I wonder why the issue of who leads – male or female – has such a bite to it. I don’t believe reasonable people would put the discussion in the category of “taboo.” By that I mean if you hold the “no woman in leadership over men” position that you would also believe that allowing women to be Pastors, for instance, would not bring God’s anger and retribution. Some might, but, there are a few who believe woman should be ordained pastors who would place their restriction of that rite in the category of taboo. There are extremes on both sides.
However, for the most part, it seems to me to be a comfort thing that is stated in theological terms. Certainly there are stories and statements in the Bible to support and not support either position. What it seems to come down to in most churches I have witnessed, and, these are anecdotal data, is whether there are women capable of such leadership and men capable of allowing that leadership.
Women who serve as pastors without title are legion. Anyone who has been in church leadership – regardless their position on the debate – has “ordained” a woman to pastor a group of people and if that leader has his, or her, wits about him or her, they have left that un-ordained female to do the work of an elder. The same could be said about men who do not want the title but serve in the responsibility.
From a gathering of the followers point of view we might do well to follow the lead of the Friends Churches who sit quietly at times waiting for one anointed, whether male of female, to speak wisdom from God into each heart.