How come, when I refuse to kowtow to society's expectations of femininity, people accuse me of being ashamed, of not taking pride in my womanhood? If I decide I'd like to ask a boy out, rather than wait, it's a sign of denying my womanhood. Having ambivalence about parenthood (as I am young, have many dreams about my life and little interest in a romantic relationship) makes me unnatural (though I understand my opinions can change). Wanting to pursue a career and more education makes me intimidating to men. Not caring about traditional feminine beauty makes me unfeminine. Why?
I am not ashamed of my biological sex. However, I do not define my identity by what society expects of me as a female. I am diligent, intelligent, stubborn, caring, passionate, and dedicated to what I do. I enjoy making music and furthering my talents in that area. I love to cook, especially Italian, Spanish and increasingly Kenyan foods. I consider spirituality important and I do make the time to pray, attend Mass, and I work to improve my character. I believe service to others is crucial and devote time to volunteer work and activism. I place a high priority on relationships with other people. I am not perfect and certainly have my flaws. At the same time, these are the qualities I am proud of.
I don't believe people should be ashamed of themselves, irrespective of gender. Rather, I believe that we should do all we can to become more of who we are, to further our best qualities. That is what we should be proud of and that matters to me more rather than if someone acts traditionally masculine or feminine. I am not ashamed of my racial background, yet I find no need to act stereotypically "white".
Why should my womanhood be any different?