N.T. Wright, attempting to explain 1 Timothy 2:11 says (in this report):
In fact, the primary exhortation of I Timothy 2:11 is ‘let the women learn’ (the Greek manthano means ‘learn, especially by study’), and is qualified with a phrase which can mean ‘in silence’ but equally ‘at leisure’: in other words, women must be given the space to study for themselves, an obviously revolutionary proposal in that age as in many subsequent ones, not least because, in Paul’s world as in Jesus’, to ‘study’ would not be for one’s own benefit alone, but in order to become a teacher of others.
The words for “in silence” are ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ. But Wright is uncharacteristically translating without regard for context. While the phrase could mean “at leisure” if verse 11 appeared in a vacuum, such a meaning is impossible for the same phrase in the very next sentence, 2:12: “διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω, οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ.” – “I do not allow a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but… to be ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ.” The use of the phrase in verse 12 should norm our translation of it in verse 11. In both sentences, the most natural meaning is “in silence,” not “at leisure.”