From about entering teenage-hood, I felt that I was not womanly enough:
Not womanly enough, because the idea of one-sided submission to a man scared me.
Not womanly enough, because my facial features are wide and indelicate.
Not womanly enough, because I talk both too little and too loud.
(If talking too little sound strange, let me explain. Neurotypicals – non-autistic people – have this weird habit of making small talk, of talking when they have nothing to say. They will, for example, ask: “How are you?” when they have no interest in how things are really going in your life. It is more or less socially acceptable for men to opt out of such meaningless chatter, but women are seen as rude if they do.)
Not womanly enough, because I did not wear as much make-up and do the personal grooming other women do.
Not womanly enough, because I had no more of a natural inclination to help in the kitchen than my brothers did.
Too much of this, too little of that. And I felt guilty, because I was not the woman God made me to be.
When I found egalitarianism, I realized it is ridiculous: “Biblical” womanhood is nonsense, but so is worldly womanhood. I am woman enough. I do not need to conform to stereotypes.
To be a Godly woman, a focus on Godliness is good enough. I simply have to develop all the gifts God gave me, and display the fruit of the Spirit. When I talk loudly, it is a womanly way of talking because I do it. I have a womanly broad nose, because it is on a woman’s face. My desire for a mutually respectful relationship instead of one-sided submission is womanly. My interest in mathematics and logic is womanly. My lack of interest in cooking is womanly. I make these things womanly.
To accept that God made me a woman, and the stereotypes are unnecesary for adequate womanhood, was so freeing!