Resentment can easily build as partners may feel burdened by having to be the only one to do a certain task and desire additional help and/or feel like their contributions are taken for granted, underestimated or undervalued (for example, a man being viewed as an inadequate caretaker because family income is low or some feeling that being a housewife is not “real” work). Resentment can also develop if partners feel forced into or limited by their roles, and judged if they seek to step out of them (ex. a woman being made to feel guilty or that she’s a less efficient mother if she has a demanding job, or a man being labeled as weak for being a house-husband). Counteraction to familial bonds can occur with this model as fathers may be more emotionally detached or distant from their children due to mothers taking a more involved, daily role. Also, children can feel neglected by or detached from their opposite sex parent if parental involvement is delegated by gender (ex. things related to Bobby are handled by daddy and things related to Laura are handled by mommy).
In our society, traditional ideas about gender permeate almost every aspect of our daily lives to excess. Children can’t even willfully choose what toys to play with because of such stringent ideas on what’s a “boy toy” and a “girl toy.” Not to mention “boy toys” and “girl toys” are hard-lined gender-role reinforcers: girls get accustomed to child-care early with urinating baby-dolls and boys get the notion that they’re the only ones that can serve the country with G.I. Joe “action figures” (forbid they’re called dolls instead of action figures). This saturated application is why I find rigid gender roles to be more harmful than helpful. They’ve created a sense of competition between men and women and an obsession with power as individuals ferociously seek to avoid being in a subordinate position. It’s also at the root of inferiority/superiority complexes and self-esteem issues (ex. why a male feels less than if he hasn’t had sexual intercourse by particular age or why females are so obsessed with reaching beauty standards). Why is it that when a male is sexually-assaulted or domestically abused, no one believes him or he's labeled as frail? Gender role ideas. Why was Nancy Pelosi asked who would take care of her children when she was seeking a governmental career? Male politicians don’t get asked that. Gender role ideas. Why was there a male heckler with a sign that read “Iron My Shirt” at a Hillary Clinton rally? Gender role ideas. Behind sexism, misandry, misogyny, gender-bias and gender-stereotypes are traditional roles.
When confronted with the concept of altering the gender-role model or eradicating it, some people fight it tooth and nail. I think some fight against it so hard because they don’t know life without gender-roles. People are afraid of or confused by what they’re not familiar with. Transitioning to a more egalitarian model won’t be easy, considering how conditioned we are, but it can be done. It begins with openness.