There is a famous midrash about how Chavah wound up succumbing to the temptation of the nachash in Gan Eden. While God initially commanded Adam not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Chavah, in her presentation of the command to the nachash, added an extra feature to the law: touching it was also forbidden. As a result, Chazal tell us that the snake pushed her into the tree and said "See? Just as you didn't die when you touched it, so you won't die when you eat its fruit!" The rest is the history of mankind.
Perhaps this is why, despite the plethora of rabbinic enactments and gezeiros that have formed around the basic Torah since it was given to Moshe Rabeinu, a"h, we are still very careful when studying the mitzvos to define which is d'oraisa and which is d'rabannon. While the latter are binding on us, we must clearly remember their position in the legal order of things. For example, the famous rule of avoiding a shvus d'shvus (yes, I know there are exceptions!). Otherwise one can come to create laws that eventually conceal any intent the Torah itself might originally have had. (Chumrah-of-the-week anyone?)
Sometimes, though, people don't create chumros out of a sense of need to protect the original Torah laws or strengthen the relevant rabbinic enactments. Instead they feel an urge to reconcile their secular egalitarian values with their purported commitment to halachic Judaism. Inevitably, these conflicts all resolve the same way: their Jewish practice is adjusted, not their secular values. These adjustments are triumphed as a show of how the Torah's way of life can be made relevant to modern living. Inevitably when you look at the motivation, that isn't what's happened at all.
Such a place is Shirah Chadash, the so-called Orthodox egalitarian minyan in Yerushalayim. Their big innovation has been to require a minyan on both sides of the mechitzah before beginning to daven:
On any given Shabbat in Jerusalem, minyans around the city wait for ten men to begin praying. Only Shira Hadasha has to wait longer. Not because no one shows up, but because they require both ten men and ten women. "We take upon ourselves an extra requirement," said Elie Holzer, a founder of the minyan, noting that it's not a halachic statement but a social one. Halacha does guide the minyan's decision to let women lead certain parts of services while still using a mechitza.
It seems so nice and reasonable, yet it betrays a strong misunderstanding of halachic requirements when it comes to davening. For one thing, a minyan is a great thing to have while davening but speaking as a person who grew up in a small town shul that had a poorly motivated membership, it isn't essential. Furthermore, the purpose of gathering a minyan of ten adult males is because the halacha then allows the tzibur to recite those parts of the service that are d'var sheb'kedushah. The present of no, ten or a hundred women on the other side of the mechitzah is irrelevant as to whether this tzibur is formed. For another, the admission that the rule is a "social one" is also of concern. The sole arbiter of what is proper in a shul setting is halacha. Of course this doesn't apply to simple things like the colour of the carpet but when it comes to setting up the davening, adding or subtrating necessary requirements based on "social" reasons is a violation of this principle.
In the end, a Jew must ask himself what the halacha requires from him in any given situation. This is not always an easy question to ask. We approach it with predetermined biases and beliefs, wants and desires. Too often we blind ourselves to this basic fact and manipulate the Torah to give us the answer we want but in that case we aren't doing what the Torah wants but what we want while using it as a fig leaf to create a kosher facade for our actions. Shirah Chadashah seems to be a great example of this.
The true litmus test of being observant is how one responds to the halacha saying "no" to something one really wants. Not like "no cheeseburger for you!" but something that one deeply feels is right or that he is entitled to. Accepting the "no" denotes the intellectual and emotional maturity the halacha requires. Those seem to be lacking here.