Feb 21, 2019 | Updated: 08:27 AM EST

UK Feminist Convention Does Jazz Hands Instead of Clapping to Fight Anxiety

Mar 26, 2015 05:28 PM EDT


The Oxford University Women's Campaign has managed to ban clapping at a feminist convention for students in the UK. According to The Washington Times, the National Union of Students Women's Campaign Tweeted an announcement asking all attendees to refrain from clapping, but instead to use "jazz hands" to show their support.

You may wonder why they would discourage such a longstanding tradition as applause in a convention where showing appreciation to the speaker is encouraged. Well, the Oxford delegates are apparently to blame for the change in policy.

An Oxford delegate Tweeted, "@nuswomcam please can we ask people to stop clapping but do feminist jazz hands? it's triggering some peoples' anxiety. thank you!"

Less than 5 minutes later the NUS Tweeted to all attendees, "Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it's triggering anxiety. Please be mindful! #nuswomen15."

Nona Buckley-Irvine, who holds the position of secretary for the London School of Economics Students' Union, told BBC's Newsbeat that she supported the use of jazz hands as well.

"Jazz hands are used throughout NUS in place of clapping as a way to show appreciation of someone's point without interrupting or causing disturbance, as it can create anxiety." She went on to say, "I'm relatively new to this, and it did feel odd at first, but once you've used jazz hands a couple of times it becomes a genuinely nice way to show solidarity with a point, and it does add to creating a more inclusive atmosphere."

As the convention continued, those in attendance were supportive of the measure, and opted for the use of jazz hands in place of applause. The site of this many people waving their fingers in the air to show support for the speakers must have been something to take in.

Does clapping really cause anxiety for people? I personally do not think it does, but then, I'm not a regular attendee for feminist conventions either. Perhaps I have a stronger disposition than most people. While my personal opinion is that if clapping causes anxiety for you, you need to man up and should maybe consider attending some masculinity conventions; I must also admit that I do want everyone to be included.

So, I applaud those brave souls from Oxford, who were bold enough to ask the convention to refrain from clapping so they would not be overly anxious while attending the meeting.

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