I was asked into a peal at Ambleside, a lovely 32 cwt 8 in Cumbria, and if I wanted the tenor. I said, "Sure, let's ring Stedman". The organiser said, "But I was hoping we would ring spliced". I said that I'd prefer not to because I didn't know the bell and wanted to get it right. We rang a lovely peal Stedman, but about 2 hours into the peal, I knew that I could have rung it to spliced no problem.
Sometime afterwards, an experienced (male) member of the band said, "You know, a man would have just taken the opportunity and given it a go. You were perfectly capable and would have done a good job".
What stopped me from just giving it a go? What was my fear? I had rung heavier 8s to spliced, and turned in bigger bells. I knew Ambleside was not supposed to be difficult. Is there a different openness to risk between men and women for making mistakes or not quite being perfect? Why do we see women more than men, saying No to things they have been asked to do, for fear of not quite getting it right? How can we ever know if we can manage something if we don't try? What are our chances of being asked again?