to the day when men are willing and able to share equally and actively in transformed maternal practices...On that day there will be no more 'fathers,' no more people of either sex who have power over their children's lives and moral authority in their children's world ... There will [instead] be mothers of both sexes.
But are men who adopt such a role likely to keep the respect of their wives? American advice columnist Amy Alkon thinks not:
Heterosexual women might think they want the feminist ideal of a man (a sort of apron-wearing, assertiveness-free co-mommy), but here's what happened to the marriage of one man who left his testosterone at a bus stop somewhere:
Elliott Katz was stunned to find himself in the middle of a divorce after two kids and 10 years of marriage. The Torontonian, a policy analyst for the Ottawa government, blamed his wife. "She just didn't appreciate all I was doing to make her happy." He fed the babies, and he changed their diapers. He gave them their baths, he read them stories, and put them to bed. Before he left for work in the morning, he made them breakfast. He bought a bigger house and took on the financial burden, working evenings to bring in enough money so his wife could stay home full-time.
He thought the solution to the discontent was for her to change. But once on his own, missing the daily interaction with his daughters, he couldn't avoid some reflection. "I didn't want to go through this again. I asked whether there was something I could have done differently. After all, you can wait years for someone else to change."
What he decided was, indeed, there were some things he could have done differently--like not tried as hard to be so noncontrolling that his wife felt he had abandoned decision-making entirely.
Amy Alkon goes on to write in the comments that the belief that men and women are the same has led some well-meaning but confused men to be less masculine than they need to be in relationships. She also has a policy of not taking over the symbolically masculine role in a relationship:
Men feel good about getting to be the man in a relationship. Why take that away from them?
Anyway, it seems that those promoting a unisex maternal role in the family are going to meet at least some resistance from heterosexual women who need a man to show some level of self-assertion, decisiveness and leadership in a marriage.