I found this article and it got me wondering.
Lets see if I can come up with an order of events that seems to make sense:
1) Industrialization leads to a more demanding work environment.
2) In a culture where men are the primary workforce, it leads to absent fathers in the home due to long working hours.
3) Absent spouses leads to disgruntled marriages and *somewhat* higher divorce rates.
4) *Somewhat* higher divorce rates leads women to seek financial independence prior to a marriage that might fail.
5) Additional bodies in the workforce (now men and women) leads to increased industrialization.
6) Increased industrialization leads to a demanding work environment on the entire populace.
In America, (7) is thriving day cares, single mommies (no hubby to worry about) and child support when poorly nurtured relationships fall to pieces due to increased work hours and an entire society and culture with backwards priorities.
In Japan, (7) is men who still expect the traditional lifestyle and a working culture that doesn't allow it. And to couple that, now a society that REQUIRES female workers WHILE married...or their industrialized society will collapse from the lack of labor. They are stuck in a perpetual circle.
I wonder if America would be able to survive without a female workforce. I think they could. I don't know if Japan could, though.
And from what I know of work + family-life, I think I'd die if stuck in the work environment I'm in now while trying to care for a household, children, and making time for the quality of relationship I want with my husband.
Its TOO demanding.
I'll trade in my badge for an apron and a vacuum cleaner any day.