The Angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary. ‘Hail, most highly favoured, the Lord is with you,’ the Angel said, ‘Blessed are you among women.’

And Mary said to the Angel: ‘Now look here, it’s obvious from those ridiculous clothes that you don’t come from around here. And you seem to have no idea where things are at. Women are not ‘blessed’ in this society – nor in any other I know of. We are the victims of an age-long male conspiracy to demean and enslave us. We have no civil or social rights; we are mere chattels in the households of our menfolk. You can call that blessed if you like; but I don’t.’

The Angel was undeterred. ‘You are to bear a Son’, he said, ‘who will be called the Son of the Most High. And he will save his people from their sins,’

And Mary said to the Angel: ‘So that’s the game is it! Salvation through the Son of a Heavenly Father! Well you just listen to me: this aggressive male monopolizing of the religious sphere will cut no ice with the women I know. And it is the reverse of appealing to me. We have been marginalized in the market place and we have no intention of being alienated from the Cosmos itself. What do you take us for? Speaking personally I have no intention of assisting in the perpetuation of outmoded stereotypes. This is a definite no to all that. One can see only too clearly in what further oppression the theology of such an incarnation would end. No, No, finally No.’ And the Angel left her.