Ladies: if you want to know why “feminism” has turned into a term of derision among a great many guys, read this:
Organisers at the National Union of Students Women’s Conference made the request after some delegates reported feeling anxious during audience applause.
The NUS Women’s Campaign tweeted from its official account: “Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful!”
I have no doubt that there are some people who might have a panic attack or the like at the sound of a room full of applause. But here’s the thing: you don’t help these people by “appeasing” their weakness. Indeed, by going along with this request to not applaud, what you are doing is empowering the problem.
It’s a symptom of a much wider problem in society. Some people don’t like certain images, words or ideas… so society tries to cover up or outright ban those things to protect the delicate sensitivities of the more damaged members of society. And what do you end up with? The numbers of people who are easily offended seem to *grow.* And since there have been successes at banning certain expressions, those who wish to ban *other* expressions have that much more ammunition.
If you have anxiety issues so that applause makes you go bugbuts, here’s my thought: don’t go where there will be a lot of people applauding. Or, better yet: go. And toughen yourself up. Inoculate yourself to the thing that causes you trouble but which is perfectly normal in society.
Personal example: more than a decade or so ago, I went to the doc to get some allergy tests, to try to figure out just what was going on with my lungs. Fortunately, the tests for allergies to cats (and birds, and horses, and dogs, and other critters) came back negative. But the test for various foods and plants? Hmmm.
The test is pretty straightforward: a nurse applies a grid to your forearm (I’ve heard other use the back). In each square, a small drop is applied This fluid is distilled essence of allergenic evil from, say, cat dander or ragweed pollen or whatever. The nurse then gently pricks the skin with a fine needle under the drop. Wait a few minutes; if you have an allergy, the skin under the drop will grow a little bump. The nurse goes away for something like ten minutes, leaving you to watch your arm in suspense.
In the case of my “plants” test, suspense turned to concern. A *lot* of little bumps started rising up. And they kept rising. Then they merged like small towns becoming a metroplex. Then tendrils reached out and started to wrap around my arm, looking for all the world like I had a small spawn of Cthulhu growing under my skin. When the nurse popped her head in the room and asked how I was doing, I held up my arm and asked “is this normal?” The fact that she *screamed* and ran away suggested to me that it was not. The specialist was on the scene moments later. No harm done, but man, did that itch.
Basically, if it’s a plant, I’m allergic to it. Another more limited test was done on foods, with the same sort of result. One of the first food-bumps to rise, and the one that seemed to be the worst, was “peanut.” I recall being amused by that since for lunch I had had a PB&J sammich. I grew up eating peanuts. Hell, I just had a handful a few minutes ago. Apparently I am deathly allergic to the damn things… but they don’t bother me in normal concentrations. Why? Dunno. But I can bet that it is because I’ve eaten so many of them that my system has gotten used to them. You know what would not have benefited me any? Demanding that everyone around me avoid peanuts. Not only would that have made me (more) unpopular, it would inevitably fail. One day, after living peanut-free for years, I’d bit into a cookie made with peanuts, or someone with peanut butter on his breath would talk to me… and I’d go into anaphylactic shock.
Sure, I can understand not applauding at a feminist convention, just on general principles. The whole shindig just sounds *dire.* But replacing applause with *jazz* *hands*? Bah.