According to Genesis, the only cloud hanging over Eden was man without woman. "It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a helper as a partner" (Gen. 2:18, NRSV). What is the good or strong help that women offer?
Some say gender hierarchy is God’s perfect design—a pristine plan for women and men’s good and flourishing. They point to Genesis, arguing that God clearly intended patriarchy from the start. But the text tells a different story.
In Genesis 2:16-17, God commanded the first human not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Some Christians believe that the first man was given the responsibility of telling the woman about God's command and warning. This assumption, however, has no biblical basis.
If God’s design for male-female relationships was unity and interdependence, and if hierarchy in relationships came as a result of sin, perhaps we need to reevaluate teachings on male “headship” in marriage today.
The Gospel According to Eve is a valuable resource for any egalitarian to have in their library. I also recommend it as assigned reading as part of a larger treatment or course on the history of interpretation.