows, whenever a door-to-door salesman comes around, they always ask the same question. "Is the lady of the house in?" That's if they're selling what back then were lady things – household stuff, cleaners, religious tracts, things that housewives back then had exclusive control over. If they were selling manly things – life insurance, real estate, money-making opportunities, they'd ask in a plumy voice, "Is the man of the house available?"
The Brass Teapot