One last post today on the issue…
One of the best-kept secrets in Christianity is the enormous role that women played in the early church.
Though they leave much unsaid, still, both Christian and secular writers of the time attest many times to the significant involvement of women in the early growth of Christianity.
Celsus, a 2nd-century detractor of the faith, once taunted that the church attracted only “the silly and the mean and the stupid, with women and children.” His contemporary, Bishop Cyprian of Carthage, acknowledged in his Testimonia that “Christian maidens were very numerous” and that it was difficult to find Christian husbands for all of them. These comments give us a picture of a church disproportionately populated by women.
Overall, one of the best, but still sort of based on conjecture.
The one thing I don’t really get is that while the Church in defining orthodoxy developed the doctrines of Mary, along side those doctrines developed too the subordination of women.