I suspect it really has been an economic issue

To be generous for a moment, though, I do think that many in the "yea, sexism!" crowd do sincerely think that people would be better off if subjected to a stifling patriarchy. The thinking, from what I gather, is something like this: Okay, the patriarchy is technically unfair. But hey, don't blame me!"

I think I would fall into the category you are trying to describe, but your description is wayyyy too simplistic. Some of us have come to a belief in a traditional marriage and family set up via experience, not preconceived ideas that could never withstand challenge.

I always assumed I would bring in half the dough and bank some serious coin. Instead I married a woman who told me on our first date she intended to stay home with them. That was never my idea of what my life would look like, but rather that of the person with whom I fell in love. The patriarchy, as you loike to describe it, was delivered to me. So I accepted a role as sole provider, one unfaimiliar to me as I had grown up a latch key kid with 2 working parents and one I was very uncomfortable with at first. However, I have grown to see that the model my wife introduced is superior to what I grew up in both for her and my 3 ones (including 2 daughers). My wife and my family are far happier than my mother and the family I grew up in ever was. Of course my small world and experiences are anecdotal - but that is the fount from which we all arrive at our opinions. I went to a very liberal East Coast college and was right in the men and women are the same mix - when I had no experience with human beings and was young and ignorant. 20 years later, with a life partner who has shared herself with me, and daughters whom I have known since birth, it is glaringly obvious that men and women are not even CLOSE to being the same. Any system that proposes they are provides a disservice to women just like a patriarchy does. It lies to them about what's real and encourages life choices that have a high possibility of being unfulfilling because the underlying agenda must triumph. The truth is in the middle for women's happiness - where they can choose whatever they want without gettign hammered for it from either side.