The ‘wimin’ of the National Union of Students’ have launched a new campaign to make the world a better place; they want their members to use jazz hands instead of clapping. The plan was unveiled on the NUS Women’s group official Twitter and is suggested because the noise from clapping causes “anxiety”.
NUS Women are meeting in Solihull for their annual get together. The message read: “Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful!” The original request is said to have come from Oxford University, and despite being widely ridiculed on Twitter, the NUS was standing by the plan.
South-Eastern women’s officer Gee Linford-Grayson told the Daily Express: “Loud clapping and whooping can be intimidating and distracting when you’re speaking on stage.” A spokesperson added: “The request was made by some delegates attending the conference. We strive to make NUS events accessible and enjoyable for all, so each request is considered.”
The NUS has already taken a number of steps to protect its vulnerable women in the past. At their main conference they operate a “women-only safe space” where delegates who feel unable to be near men can hang around together.
They also no platformed UKIP NEC Member Cllr Tom Bursnall when he was at university, after a lesbian claimed he had offered to ‘turn’ her girlfriend straight. He was banned from speaking at NUS events, despite having never expressed any interest in doing so.
Even if the NUS were unhappy with the plan to stop clapping they would still be unable to stop the Women’s group as it is one of three “autonomous liberation campaigns”. The three groups can say and do whatever they want whilst still claiming funding from the NUS.
Jazz hands are often used as an alternative to clapping at events for deaf people, however this appears to be the first serious attempt to use them because clapping CAN be heard. They also ban photography at events as it may intimidate delegates from overseas, so our photo is a suggestion of what the delegates might look like.