When I was very young, maybe even as young as four, I was sitting in church. The pastor must have been preaching on the crucifixion--I don't remember that part--but he said, "I was there; I carried that cross!"
Everyone was listening intently, but I was sitting there thinking, "Why do all of these adults believe this? This happened a long time ago, and this man couldn't have been born..."
Obviously, I wasn't developmentally ready for the abstract concept he was addressing. As Piaget would say it, I was concrete operations sitting in an abstract situation.
The thing is that it was confusing because my family told me, "Everything at church is true you should believe it." For a long time, I couldn't distinguish what I thought was true from what I was told was true. That's where I am at with gender roles.
My developing mind accepted what I was told about a wife submitting to her husband. My whole life that has been a concept I have begrudgingly lived with. My whole family believes that is part of marriage. Yes, my church believed that too. It wasn't a belief that was abusive to women. It wasn't a belief that I would call repressive because women have a choice. There are no submission police. It wasn't a belief that women are less than men. That's not my issue. It's just that I woke up one day and thought, "What if I don't believe that?" What if I think that marriage and family decisions are a completely equal partnership and not about authority on either side? What if I don't even want to try to submit? What if I think that if my hypothetical husband absolutely thinks I am wrong and I think he is wrong that we should use rock-paper-scissors and not his authority to see what we should do (yes, I am being facetious, but I do think consensus, not authority could work)?
In theological circles, we call this debate egalitarianism versus complementarianism. Once I wrote a paper defending complementarianism, but that was before I really lived out in the real world. Now, I just can't believe that anymore.
I don't think that women who choose to practice complementarianism are cheating themselves. My Grandmother lived that way and was happy every day of her life. I just woke up one day, and I realized that I don't have to do it. That thought was freeing.