Very well, then: If Paul is not simply assuming Man is superior to Woman, what is he up to? The Church believes he is trying to teach the world about a radically different order of relationships. For Paul makes it quite clear that his view of Man and Woman is rooted, not in contemporary notions of the inferiority of Woman, but in eternal truths about the mutual, self-giving love of the Trinity and God's self-sacrificial love for His Church. As the Church believes the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are absolutely equal in divine dignity, so she believes that Man and Woman are absolutely equal in human dignity. As the Church distinguishes the Persons as God, so she distinguishes the persons in a human family. And as the Church proclaims the self-offering of Christ Crucified for His Bride, so she exhorts husbands and wives to enter into that life of mutual self-offering. In short, the Church's understanding of marriage is rooted in the life of the Trinity and in the relationship of Christ to His Church.
I was at a wedding this past Saturday and the second reading was actually this selection from Saint Paul. I was pleasantly surprised since this is so rarely done due to people not understanding it. It's not a condemnation of women; it's a beautiful image of a marriage as a domestic Church.