You might be interested in the works of Johannes Fabian, specifically Time and the Other. He specifically focuses on the use of time in ethnographic representation, calling the type of narrative you are critiquing "allochronic" in that it privileges the observer's vantage point by placing himself outside of history in the present and everyone else in the past.Huseng wrote:This assumes a narrative of progress where those huge numbers of Asians should eventually naturally progress and adopt liberal western ideas, but for whatever reason are "stuck in medieval times" in their thinking.However huge numbers of Asians remain whose attitudes are those of misogynistic, medieval peasants.
I'm not quite so with the rest of your, since the ethnographic record displays a dramatic diversity in gender roles not so easily reduced to the domestic vs public spheres as you present it. Even in many cases where there are now similar gender roles, the colonial records give quite a bit of information where contact with colonizing powers, British, Chinese, American, altered traditional gender roles dramatically. For example, in many areas of Africa women were the principal traders, but due to British refusal to trade with women, their own standing was reduced. Additionally, if you read 20th century Guomindang or Chinese Communist accounts of Tibetan border regions, the Han Chinese were scandalized by Tibetan women's work outside the home. Or in the Sudest in Papua New Guinea, older male children are often primary caregivers for younger children. It just doesn't break down into traditional or modern practices here either.
You should consider that gender roles often fulfil practical and necessary functions. If they did not, then natural selection would quickly see to their elimination, but the traditional roles assigned to women throughout history east and west (childcare, housekeeping, etc...) have existed for a lot longer than our present system in the west. We'd like to think we're more enlightened and better off than medieval peasants as you would pejoratively call them, but for all the faults of the latter they didn't have the same problems we do (for instance people killing themselves at Christmas just because their family life sucks).
Traditional family models and gender divisions might actually contribute to social stability and in the end make people more content rather than these new liberal ideas we got running which have clearly failed to produce anything more stable and fulfilling.
Those Asian cultures which are adopting western liberal ideas maybe only do so because of the west's economic hegemony, not because they are inherently better or more moral. If it were the other way around, we'd be adopting their social ideas and models. Throughout all of history it tends to work like this. If you are an economic and military juggernaut, satellite cultures adopt much of your practices and ways in an attempt to emulate the same road to prosperity in their own cultures.