In other news, various evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics are threatening to leave over the possibility of women bishops in the C of E, having stayed after equivalent threats over women priests. As a non-believer, I really want women bishops to happen simply because it makes the relationship between the C of E and the Catholic and Orthodox churches stickier. Also, the arguments used by the anti-women brigade are so inherently misogynist that I find myself shouting at the radio.
Paul denounced women leaders in the church, so did Jerome two centuries later. Which means no-one listened to Paul on this subject. Which means that the practice of early Christians was complex on this subject.
It is also worth remarking that the prevalence of female martyrs during the persecutions means that the church was not above persuading stroppy and difficult women to go out and die for the faith. Which meant that they were not around to pose competition to the leadership.