Didn't really want to broach the subject again, as it doesn't seem to be an easy one to discuss rationally, but here it is broached already
The intention was to try to show how the reason for the unequal footing has nothing to do with differences between men and women, but the relationship between them. As said, there is no equality among bhikkhus as it is - everyone has a place in the totem pole irrespective of their personal worth. I think this point is missed by a mile in most discussions of the garu dhamma.
One thing the OP failed to take into account is that the garu dhamma do not just enforce unequal footing, they also enforce inequality in practices, e.g. length of vuṭṭhāna-vidhī. But again, I don't see the reason for these rules as being a view that women are inferior; since adding Bhikkhunis to the mix is going to create more problems, it is not hard to see why the rules regarding Bhikkhunis should be more strict. Fair? No. Expedient? I think so. Surely many will disagree, but given that we monks are happy to take on rules, the stricter the better (hence the dhutanga practices), it still seems little more than conceit that drives most of the "equality" rants in regards to the bhikkhuni ordination. The rest of us are rather a bit jealous of the challenges allowed for bhikkhunis over bhikkhus
Apologies in advance for stirring up the hornet's nest once more.