Feminist Conference Requests Attendees Do Jazz Hands Because Clapping Causes Anxiety

feminist jazz hands clapping anxiety

The National Union of Students (NUS) Women’s Campaign had a special request at a recent feminism conference in the U.K. Those who attended the conference were asked to refrain from clapping because it causes anxiety in some people. Attendees were asked to use “jazz hands” instead to show their appreciation.

It was a request that was made via Twitter shortly after the conference began.

The conference was for feminist university students in the United Kingdom, and they were getting together to discuss and share stories of equal rights. As Town Hall reported, the request of the NUS Women’s Campaign was due to a request from someone else.

Oxford University Women’s Campaign tweeted out to NUS to say that there were a number of their members who were actually bothered by the clapping. They said it was making them quite anxious.

NUS responded back to Oxford on Twitter as well and simply said, “Hope everyone is okay.”

To make sure that the anxiety of others wasn’t triggered by anything else, another request was made via Twitter by NUS. They wanted to make sure that everyone knew that “whooping” was also not something they wanted to happen.

The Libertarian Republic stated that there were a number of tweets from those attending the conference that said the clapping was making them anxious and “putting me on edge.” It didn’t seem as if any of those complaining asked for the jazz hands so that appears to have simply been an idea of NUS.

Some delegates said that the jazz hands not only help alleviate the anxiety brought upon by clapping, but they are “a nice way to show solidarity.”

“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,” said Nona Buckley-Irvine, general secretary at the London School of Economics Students’ Union. “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.”

It certainly appears as if none of these Twitter accounts are parody accounts, and legitimately run by the organizations. As soon as the original tweets landed online, criticism and mockery came at them in every single direction.

NUS and OUSU really didn’t respond to the criticism, and just kind of let them sit there.

It’s not entirely known if jazz hands will end up being the worldly way of showing appreciation and solidarity over clapping at conferences. The feminist conference may not have started a trend, but they certainly did get social media talking.

[Image via Hal Leonard]