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Intimidation

Intimidation in ringing


 

What I am talking about is "Intimidation", making folk feel timid, belittling.


York

In the Statement from YMSCR: 17th December 2016. The very first point is "No members of YMSCR have engaged in any intimidation of other ringers."
A very brave, perhaps naive statement to make.
I wonder how many other towers or Societies could do that.

I feel the YMSCR Statement is clearly wrong.
Perhaps the writer has no knowledge of incidents, but at least one has occurred.

The YACR meeting in May 2011 (hosted by York ringers), I feel was organised so strictly it actually became intimidating.
I felt treated like cattle.
The incident at St Wilfrid's, some people nearly walked out when one person received personal intimidating remarks.
Were the organisers informed during feedback? I doubt it.


Elsewhere

Intimidation is NOT restricted to the York ringers.

Some of the nicest people can say the most intimidating things, for example, at a recent branch meeting, four words from the leader had shock on the face of the receiver.
Elsewhere I have witnessed intimidation on a scale that I would call “criminal abuse” in towers.


Me a victim

I have felt intimidation in most of my ringing career, I could say I am used to it.
I have developed coping strategies to avoid the highly skilled razor tongued wordsmiths, but now and again they pop up unexpectedly, causing a quick withdrawal.
Now these people are the most friendly and helpful folk one could ever wish to know.
However I sometimes find their remarks very cutting.


Complaining

There is no complaint mechanism in the ringing community, perhaps I am to blame for not standing up and saying that I do not find those remarks acceptable.
At a local tower, I feel it would be important to inform the Clergy of the situation.


Progression

Ringers have commented that to advance their ringing skills they need to put up with the intimidation and bullying.
Other leaders have told me that the use of intimidation may be a necessary part of getting a ringer to perform better.
There must be a better way.
All I can say is that intimidation has had a detrimental effect on my development, as I have limits to the abuse I can take.


Drop Outs

I wonder how many folk have dropped out of ringing due to intimidation.
(A massive discussion subject!).


Exciting ???

Now some people respond to intimidation, find it motivating.
Intimidating towers can be taken as a challenge, something to conquer, new skills, new progression, new excitements.
Other people have different motivations.
No two people are alike.


Bullying

There can be a progression from "banter" to intimidation, to bullying.
This becomes exaggerated when other folk jump on the bandwagon.
Often a bully never knew he was a bully, no one told him.
Someone may not perceive how their remarks will be received.

One aspect of "Intimidation" is what I call "peacocking", public loud pronouncements not only belittling the receiver but enhancing the perpetrator's public standing, often accompanied by reinforcing laughter from those around.


Responding

So, listen out in your tower.

Do you hear unacceptable interactions?

Is it time to reject intimidation from ringing?


Forward ?

Finally where is “encouragement” in all this, a little “well done”, “great effort” or a “thank you”.