I’ll ask why should we even consider looking to the bible to decide what what the role of women should be in our church - in our cultures and societies.
At the very best, all the bible can tell us is what each author or editor of the bible thought the role of women should be in his society. Mind you, not even what it actually was.
Many of the bible’s authors, but obviously not all, wrote that there is only one god, or only one god for the Hebrews. But did the Hebrews believe that? It seems not. We know this because almost every time an ancient Hebrew town is excavated, we find many little pagan idols. The most common being fertility goddesses.
Similarly, texts that are interpreted as describing the subjugation of women’s roles in the early church, may have been a fantasy of the authors. Or, they may have a different intended meaning than we realize, reading a translation 2000 years later from a completely different cultural vantage point.
Take, for example, the following passage from Paul. Besides appearing rather misogynistic, in many ways it makes no sense to me. Presumably it would have made sense to his intended audience.
Does this apply to us today? Did Paul intend his very specific ideas about hair to apply to all Christians for all time? Comments added in [brackets]:
I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the wife is her husband [and if she has no husband?], and the head of Christ is God. [I thought Christ was God, an equal part of the Trinity. But then Paul was not a Trinitarian and did not believe Jesus was God. But let’s ignore that.] Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head [What? Why? And how? Why are we supposed avoid dishonoring our heads - whatever that means?]. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head [Why?]—it is the same as having her head shaved. [Why is that an issue? Lots of devout Christian women shave their heads.] For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. [This is a circular argument. It appears to say, female hair is so important you should not cut it off, for it is a woman’s cover (see below) and still it should be covered because if you don’t cover it you might as well cut it off. So, it’s important to cover the cover, because cutting it off is bad… What?]
Every man who prays or prophesies with long hair dishonors his head, since he is the image and glory of God [Paul seems to have misread Genesis where all humankind is in the image of God: “Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (both in God’s own image.)” -Genesis 1]; but a wife is the glory of a husband. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created on account of the woman, but woman on account of the man. It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, on account of the angels. [Wait, what? How did angels get into this discussion?] Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
Judge for yourselves: [OK, I will!] Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? [Yes, it seems fine. Happens all the time] Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? [No, it doesn’t.] For long hair is given to her as a covering. [Then why does she need to cover the covering?] If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God. [Well, maybe not then and there, but in fact we now do have many other practices, all over the world.] - 1 Corinthians 11.