This is going to be a shorter answer than I usually give, cause I hate using the tablet for these. Imagine a situation: is it better to be under an extremely repressive government with no freedom (e.G. Communist Russia), but where everyone is equal, or a system of goverment where only white people enjoy full freedom, while ethnic minorities are all enslaved (pre-Civil War USA)? I definitely think the first is better. Therefore, equality is more important.
Think about it: A world where you're free to do what you want (legally) as long as you're a correct human. If you weren't a white straight guy, you wouldn't be allowed to do certain things. Women couldn't vote, gays couldn't marry & black people were slaves for crying out loud! Do you really think that YOUR freedom is more important than the freedom of someone else because of race, sexuality, or gender? Thats a rhetorical question, because if you believe that, the answer is f*** you.
Equality is an equal level playing field. Without equality women couldn't vote, African Americans would be slaves, and many other things. Without equality there wont be freedom. So we basically need equality to have freedom. Equality will mean everything is equal for everyone and give us freedom. As said, we need equality for freedom.
Let's say everybody is equal. That sounds good, but that doesn't necessarily mean that this equality is a good thing. Let's say that nobody has the right to vote.. Everybody is equal, but their FREEDOM is taken away. Pretend that everybody in the country isn't allowed to have food.. That's equality but that sure as hell isn't a good life. Freedom gives you the opportunity to chose what you want to do with your life.
Everybody has different needs and desires whereas equality is predicated on the very idea that we all want the same things. Just because a rule is applied across the board doesn't mean it is a sensible one. Killing is not permitted because it is the ultimate removal of freedom of one individual by another. If everyone were allowed to kill one person that has already killed someone else then everyone would be equal (but we would all end up dead, and hence have lost freedom). Equality is a useful guide but is not an end in and of itself. Freedom however, is the ability to choose what you want to do from a number of options, it allows us to pursue our own goals and find meaning for our own life. The important thing to recognise is that freedom usually comes at the expense of somebody else's freedoms so it will always be a balancing act. Freedom to kill is opposed to freedom to live, freedom to steal is opposed to freedom to own, freedom to be free is opposed to freedom to oppress.
Equality is an ideal, but freedom is pragmatic.
(Let me first state I am referring to economics in this post. I believe social freedom and equality are one in the same) The quote from Milton Friedman says it all. The record of history is clear. Societies that aim for more freedom will rise the living standard of everyone. Societies that aim for equality fail miserably for several reasons. Firstly, how do you achieve the equality? Take from those who you deem to have too much? Who decides who has too much? If your government is set up to protect the poor from the greedy rich, what is to stop the greedy rich from winning elections and using the now supremely powerful government to their advantage? This is what we saw in Communist Russia, Mao's China, and present day North Korea. But what do we see from the freest countries in history such as the United States and Western European countries? We see nations in which even the poorest people are richer than 80% of the world. Even countries like Sweden or Finland that we THINK aim solely for equality are actually more economically free than us. Without freedom first and foremost, equality is possible, but only people sharing poverty equally. Furthermore, once you decide to aim for equality before freedom, do you not take away freedoms of a portion of the nation in order to reach equality? Without the economic freedom for people to become very rich through providing advantageous services and goods to a large number of people, there is little room for innovation. The government would need to control the means of production (either through direct control or massive taxation which is effectively theft) in order to prevent business people from becoming too wealthy. We know how a command economy works; it doesn't. Live free as humans are meant to be free. If you do not believe government is smart enough or has the right to control our social lives and foreign affairs, then why would they be smart enough or have the right to control our economic lives.
Imagine a running race. If we make the race EQUAL, all must cross the line at the same time; none are free to cross ahead of any other. If, on the other hand, each runner is FREE to run as best they can, there will be an unequal result. Obviously FREEDOM is essential to the race. In fact, in this scenario, EQUALITY would seriously hamper FREEDOM.
"All Animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others" - George Orwell.
Modern day feminism is basically an undercover attempt of sad, delusional Marxists to taint our society. I'm a firm believer in democracy, liberty, equal rights and opportunities (Not equal outcomes) small government and freedom of speech. The modern day feminism which loosely bases itself off the Communist model is a danger to our society, the equality they promote is oppressive one, equality where specific individuals or groups are the favorites of the Government, equality which forbids the discussion in name of political correctness and social justice. If we don't choose freedom before equality then it'll be our children who'll have to face the outcomes of Social Marxism and totalitarianism.
I think it human nature to be always bettering our current situation, always exploring, always growing. There is no reason why we should put more value in equality than we do in freedom. Everyone wants it better than how they have it now. We are constantly in a state of improvement. There can never exist a true equality. Freedom invites a strive for perfection, which has no definite end. It is a greater goal than equality can ever hope to be. We would have to be thoroughly lobotomized to ever feel satisfied in a truly equal state. Equal in right does not make people equal minded and have equal drive. The ones with drive should always be allowed to rise up without people hanging on their coattails, slowing momentum.
The 21st Century is fast becoming the one where we are fully stagnant.
Okay, you all say Equality. Read the short story Harrison Bergeron. People shouldn't have to be equal or act like we are. As humans we aren't equal, and we cannot be made so. I would rather have the choice to live with my personal strengths and weaknesses in my own choice. Not try to become equal to everyone else.