Life was short and brutal in ancient times. Sure, there were times of prosperity and famine, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, abundance and scarcity. However, nothing in the history of the world ever compared to the standard of living we enjoy today. Kings and Queens of just 200 years ago couldn't have even dreamt of living the life of a simple, average westerner today.
In a setting like that, it's of utmost importance to have social cohesion and conformity. The errors of an individual can easily wreak havoc on the entire community. Therefore, the community had to regulate the actions of the individual. This is the basis of government and by definition, it reduces the rights and freedoms of the individual. A government that takes this too far, will inevitably crush the spirit of the individual.
Gender roles are just one example of this rigid conformity, but there are many others. People were not free to do as they pleased. Therefore, anyone who thinks that men historically all the rights while they kept their women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, is nothing but delusional. In ancient times, no one had the right to do whatever they wanted.
During these times, biological strengths and weaknesses were all that counted. There was little to no room for the idealism of personal freedom and liberty. Men had authority because they shouldered the responsibility for the protection of and provision for their families. This responsibility emanated from their superior strength, endurance, stamina and ability to perform under pressure. (In other words - from their biology).
The industrial revolution brought a lot of changes with it. The major changes that are relevant to this discussion are:
No longer was brute force necessary to get things done. With the progression of bigger, better and faster machines, brute force became even less necessary. Brute force is what men bring to the table for both protection of and provision for their families.
These new machines produced better and more efficient weapons which in turn, helped make the world a safer place. Sure, bad people can also use modern weapons and the gun debate doesn't belong here. The point that's relevant here is - the world has become increasingly safer as modern weapons became increasingly more lethal. (See next paragraph).
These machines also ushered in the Era of mass production of food which in turn drastically reduced starvation in the world. (another reason for increased safety). Additionally, keeping house was becoming increasingly easier for women, thanks to the same industrial revolution. Therefore, women had more time on their hands than ever before.
With easier access to food and other resources, with safer communities and less physical labor required - the role of men was naturally reduced. Men are no longer as needed by women as was the case throughout history. Women also had more time to think about life and thus, they began concocting ideas about male oppression and women's suffrage.
The women's suffrage movement was a direct result of the drastic upgrade in the standard of living brought about by the industrial revolution. This merely freed up the space for true female nature to emerge freely. The push for gender equality naturally emerged from this. If the physical differences between men and women are eliminated by machines, why should men have superiority over women? A woman can now do anything a man can do and therefore she doesn't need no man and the genders are equal. As a result of women not needing men as much as before, they concluded that they don't need men at all!
This thought process was a natural result of a better life. That's why it became so popular. However, it's mistaken because people are not born as a blank slate. If they were, anyone can excel at anything, given the opportunity. Governments and organizations have been giving such opportunities galore over the past few decades and the genders (and races) are still far from equal.
This is because people are not equal in their capabilities, not by a long shot. People pass genes to their children. Even two children of the same parents will not be identical even though they're similar. How much more so with regards to major differences in genes between men and women, different races and ethnicities where the differences are much greater. Not everyone is equally capable of everything if given the opportunity.
Biological differences include superficial things like skin and hair color as well as much more valuable traits such as intelligence etc. Fact is that generalizations can be made for good and for bad even though they don't hold true 100% of the time. As an example - men are generally taller than women but not every man is taller than every woman. We call them generalizations because they're generally true.
Thus, what was revealed through the long march towards gender equality (which is still going on) is that the genders are not equal at all. Therefore, gender equality is a myth. A myth that made sense 50 years ago for reasons explained above. A myth that has been revealed to be a myth to anyone who takes off the ideological cap and puts on his thinking cap and observes observable facts of reality.
Gender equality is a myth because men and women are biologically different. This results in masculine and feminine traits which are more dominant in most (but not all) men and women.
Gender equality is real only in areas of life where we are truly equal. As adults, we are equally capable of choosing right from wrong. We should therefore be equal before the law (we aren't at the moment). We're equally human and should therefore be treated with human dignity (however that's defined - is a discussion that isn't relevant here). Likewise with regards to any other area which isn't gendered.
Women got the equality they wanted and they absolutely hate it. Because while women don't need men as much as they did in ancient times, they still need men much more than men need them (even with the almighty male sexual desire). Thus - after decades of alienating men, the men are finally walking away - thus comes the heartfelt cry of - where are all the good men?!?!? I need a good man to take responsibility for me after all, where oh where can I find him?!?!?!?