Male ringers in my circle are aware of the gender problem at least when it comes to band placement, possibly because their female friends
gripe to them about it frequently. Still, they are reluctant to take any action. I've had male friends of mine report to me that they rang a peal with an all-male back-end at the weekend, for instance, or offer jokingly to switch with me when a tower captain places me on a light bell, or tell me after the fact that I would have done a better job than whichever male ringer was placed on the tenor. In the abstract, many men I ring with seem supportive of efforts to improve gender dynamics in ringing (for example, women-only practices, or peals to commemorate female ringers’ achievements). This is great, and I don't want to minimize it.
However, I can't think of a single instance in which a male ringer has spoken up in the moment, or even after the fact, to someone they perceived to be guilty of sexist behaviour. There are men who refuse to ring peals with women, but who still find plenty of men to ring with. I’m sure that some prejudiced men are very good ringers, but odds are that some of the people who are discouraged from ringing by those men's behaviour would also be very good ringers. Doesn’t it seem possible that we’re protecting the wrong people’s feelings?