To me one problem with this idea of clearly-defined gender roles is with authority - who gets to decide what those roles are? Why do they make those decisions? I'm not convinced anyone has sufficient authority to make that decision.
That's not an uncommon view. It was raised, for instance, in the debate between Lawrence Auster and Robert Spencer. Lawrence Auster argued that the guiding principle of society should be the good rather than freedom. Spencer countered with this:
Left unexplained, however, is how a commonly accepted understanding of “the good” is to be arrived at, and particularly how such an understanding could be restored in 21st-century America without imposing an authoritarian regime of some kind.
So there seem to be two objections to the idea that a society might follow some vision of the good:
a) It's not possible to know what the good is
b) It would be authoritarian to put forward a common good
So how do traditionalists respond? At this site, J.M. Smith replied to Tim T. by arguing that an ideal of masculinity or femininity wouldn't be decided by committee but by people seeking to emulate those men and women they most admired and who lived the best kind of lives. So the ideal wouldn't arise in an authoritarian way, but through social interaction over time.
Over at View from the Right Jim Kalb made a similar point:
Man is social, so leading a good life, like doing anything else well, is something we mostly learn from other people and carry on in cooperation with them.
Jim Kalb admitted that some societies have defective understandings of the good, usually because they are obsessed by some one thing and so the good is understood too reductively - it leaves too many things out.
Ed H. also made an argument that an understanding of the good is not merely asserted in an arbitrary way but arises over time in a society that is oriented to "finer levels of genuine feeling":
Such cultural “authority” was not arbitrary. It was the result of a living and truly “free” society actively searching out the finer levels of genuine feeling and manners and refusing to be intimidated by the vulgar and shallow. By definition, Culture meant self awareness, discrimination, broad understanding. It was the opposite of “arbitrary.”
The one argument I'd like to add for now is that there is no society, not even liberal society, that doesn't have some ideal of what it means to be a good person. Liberals might claim that there are no such goods in a liberal society, but it doesn't work out that way.
First, liberals haven't let go entirely of the idea that there are standards that can be recognised in society. I can't, for instance, sell drugs, or practise polygamy, or walk around naked at the shops, or publish defamatory comments.
Second, even if liberals push the idea that we should just as individuals make up our own subjective goods, this then generates an ideal of what it means to be good anyway. It produces the idea that the good man is the one who doesn't discriminate, who is non-judgemental, who celebrates diversity, who is tolerant, who identifies with the other and so on.
Here in Melbourne, amongst the liberal Anglo middle-class, that has all boiled down to a very specific sense of what the primary good is. The primary good is what you might call "anti white racism". You are a good person, in this culture, if you demonstrate your commitment to anti white racism (i.e. that you are against white racism).
As I've mentioned before, this version of the good is no longer held just by highly political left-wingers. It is no longer held just by those suffering from nihilism or rancour. It's more at the level of "I'm a nice person and therefore I follow this good that society tells me defines the good".
Which suggests that there will always be embedded within a culture a moral ideal - i.e. an understanding of what defines you as a good person.
And here we get to the problem. It is inevitable that a society will have a moral ideal embedded within its culture. So the big issue isn't whether or not there should be such an ideal - there is going to be one regardless. The big issue is what the quality of the ideal is - is it, in Jim Kalb's words, defective or not.
Western societies once held that it was good for men to be masculine, to uphold the best within their traditions, to be loyal to family and compatriots etc. Now the good is defined in terms of how much you demonstrate an opposition to the racism of whites - which for white societies is a paralysing kind of good.
In short, we shouldn't hold back from asserting a positive good out of concern that we are being authoritarian or that we could possibly be wrong. That effectively allows the current defective understandings of the good to linger longer than they need to. We should at least be confident that we can do considerably better than what we have now.