Abelard, Peter. [Letter to Heloise, abbess of the Paraclete, mid-1130s] in The Letter of Heloise on Religious Life and Abelard's First Reply 253-81

[Letter from Peter Abelard to Heloise, abbess of the Paraclete]
This letter answers part of Heloise’s request, see above ep.5, for a history of women’s monasticism. Abelard emphasizes the roles women played in the Old and New Testament — including anointing Christ as priest and king — and in early Christianity, arguing Christ’s authority for the monastic vocation of women and identifying modern abbesses with early deaconesses. He often repeats Heloise’s description of women as the weaker sex, but usually to show what they are capable of.
Online at Epistolae (See also Bibliographia record).