I don't think that was rambling at all. If anything, I think it's a good example of the thought process any number of people might have in negotiating this issue and that what you're saying makes a lot of sense.
I want to be a law-abiding citizen (most of the time anyway) but if I'm breaking a law I don't know about, I'm kind of boned, right?
This is where I think the aggressive feminist point of view gets stuck. Most people want to be fair and equitable to people around them, but they can only be as fair as they know how to be. Let's take an extreme example of say, a tribesman somewhere who comes from an extreme patriarchal society, one in which women are actually treated as property and bought via dowry. What people forget, or don't want to acknowledge is, that is how that particular society has functioned and thrived (that term being relative of course) for untold generations. That is how their "world" works. This is not to say that it can't change, but from the tribesmen's view, why should it change?
This is what I mean about winning hearts and minds. You can't ask people to change without guiding them through the steps. What if instead of demanding that change happen overnight, without concern for societal consequences, much less the feelings and emotions attached to established societal norms, small changes were deliberately implemented with smaller, achievable goals in place along the way to the ultimate goal of a legally and societally defined, recognized and supported concept of human equality?
In many societies, people strive to teach children about fairness. This is a hard concept for children to grasp, but in time they begin to understand. Then, just as they begin to understand and wish to participate in a fair system we tend to tell them, "too bad, life's not fair." This is all kinds of confusing. Similarly, we tend to tell people to treat each other equally, while respecting their differences. All of this is introduced when people are still figuring out who they are. Small wonder then that people have a hard time negotiating how to treat others when many people aren't really sure how to treat themselves. To bring it back to the idea of a sticky situation, people have a hard time agreeing on exactly what the problems or barriers are to equality. I'm not saying that we need to wait to figure it all out before we begin, because by then things will have changed, but what I am saying is that I think people need to stop thinking of this problem like they think of math problems, or balancing an account.
If there's one thing that I dislike about the Western idea of balance, it's the static nature of it. Often it seems very much to be, "one for you and one for me and now everything is fair and balanced." This is not balance. This is motionless. Balance without motion isn't motion at all; it's death. Consider the ying and yang. The very symbol evokes equality and motion while making clear that they are different. Opposite is too strong, but counterpart is I think, a better idea. Likewise, we need to start understanding people as counterparts, which is not to imply that man and women need to go together sexually. Humans are group animals that depend on others and the abilities of others to survive and if we look at group animals, we tend to see that they are constantly negotiating those group dynamics.
I am still figuring out how to negotiate this, but I do know that if people take "sides" and solidify their arguments into a static system of beliefs and deal in absolutes, then they create resistance and will influence people to reach for the other extreme, if only for the sake of perversity.
I guess I'm rambling too. My point is, ideas have to remain fluid for equality for all to be achieved. Too often people seek equality from the perspective, "where's my share of X?" and this is to me, is wrong. I also think that some of these problems exist for us because we're only equipped to understand groups up to a certain size and beyond that, people become abstracts. I think if real change is to be effected, people cannot be treated as abstracts. When dealing with problems of mass humanity, the humanity has to remain intact.
I enjoy following you too. You put up a whole bunch of interesting stuff!