Theology should be objective; with that everyone agrees. But when we look at hierarchical theology, we find that objectivity isn't always part of the package. More than once we find that the same argument that is used to argue for women's subjection creates awkward theological dilemmas when applied to other people and circumstances.
The woman's subjection to the man is based on the idea that the woman was created to help the man, according to Genesis 2:20. The man, on the other hand, was created to protect and provide for the woman (no reference exists in the Bible). But the trouble is that also God is called our help (Psalm 54:4), and God is the help that protects and provides (Hebrews 13:5-6).
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6, NIV)
If the same argument is applied to both the woman and God, the woman should be the woman providing for and protecting the man, because she is called the "help."
The man is said to begin to exercise authority over the woman when he cleaves to her (Genesis 2:24). But also Israel cleaved to God, without the implication that Israel began to exercise authority over God (Deuteronomy 10:20).
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave (dabaq) unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, KJV)
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave (dabaq), and swear by his name. (Deuteronomy 10:20, KJV)
The man is said to have authority over the woman because he was created first.
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (1 Tim 2:11-13, NIV)
However, all men are born from women, yet women do not gain authority from their prior existence. Neither does the man's prior existence explain or provide a foundation for a man's authority over another man.
We are told all only men should lead, but also women are found to be leaders in the Bible.
Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided. (Judges 4:4-5, NIV)
The existence of women as leaders in the Bible is usually explained away using more or less ingenious theological devices, yet they cannot be erased from the Biblical record and every generation will keep on asking the question, "Why shouldn't women lead if Deborah led Israel?"
Teaching in the church is something that is reserved for men, or so we are told. But when we find women, such as Priscilla, teaching men in the Bible, we are told that she taught in private, not in public.
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. (Acts 18:26, NIV)
The trouble with the argument is that all of the early churches met in homes; there was no such thing as a public church in the first century. The church moved out of the private home into the public arena in the second century, and the move created the theological problems we are still dealing with today.
In conclusion, the above five arguments fail to convince simply because they cannot be applied consistently or objectively to situations that include more than one fictional woman. Life includes both men and women, and we interact in complex ways that cannot be reduced to simplistic formulas, especially formulas that require us to leave objectivity behind. And this is a weakness hierarchical theology cannot overcome.