When the Bishop tonsures a Reader, he says "Son, the first rank of priesthood is the reader. It behooveth thee therefore to peruse the Scriptures daily...". If the nature of the job excludes women from the priesthood (Priests have to offer sacrifices, but women make life, and it would be an aberration of the female role to offer a sacrifice and end life, even if only symbolically), then there is no reason that women should be ordained. If the issue of weather to allow women as altar servers in ordinary circumstances is controversial, then there should be no question that women should NOT be ordained to the priesthood, because the priesthood is a larger office with more responsibilities than that of an altar server.
Deacons are at the first rank of priesthood.
No, they are not.
I agree with your conclusion. However, your argument is not a theological one and, as Metropolitan Kallistos has pointed out, this issue is still open--as a matter of theology. As a matter of practice, priestly functions have been assigned to males from the very beginning--indeed, going back to our Jewish roots. And, only priests and bishops have those functions; readers, sub-deacons, acolytes, deacons and deaconesses do not, as liturgical functions should not be conflated with priestly ones. To illustrate, during the Divine Liturgy (the common work of the laos), the people finish some prayers by giving their assent, by saying amen. They also join in petitions by chanting/singing Lord have mercy, To Thee oh Lord and Grant this oh Lord. These are all liturgical functions that are done by males and females alike because we are all part of the Royal Priesthood, part of the Laos. Going back to the Bishop's prayer when he tonsures a reader, the phrase "the first step of priesthood is the reader" should be understood only as a wish for the reader to consider becoming a priest and not as a requirement. If not, this sort of approach, IMHO, reflects contamination by the West (in this case by Roman Catholicism on the Russian Church) and should not be taken as normative for the Church as a whole.