I was taught to ring in my 40s together with my husband and children, all of us still ring now some 30 years later. In all the time I
have been ringing I have never had cause to even think about gender. We are all just 'ringers' and 'people' as far as I can tell.
During my ringing life I have done quite a lot in 'leadership' roles, including Branch secretary (3 years), Guild general secretary (10 years), Branch ringing master (10 years), tower leader and teacher (6 years so far). I did not seek out any of these roles but was asked to consider doing them each time. At no time did I feel as though I was 'fighting' to do something I wanted to. The only struggle I had was that each time I wanted to step down from a role it was very difficult as 'people' (not gender related) tried to persuade me to continue. Sometimes I longed to just be a regular ringer!
My progress in ringing has always been encouraged and my ability stretched but my own personal choice has been that I don't ring peals (two was more than enough thanks!) and I don't call quarters. I have been asked but I have made it clear what my choice is and people respect that. I can and do ring the 'big bells' but these days, now I'm over 70, I would usually choose a
smaller one, it's my choice though.
I've had a lovely ringing life and hope we can resume it soon. In the meantime Ringing Room keeps the tower together and guess who mostly has to do the running of each session. Sigh!