The discussion began when Young stated that the creation story in Genesis 2 “denigrates women.” When questioned, he clarified his position somewhat; he stated that the text in Genesis “defines the woman in terms of the man, rather than as a human being in her own right. It says women were MADE to be “helps meet” for men (and nothing else).” And went on to state
I guess the inferior position of women came first, and the story was concocted to justify it. They’d hardly write a creation myth in which man was created out of woman’s rib and then say “Hey, we ought to be treating women better! “When I said “the INTENTION is to denigrate women” I meant the intention is to keep them in their place.
First, the Hebrew word is not necessarily a reference to a rib; the meaning is broader and is probably more accurately translated as something like ‘side’. Also, the text needs to be read in the context in which it appears. The immediate context is Gen 2:19-24,
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.20 And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place.22 And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.23 And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Second, this fact is emphasised further by the context. Note that none of the animals is a help equal to man; while no Hebrew in an agrarian society would deny that animals can be aids or helps to mankind they are not helpers that are equal to or of the same nature as humans and that is the whole point.
Finally, note Adam’s response, when he learns that Eve has been created from his side, This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.
Two things are noteworthy here. First the reference to bone of my bones, etc is a Hebrew idiom for kinship. Second, the last sentence emphasises a Semitic literary technique known as paronomasia or word-play. This technique is common in this section of Genesis; for example, Noah sounds similar to the Hebrew word for comfort and Noah designates the man in the narrative who brings comfort (Gen 5:29). Abraham means ‘father of many’ and the whole story of Abraham is a story about how he is promised that he will have many children. Jacob means ‘pulls his leg’ and the story is of a trickster. In each case the name is deliberately used to emphasis a characteristic or feature of the person named. In Gen 4 it is noted that Adam and Eve acquired a child by the LORD, the child is named Cain which sounds like the Hebrew word acquired.
Similarly, use of word-plays occurs here in Genesis. Adam is similar to the Hebrew word for dust ‘Adamah.’ The emphasis of Genesis 2-3 is that man has kinship with the dust; he is made from it 2.7; will return to it 3.19; will toil it 3:17; his sin curses it once again. The clearest use is in 3:19 where it says “dust you are,” the name Adam is used to point to a feature or character of man.
Similar things can be said about Eve. The word eve sounds like the Hebrew word for mother; the text notes that she was called Eve because she was the mother of the living. Again, the name is deliberately chosen to reinforce a point or teaching.
In this passage the play is on the Hebrew word for women ishshah and man iysh. The idea is that she is called ishshah because she comes from man iysh, the point is that the two are fundamentally of the same nature. Understood in its genre, then, the passage asserts that women and men are very close kinsman, they are fundamentally of the same nature, they are one.
The passage then states that it was not good for man to be without a helper equal to or like him. The animals, though helpful, are not like him, they are different and hence, won’t do. That is the point of the passage. Far from teaching the inferiority of men to women or teaching women are subhuman, the passage teaches the precise opposite.
 R. David Freedman “Woman, A Power Equal to Man” Biblical Archaeology Review January-February 1983 56-58.
 Walter Kaiser Towards an Old Testament Ethics.