My story

I was ringing at a cathedral after a 12-bell. The person running the ringing and asked, in a cheeky way, if I would be ok Ringing the tenor.  I defo rang it better than he did. And made damn sure I set it 1st time.

Having been insulted by the drunk CY about my capacity to ring the tenor, he then proceeded to say that I actually rang it rather well, to which I replied that I rang  it a hell of a lot better than he did. Brought the house down. A few weeks later I got a post card apologising for his behaviour - he’d asked who I was and bothered to get in touch via Sheffield Cathedral.

I’ve experienced lots of sexist comments about being a tenor grabber over the years. A bloke catches hold and that’s ok. A woman does and she’s a tenor grabber. Really puts off a lot of women. So in conclusion, losing the tenor grabber nonsense will be a great help as you then feel you have to be better than a man just so you don’t get slated. That typifies discrimination IMHO.

The story about Ambleside is crucial. Many men will wing it and have a go whilst women want to be sure we can do it as if we fail it’s because we’re female and aren’t up to it. This is a massive deal in the workplace too. So it feels like we are not able to fail hence it’s hard to learn. I think this is the crux of the issue.

Conducting is an interesting one. I had trouble making my voice heard at my home tower as a kid. People complained they couldn’t hear me and I then got told off for shouting when I raised my voice. I think this may be an issue though. Personally I just struggle with keeping numbers in my head and even with practice I find it hard and stressful so tend to avoid. Although I suspect there are some deep seated reasons in there too!