What is the sound of one jazz hand clapping?
Organizers of the U.K.'s National Union of Students' Women's Conference, held this year in Solihull, U.K. found that the idea of applauding a speech "triggers anxiety" for participants–because clapping makes noise, you know–that it told attendees to use "hand jazz"–waving one's hand palm out with the fingers splayed–as a silent substitute.
And you thought that today's feminists weren't fragile flowers underneath all that fish-needs-a-bicycle stuff! Think again.
Young student union activists have asked other conference delegates to wave with "jazz hands" instead of clapping or cheering speakers in case it "'triggers anxiety" among nervous members.
Hundreds were asked to wave in silence because other people found "whooping" to be "super inaccessible."
The request was made at the National Union of Students' annual Women's Conference in Solihull, West Midlands, which started yesterday.
NUS Women's Campaign tweeted: "Whooping is fun for some, but can be super inaccessible for others, so please try not to whoop! Jazz hands work just as well."
They then followed that with: "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, General secretary at the London School of Economics Students' Union, said: "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.
"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."
And that wasn't all that that happened at the conference, according to Reason magazine:
Other motions included a move to refrain from using terms like "sisters," "both genders," or "any other terms that refers to a binary or two gender system"; a motion "to work to eradicate the appropriation of black women by white gay men"; and a resolution for NUS Women's Campaign not to share any platform with writer Julie Bindel.
So sisterhood is no longer powerful, hmmm.
As for Julie Bindel, she's a longtime progressive U.K. lesbian who's now persona non grata among the politically correct for, among other things, her support of Matt Taylor, the physicist who got into big trouble for wearing a shirt depicting scantily clad women at a press conference about his amazing scientific feat of landing a rocket on an asteroid:
Many would hail this as a feminist victory: a big-name scientist apologising on TV and being reduced to tears for his apparent sexism. We must have come a long way to wield so much influence. But there’s another way of seeing it. As less of a victory, more of a sign of a shift in feminist tactics. Instead of attacking the root cause of women’s inequality, we’ve moved towards the vilification of individuals.
Identity politics and the emergence of feminist preciousness – the tendency towards putting trigger warnings on everything and wrapping each other in cotton wool – has translated into a disproportionate focus on individuals who offend, rather than the culture that allows them to do so.
No wonder she's banned. By the people who who think that clapping at a speech produces "anxiety" among our very delicate women.