But it doesn't have to be.
History proves the church has always supported equality. Or I should say, it did until Romans got hold of it. The Romans had a peculiar view when it came to two things: sex and warfare. They were both seen as ways for a freeborn man to dominate over women, children, slaves, and everyone they wanted to conquer.
The belief that women are by nature passive is a patriarchal myth that is found especially in the bedroom. It is often said that the woman is passive in the sex act because she is the one being penetrated. The assumption that penetrating is a sign of domination is a lasting legacy of Roman Empire. The Roman man was believed to dominate those outside of the empire with a sword, and those within with his penis. As the woman doesn’t have a penis, she cannot dominate and must therefore be a passive recipient. But all of this begs the question, why do we equate penetration with domination? When it comes to a sword the point is clear: the penetration of the blade kills you. (The Final Wave: Dismantling Patriarchy Through Freeing Feminism, p 138-139)
The Bible, on the other hand, tells husbands and wives to submit to each in the fear of Christ; slave owners are told to treat their slaves well since also they have a Master in heaven who shows no partiality; parents are adviced to treat their children with gentleness; and everyone is commanded to love their neighbor as themselves. Accordingly, the early church rejected both the man's dominance in the bedroom and the bloodshed of war. We see this in the elevation of virginity and celibacy within marriage,.
Hence, Jerome wanted virgins to remind themselves that Genesis 3:16 was only for the married woman, for the life they had accepted was independent from sexual differentiation.
In Jerome’s theology, the married woman was considered inferior and subjected to the man because of the sole guilt of Eve; chaste women were equal to men in accordance with Galatians 3:28.
And, indeed, when chastity is observed between man and woman, it begins to be true that there is neither male nor female; but, though living in the body, they are being changed into angels, among whom there is neither male nor female. The same is said by the same Apostle in another place: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Because Genesis 2:24 explicitly mentions marriage, Jerome explained that marriage is not found in the image of God, but is a metaphor of Christ and the Church. Since Christ had been a virgin in the flesh, husbands ought to love their wives as Christ – chastely, wherefore even a married woman could become the man’s equal through continence. Jerome explained further that “when difference of sex is done away, and we are putting off the old man, and putting on the new, then we are being born again into Christ a virgin.“ I.e., we return to the time before the Fall.
You have with you one who was once your partner in the flesh but is now your partner in the spirit; once your wife but now your sister; once a woman but now a man; once an inferior but now an equal. Under the same yoke as you she hastens toward the same heavenly kingdom.
 “Letter XXII: to Eustochium” The Letters of St. Jerome. Irenaeus (180) believed Adam and Eve were virgins in the Garden) but the exact reason for his belief is uncertain (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III, XXII).
 Against Jovinianus, Book I, 27.
 Apology of Jerome, Book I, 28-29
 Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, 16
 “Letter LXXI: To Lucinius,” The Letters of St. Jerome, 3. Because his belief that sexual intercourse was caused by sin, Jerome felt compelled to transform the woman into a man for he no longer had a purpose for the sexual differentiation as a created order.
(When Dogmas Die: The Return of Biblical Equality)
It is also seen in the absolute rejection of warfare by early Christians.
“But now inquiry is being made concerning these issues. First, can any believer enlist in the military? Second, can any soldier, even those of the rank and file or lesser grades who neither engage in pagan sacrifices nor capital punishment, be admitted into the church? No on both counts—for there is no agreement between the divine sacrament and the human sacrament, the standard of Christ and the standard of the devil, the camp of light and the camp of darkness. One soul cannot serve two masters—God and Caesar…But how will a Christian engage in war—indeed, how will a Christian even engage in military service during peacetime—without the sword, which the Lord has taken away? For although soldiers had approached John to receive instructions and a centurion believed, this does not change the fact that afterward, the Lord, by disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier.”
“Under no circumstances should a true Christian draw the sword.” - Tertullian
All of it would change when the church merged with the state. By the eleventh century the church had embraced warfare as observed by Andrew Latham:
By the late 11th century the Roman Catholic Church began to evolve into a distinctive – and powerful – controller of military power. At the most basic level, of course, the Church had long been a feudal landholder and was thus able to generate armed force in the same way as other feudal lordships: either by summoning vassals to provide obligatory military service or by accepting payment in lieu of service and hiring paid troops. But ecclesiastical landlords tended to raise fighting forces in this manner only when obliged to do so by their temporal feudal overlords – not to fight on behalf of the Church.
Beginning in the mid-11th century, however, the Catholic Church also developed the capability to generate military power for its own (religious) purposes. They did it in ways that reflected its unique constitutive social relations, institutional capacities and place in the collective imagination of the lay and clerical populations. Specifically, unlike temporal authorities, the Church developed a capacity to mobilize secular nobles through its monopoly power within the spiritual domain of Latin Christendom.
The Church could claim the “moral authority” to define “just causes” for war, to specify “enemies of the Church”, and to command the secular authorities to employ their material power resources in support of ecclesiastical interests. They could mobilize the kings, princes and states in two ways. The first involved the Church’s authority to punish secular authorities who failed either to answer the Church’s call to arms. In this respect, punishment typically included excommunication and the interdict. Perhaps more importantly, the Church also developed the capability to mobilize the secular powers in support of its interests through its monopoly power to remit sins in return for military service. (http://www.medievalists.net/2018/10/medieval-church-military-power/)
But it was not only the changed interpretation of Genesis 3:16 which caused Thomas Aquinas to alter the meaning of Genesis 2:18-24 in A.D. 1250. The reason is found also in the second period of medieval history which comprised the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
By the twelfth century reform was universally conceded to be grievously needed. Then came the second stage in the attempt to Christianize society, this time not so much by permeation as by domination. The Church became not merely a temporary power but a theocracy. The movement which effected the change originated in a monastery but is named Gregorian, after Pope Gregory VII, who espoused its program to reform alike the monasteries, the Church, and the world.
To prevent the secular rulers from interfering with the internal affairs of the church, the church had to dominate the society. Because the laity could not perform the sacraments, the sacramental system became the foundation for the dominion and as a result, the most insignificant priest, by virtue of his office, was greater than the most noble of the worldly rulers, who could not confer heavenly salvation, only earthly peace. The problem the new theocracy encountered was whether a woman could hold an ecclesiastical office and rule men – even the emperor. Although the woman’s rule was not deemed acceptable, the church lacked the theological justification for the definite exclusion of women from the orders. Thomas solved the problem by making the woman subject to the man from creation. That Thomas used Aristotle’s philosophy to create the twofold subjection was not an obstacle, for few knew what the Bible actually said in the era of the Vulgate, and those who did approved of the change.
 Roland H. Bainton, The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1952), 8
(When Dogmas Die: The Return of Biblical Equality)