On a more serious note, I want to make one other point about this whole (in)equality argument. Taken in context, halacha does not say much more about women than the fact that they are bound by different mitzvah obligations than men. Not content with a minimalist approach that says “ain lecha bo elah chidusho”, some use this as an excuse to justify all kinds of gender stereotypes. An example is this paragraph from Heshelis’ article:
The sin changed the nature of most women from that of an abstract type to that of a concrete type. Concrete types are not intellectuals, nor are they interested in metaphysical contemplation. They understand things on a more external level. Concrete types have capabilities and interests in concrete physically related activities, such as cooking, sewing, carpentry, gardening, organizing the physical world, etc. Abstract types, although they may also do well in concrete activities, possess an added dimension of understanding of, and interest in, abstract ideas: they understand underlying principles behind the ideas, are often interested in philosophy, the metaphysical, and the hidden working of the human psyche. Unlike concrete types, who are interested only in the practical application of knowledge, abstract types want knowledge for its own sake.Women’s role: cooking and sewing. Men’s role: philosophy and abstract ideas. To really get the full flavor of this approach try reading Catherine Beecher’s (the sister of Harriet Beecher of Uncle Tom's Cabin fame) The American Woman’s Home (not the emphasis on "woman’s" home- sorry men, but you are just guests in your castle). “To man is appointed the out-door labor – to till the earth, work the mines, toil in the foundaries, traverse the oceans, transport merchandise…” etc. On the other hand, to women belong, “the many difficult and sacred duties of the family state”. The only problem is you may not find the book in print: these home economics tracts from the 1800s don’t quite sell as well as they used to. I don’t know if Heshelis read John Stuart Mill’s On the Subjugation of Women, but it’s been close to 150 years since he noted, “As I have already said more than once, I consider it presumption in anyone to pretend to decide what women are or are not, can or cannot be, by natural constitution.” Apparently, the lesson still has not seeped in.
Since these type easy bifurcations like “men are abstract, women are concrete” are far more popular and easier to sell than the complex idea that “men are people, women are too”, I have in mind to write the definitive guide to frum gender relationships: The Lomdishe Guide to Marriage: Men are Gavras, Women are Cheftzas. You heard about it here first!