How a Woman Holds a Sword

I love NPR.  For SO many reasons. The call-ins, the way the voices sound over my car stereo, and also related to my car that the perfect piece for me is the one playing right when I tune in driving.

This morning there was a piece broadcast on the Science of Competition. It made some great points, and also arguments that an industrial/operational psychologist would adore, including insight on introvert vs. extroverts and supervision levels, aging, and education as evolved into endless competition and what that has become across cultures and development. It also suggested based on trends from the [whichever] study quoted that there are genetic and gender factors. What perked up my ear in the same sentence as 'study' in the broadcast program was the discussion that there was a curious bio-indicating correlation between the length of a person's ring finger relative to their index finger, and their "competitiveness" or ambition level. It was even suggested "as long as you're not driving, look down at these...see which is longer on your dominant hand-not your middle finger, but your ring finger vs your index finger." It is suggested if your ring finger is longer, you *may* have a competitive streak... or at least be prone to taking more risks.

 I checked my own.  It is widely understood competition can be helpful to creativity, when not subverted or completely exhausted (and even then a bit of all-nighters can be rewarding depending on what they are... or set ya back a few steps) so I was curious how I fit into this. I have been called both "driven" and "victim" so let's see what NPR-style palm-reading says...
hmm. this is pretty close to call. I bet I'm ambition-curious. do I get points for symmetry?
that used to mean something. 

I tried to flatten my hand, look from a few sides, anatomical position/relaxed, they are really about the same. on my left hand, which is slightly less dominant, the ring finger is longer. I wonder if I take risks when I feel sinister? ;)

reaching for my invisible light saber. Jedis grip like they weigh a ton.
There has been one other place I have seen a gender difference implied in hands with competition used as the angle and it's an interesting one. In using a sword or any hand-held weapon with leverage, a man will often grip it differently than a woman. I did not even begin noticing this for myself until a brief bout of fencing classes in the SCA and read a book on the physiological differences and how it affected movement and hand-to-hand combat, specifically related to fencing or heavy weapons while wearing armor- a female fighter did some observed research on this and was able to grow more in her own right with some basic understandings of these observable differences.  A modern equivalent would be to look at handshakes- not the force but the angle of the grip (it's hard to do without psyching yourself into a pattern, I know) or pick up a long thin item like an umbrella or dowel. Men had been found by the swordfighting research to grip at more of a 90 degree angle and women at more of an angle- the bonus to this (just my opinion) makes a rapier easier to manipulate as the hold comes naturally.  I also tend to wonder if this is evolutionary- as genes- because of which gender has been in combat more throughout history (yes there are outliers and exceptions ladies!) but the hand/finger length competition results mentioned from NPR claim men 2/3 more competitive than women. I don't want to believe that for a second ;)

Shake my hand some time. If you revert to "fist bumps" I can't look at your fingers too well.


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