What were some of the male and female roles that dominated the pre WWII and Dodge Plan era? Can someone highlight the changes compared to modern gender expectations for men/women? Have the roles changed greatly? Just in Japan
I can only speak for American gender roles, which are still more traditional than many people believe.
American society, being free, means that we have a whole spectrum of oppurtunities available. Women can work or not. Men can work or not. But someone in the family must work to support the family.
Many families choose for the wife to stay home and care for, often even homeschooling, the children. But there are also many families where the husband takes on these duities.
Many so-called house-husbands say they are thrilled to be able to spend so much time with their children. They are pleased with the impact they are having on their children's lives.
American divorce courts now try to grant custody to the most "qualified" parent. No longer automatically granting custody to the wife. The "equality" American women fought so hard for, is a two edged blade.
Gender roles in America are as diverse as Americans are. A truly free society, that is tolerant and open allows more choices that meet more people's needs.
And just because one person may not agree with others' choices, doesn't give them the right to deny them those choices. What works for one family may not work for another. What works for you, may not work for me.
But with all that, if more people around the world would take the time to really learn about the average American, you would find that we look a lot like everyone else all around the world. We have families, with children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and cousins that we love and care for. The traditional family unit is still the preferred model.
I think there may be several reasons for women to want to stay at home. One could be the fact that if you work for a company, you're often "required" to go out with your workmates to a bar. I don't know how much you can skip this nowadays because I haven't been to Japan or worked there, but I think people still do this? So if I'd think about that from my own point of view, I'd much rather go home after work and spend time with my family rather than go drinking or something else. And you only have one day a week off, too...
And maybe housewives often have much more power over the family matters than you'd think. If your husband works a lot and is hardly at home, you have to be the one who orchestrates everything and takes care of the financial matters.
I'm not saying that being a housewife is easy, it just might offer more freedom than making a career. I don't know what the attitudes towards part-time working are, though, and is it easy to get a part-time job.