Hands Project – call for participants (women only)

// 25 February 2008


‘I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.’

D.H Lawrence

This is an invitation for women to participate in some research on repetitive hand actions as a way of processing difficult emotional or personal issues. The researcher, Taryn Ferris, is interested if there is a link between the motor/meta processes of the mind and the hand. She wants to find out whether the repetitive and often rhythmically tasks performed with the hands provide a ‘safe site’ for the mind and the body to join in the dual process of ‘processing’ (thinking through and working through), which by the act of expelling mental energy through physical hand movement, assists to quell mental turmoil. Or put more basically – do (and how do) repetitive hand actions help calm women in times of stress.

This project has two parts:

Part 1: A short online survey available at this Hands Survey link.

Part 2: Submission of an image related to the survey. It is not essential that participants submit an image. You are welcome to participate in Part 1 only.

Participants who complete both Parts 1 & 2 will be included in a one-off book she is self-publishing to accompany the project analysis. I anticipate the book will be available to purchase at cost price (TBC) plus postage from UK by June 2008.

Taryn Ferris is currently completing Joint Hons Women’s Studies & Ethics at London Metropolitan University. After completing her major in Women’s Studies (Summer 2008) she plans to pursue post graduate studies within feminism and metaphysics.

Want to know more? Email Taryn on Taryn.Ferris.Hands.Project@googlemail.com.

Image from technowannabee used under Creative Comments License

Comments From You

figleaf // Posted 26 February 2008 at 2:12 am

Makes perfect sense to me. I’m pretty sure the only time the little lips and undersides of our kitchen cabinets get wiped down when I wind up in an intensely personal and perhaps unavoidable conversation with, say, my partner, a parent, or while discussing a painful issue with a close friend.

I’d just never thought of it that way. I remember from spending summers at my grandparents in the rural south that, especially, the old timers would sit and meticulously whittle (the men) or cross-stitch or pick beans (the men) on the front porch while discussing “you kids run on and play” topics. And I’d noticed that when I was knitting or (when I did metal work) repetitively working with wire, or even just on long walks that once a rhythm is established my thoughts would just begin to come together in ways they ordinarily didn’t.

I dunno. I guess I’m saying that based on personal experience I think Ferris is on to something and I’ll look forward to reading about her results.


Louise Livesey // Posted 26 February 2008 at 10:29 am

Do go and take part if you can – it’s a great piece of work (and yes Taryn has promised The F Word an article at the end of the research).

Yvonne // Posted 26 February 2008 at 5:41 pm


Off topic – D.H. Lawrence believed it was undesirable for women to orgasm – so much so that if he noticed his partner was approaching one he would deliberately stop and wait until it had passed before beginning again; he even commented on the look of gratitude and relief on their faces as he made this decision for them. See The Misfits by Colin Wilson. I know it has nothing to do with your article, but I can hardly bear to see that man’s name on a feminist website!!!

Good luck with the project,

Yvonne :-)

Ruz // Posted 27 February 2008 at 3:35 am

Yes D.H.Lawrence was a misogynist.

However, this does not mean we should exclude or dishonor his writing. Even on a feminist website. I found Ferris’ use of the D.H. Lawrence quote apt and inspirational.

It’s deliciously ironic that Mr Lawrence’s words are promoting feminist research!

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