That is the first legitimate sounding argument I have heard as far as needing both genders in the home.
I've seen it work either way. Is there an inherent flaw that I am missing in relationships where the wife takes the leadership role instead of the husband?
I've also seen fathers who prefer to spend time with the kids and mothers who prefer to work. Is there an inherent flaw in that situatoin or are the gender roles switchable as long as both partners agree?
My working hypothesis is that, all things being equal, men tend to be more rational than women. I know I may draw some disapproval with this remark. It's not something I would hold to dogmatically, nor would I expect it to apply in every case. But assuming that both are mature, fully functioning adults, preferably with some education, I think that men generally are less distracted by extraneous issues and are able, if not to make better decisions, then at least to make good decisions quicker.
Just speaking anecdotally, I find that I'm slower to anger or panic than my wife. On the other hand, my reaction can be more extreme once I do reach that point, so I sometimes need her to calm me down. I've seen a couple of relationships where the wife was in charge, one of which was a very close family relationship, and in my opinion there was a lot of wasted energy and frustration resulting from the husband's having to deal with the wife's impulsive decisions after the fact. Again, this is not to say that many men aren't irrational; they are. Mature men, though, are probably more rational more of the time than women.
As to work and career, I think the importance of breastfeeding cannot be overestimated. My wife currently works full-time while I take care of kids and work part-time. She has a position with good benefits and flexibility, so it works and we don't have much of a problem with the feeding issue. Women who aren't so lucky have to rely on formula, which I don't think is an adequate substitute at all. The more studies are done, the more it seems that formula-fed babies are missing out. There may be other inherent problems, but I suppose they're not intractable if both partners agree.
In my family the attitudes are complicated. My wife has always been extremely independent, but she sees her independence as a necessary coping mechanism rather than an end in itself. She'd prefer to be taken care of and is probably less content than I am with the current arrangement. For my part, I'd be happy never to leave the house as long as I could write. I'd prefer to make money at it, but I'd be happy making next to nothing as long as I was published. The plan is for me to take over the provider role eventually, which she thinks will make us both happier. I suspect she'll turn out to be right. Now that I think about it, maybe she's more active in making decisions than I realize. Regardless of who's in what role, there has to be a lot of give and take.