An interesting point on the importance of women to the rise of Christianity. The history of this is bizarre but only if you take it as more than tangentially relevant to the history of first century Palestine. The fact the virgin birth story and the resurrection are missing from the oldest gospel strongly suggest that the identified purpose of the oldest account (that was written down) was focused on something else. We know that both those elements were standard set pieces from Egypt to the Hellenic east for a thousand year before this period.
Perhaps the purpose was more involved with the selection of women of lower class as the source of an open ended story. I find this intriguing as I’m not aware of any mainstream historical agreement on this feminine aspect. While there is a theme of this in upper class Roman society of the second century tied to traditional feminine involvement with mystery religions perhaps there is another layer of lost history in the late first century.
While my involvement in Palestinian and Roman imperial history is not as a specialist it did became fascinating to me for a number of years. I should say that as a result of this I was slowly forced to give up the modern mainstream assumption that Jesus actually existed as an individual but with very little actual information or any surviving primary or even secondary materials. That doesn’t really matter in how the religious system developed but it does point to redirection on multiple levels by a range of cultural components in the evolution of an early urban and cosmopolitan popular belief system. This has left a very mixed and confusing history.
I wonder if we actually have an early women’s movement tied to the mix of Greek mysteries and Palestinian revolutionary beliefs standing against the patriarchal and imperial Roman civilization. Almost all traces of this would need to be removed in the creation of a new institutional Roman imperial religion that became official under Constantine and his mother.
These are just thoughts inspired by this article. Perhaps others know of works discussing this that have been published in the last twenty years since I’ve been involved in these areas.