I've been reading this thread with interest. I think one of the core underlying issues is that middle class women in the US/Western world are not raised to think of themselves as breadwinners as part of their core parenting duties, whereas men are.
Think of the stereotypes and assumptions we see every day for middle class families. Dad at home with kids? The stereotype is that he is a lazy unemployed loser. Mom at home? Good mom, focused on her kids. Mom at work? Stereotype is that she is abandoning her kids to daycare. Dad at work? he is working hard to support his family.
When women make decisions about education and careers, we rarely are asked "can you support yourself and your family with that job/career?" Instead, we look for careers where we can combine work/home responsibilities, take time off, go freelance, etc. Work is seen as optional. Do what you love, otherwise, why do it? BUT those jobs pay a lot less, are less stable, and have fewer benefits. Women are assumed to not need those things because they will have a "husband" to provide the income, stability, benefits, etc.
Men are often asked - even HOUNDED - about making good education/career choices that will allow them stability, security, and financial gain. Rarely are they asked or do they think about work/life balance, flexibility, freedom to take time off, etc. Men are assumed to not need those things because they will have a "wife" at home/working more flexible hours to keep the household organized. From what I have read and heared, 90% of the time when a two income family voluntarily goes to one income, it is the wife who gives up her job because his job is not "flexible" or "supportive".
BUT - here is the big but - women are in increasing numbers the primary income earners for their families- due to divorce, disability, death, or unemployment by their male spouse.
I feel like we are being caught in a trap where what we have been taught are the highest values by gender for our family are not consistent with the reality we are increasingly facing. It IS part of my parenting responsibility to make sure my kids are financially supported, as much as it is part of their father's responsibility to make sure they are emotionally supported. Having a family split those responsibilities along traditional gender lines is not inherently BAD, but it does reveal some dangers if your ability to support your family are exclusively in one area.