You know, as much as I might get lynched for this, I think that in some ways the Feminist movement really hurt some things.
I know that it was really good for allowing women into the workplace and letting them get the jobs that they wanted, it also caused a lot of problems, if you want to raise a family, monetarily speaking.
Recently I had the privilege of reading Betty Fridan's article to the Smith Alumnae Quarterly, a precursor to the Feminan Mystique (which I haven't read). I found it really interesting in that most of the women who filled out her questionnaire said that they were ok (mostly) with being at-home mothers because they had other interesting projects/community involvement that they were working on and once their children got old enough/went to college they were planning on making a career out of it.
My grandparents were of a similar era. My grandfathers worked in the Army during the war (never got deployed) and my grandmothers stayed at home for a while and then got jobs. However, during that time, 1 person's income was all that was needed to sustain a household. Anything my grandmother's made (especially my father's parents) when into savings. With these savings my father's parents were able to travel when they retired and help their son out when he needed it. Because of that my parents were able to have my mother stay at home with us when we were young. I fear that in our generation, where two incomes barely lets you get by I will not be able to stay with my children as i need to.
I am glad that if women want they are allowed to do anything. I believe that men should be to. However, I think that now that everyone is working, and with all of the inflation, it is impossible to stay at home with our children should we want to be able to do this. My work gives 8 weeks (unpaid unless you have the vacation/sick time to cover it) for maternity leave...and they want us to raise kids with family values. Who's going to give it to them???? Jobs should pay the primary care giver for 1 year (minimum) to stay home with the child and give the secondary caregiver at least 2 months.
You were talking about how men have roles. It's true. If you look at nature, males generally protect and help raise the family. So why are we not letting them do that. I've heard that Smith College doesn't even give paternity leave to its employees. Now i believe that either person should be allowed to do either roll (if they choose to).
Ok, i don't think that it was quite what you were talking about, but it's related.