In a time when most of the world doesn't, I believe in the Biblical roles God assigned to men and women. I believe Eve was created from Adam. I believe that men are representative of Jesus while women represent the Bride of Christ.
That being said, I have noticed that oftentimes what passes for women being submissive is really the degradation of women. You probably have observed what I'm talking about. I so often hear comments about "girly" things as if they were just inferior to anything "manly." Jokes are made at the expense of women. I do NOT believe that being submissive equals being inferior. Yet, instead of men treasuring women for their different roles, I think women are thought to be simply incompetent. Sometimes I think this thought is even unconscious, but I think it is still there. Because men were chosen to be the leader, women must be not at good.
I don't think this is the case. I think that the Bible makes very clear that this relationship is symbolic of Jesus and his bride. Jesus doesn't ever believe his bride to be incompetent and inferior. He treasures his bride. He treats her with love, respect and compassion.
So if our roles are based on Jesus and his bride, where have we gone astray? Well for one thing, the world tells us that men and women are to be 50/50. It tells us that these values are outdated and ridiculous. I also think it comes from the stigma men have to be "manly." Think about it: we tell men they must be tough, aggressive, powerful and emotionless ALL THE TIME. That's a hard line to walk. They want to make sure they live up to this, and sometimes that expresses itself in putting feminine things down.
As a woman, I sometimes feel that it is very difficult to be submissive, because I feel like I'm being degraded. I so appreciated when a speaker I heard recently made this point: Imagine your husband was Jesus. It wouldn't be hard to submit to him then. He would always be right, caring and gentle. He would put your best interests first. Or if you are a guy having trouble treating women this way, imagine that that woman is the "virtuous woman." It wouldn't be hard to treasure her and lead her.
I agree, it would certainly be better if we were all perfect. But we're not. So I think it really comes down to this: Esteem the other better than yourself. Follow your husband because you respect him. Build him up so that he will want to lead you and treasure you.
Please know I am not writing this to attack men. I actually think that this is equally the fault of men and women, cultivated by our society.