author's note: I THOUGHT OF THIS ARTICLE last evening WHEN I WAS WATCHING A REPEAT SHOWING OF A LAW AND ORDER EPISODE. IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SHOW, THE "DEAD PERSON" THEY FIND OBVIOUSLY COMMITTED SUICIDE BY SHOOTING HIMSELF IN THE HEAD. CASE CLOSED. OR WAS IT? DETECTIVE GREEN NOTICED IN SOME PHOTOS IN THE VICTIM'S APARTMENT THAT THE DEAD MAN WAS LEFT HANDED. "CAN'T BE," HE SAYS to lenny briscoe. "THE GUN AND THE GUNSHOT WOUND WERE FROM THE RIGHT SIDE." HENCE, THE VICTIM COULDN'T HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE SHOT HIMSELF WITH HIS LEFT HAND.
hogwash! What an insult to left handed people. left handed people, you will see, are MORE THAN CAPABLE OF SHOOTING A GUN WITH EITHER HAND.
When our son was young and starting to explore his world, I tested his handedness. I would occasionally hand him items from around the house. Surprisingly, more often than not, he grabbed and reached for those items with his left hand.
"Oh my God. No," proclaimed my wife when I told her that I thought Stefan might be left-handed. "HE CAN'T BE!" Well, it turns out he wasn't and isn't left handed, however, having a left handed dad did help his athletic career. He learned to use both hands in basketball, which is a must for a point guard, and he became a switch hitting batter in baseball, an equally important advantage (see Neil Walker -Pittsburgh Pirates). He also learned to golf left handed (probably from watching me - you know, the mirror image), and his left handed swing is extremely smooth (See Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson).
Being left-handed myself, I was kind of surprised by her response. "What's so bad about being left handed?" I queried. "God, I know how much you 'suffered' through being left handed, and I don't want my son to go through the same things." Astonished, I was insulted a bit. Even though I had my share of difficulties (particularly in learning to write - those darn Catholic nuns who didn't know how to teach a left handed person to write), I kind of always celebrated my handedness. Being a lefty always made me feel a bit special. I felt it an honor and felt special. (Which, of course, I was). But I understood how she could feel this way. I know I had my share of mishaps being left handed. Remember, this from the author who was accused of "saluting the devil" in first grade when I made the sign of the cross with my left hand.
Actual testimony to support my series Growing Up Catholic claim (See Archived Blogs):
anonymous quotes from left handed people and catholic schools (pLEASE SEE
*I remember a relative of mind once told me that the nuns who taught in Catholic schools used to smack the left-hands of students who used them to write. Is it true or is this an urban legend. Other questions that I have are : Are Catholic schools primarily taught by nuns and friars or do laypeople also teach in Catholic schools? From what my parents told me, in their day, 1930's, the nuns forced left handed children to write, left handed. I went to school in the 50's, and I don't remember my nuns doing this and my wife went to a different Catholic School and neither does she remember nuns doing this. I had the Sisters of the Presentation. My wife's school were taught by the Faithful Companions of Jesus. Most Catholic Schools today have lay teachers, with perhaps a nun or priest as principle. There are different Catholic Schools. Most elementary schools are run by parishes. High Schools were usually founded and rub by a religious order, but there are few today. The Christian Brothers were such a teaching order who founded and ran many high schools. We still have one in my dioceses and it's a famous College Preparatory School. You have to have the grades to attend. The Catholic high school my wife went to in the 60's, was and is still run by the dioceses. A child from any parish in the dioceses can attend that school and the parish kicks in part of the tuition. The parents pay the rest.
*I have cousins both left handers - or as we say here 'corrie fisted'. One was forced to use his right hand, the other was not. Both attended Catholic schools in the 60's. (it was common practice in all schools pre 1960's to force left handers to write 'right handed'.) Here, luckily Catholic schools are part of the state education system. Most of the teachers are lay. My sister was taught by Franciscan Nuns and my daughters' school still has close links with the Sisters of Notre Dame. All Catholic schools here have Chaplains (nominated priests for secondary schools and normally the local Parish Priest for Primarys).
*I am left handed and in the late 1950's and early 1960;s I went to 8 grades of parochial school and the Nuns and two lat teachers tried very hard to make me write right handed. They did use the wooden ruler with the steel edge on my hands whenever they saw me writing left-handed. However, because they would send our writings to a writing school to be graded threy stopped because I always got good grades for my writing. My writing was very good and even now while my hand writing is not as nearly as good as it once was everyone who sees my writing think it is the most beautiful writing they have seen. I do think it is a mark of being educated to bw able to have as good a penmanship as one can as these days most can't write very well in that its hard to read someone's handwriting. I did not like being whacked with the ruler and i was very stubbrun about writing righthanded.
*The left handed thing is not an urban legend and it was done in almost all schools. My husband's grandmother is left handed but writes with her right hand because she was whipped if she didn't. Nowadays most Catholic Schools have a lay person teaching. My sister's high school did have one nun who taught.
Car doors are not made for left handed people. Irons are not made for left handed people (Ha. I know. I learned after years of ironing my own clothes "the wrong way" that irons could easily be converted by simply turning the chord to the other side of the iron. Hint: I never knew this could be done with an iron. So, I either ironed right handed, or I ironed with the chord wrapped around my left wrist as not to burn a hole in the chord or short the iron out).
YEAH RIGHT! Like all we left handed people know how to do is ONLY use our left hand. What the writers and directors of Law and Order obviously failed to understand is that left handed people growing up in a right handed world are actually more ambidextrous than right handed people. People who are raised left handed and who have had to adapt to the world of the RIGHT have learned to use their right hand more often than not.
being left handed is cool and sexy!
According to Kathy Benjamin in 7 Downsides to Being Left-Handed The world has been out to get lefties for thousands of years. And while we no longer force 10% of the population to learn to write with their right hand or burn them at the stake as witches, the odds still aren’t stacked in their favor (Mental Floss). http://mentalfloss.com/article/30555/7-downsides-being-left-handed
1. Lefties are "left" out of psychological studies. (ha)
2. Lefties usually get paid less. (Full disclosure: this one is contentious. Some studies have found there is no difference between handedness and how much a person makes. However, a seminal study by Harvard University found that lefties make 10% less on average than their right-handed counterparts. This may be due partly to the fact that lefties are less likely to complete college. The same researcher found that despite the oft repeated claim that lefties have higher IQs on average than righties, left-handed people actually score slightly lower on math and reading comprehension tests).
3. Lefties are easier to scare.
4. Lefties are quicker to anger.
5. Lefties are often linked to SCHIZOPHRENIA. (Ha. I wonder why?)
6. Lefties tend to drink more. (Why not?)
7. Lefties KNOW the world is trying to KILL THEM. (Hence, my wife's crazed reaction to our son maybe being left handed!)
I am left handed, but I use my right hand much more than my left hand because of situations that right handed people put me in. My computer mouse in on the right side of my computer. Do I move it to the left side? No. I use my right hand because the mouse is always on the right side, and I "evolved" so that I can use both sides just as easily. I can shoot a gun with either hand. I have seen this scenario play out on television for years. "He couldn't have committed the crime or the suicide because he is left handed and the gun was in his right hand." That, my friends, is very insulting to left handed people. Lefties can kill just as easily with their right hands. I always thought that if I were a devious murdered, I would intentionally do everything right handed, and I caught, I would simply say "I didn't do if officer. I'm lefty and the crime was obviously committed by a right handed person." Wink wink.
The only actual things I do with my left hand are write and throw a ball. Everything else is done with either hand. I even kick a soccer ball or football with my right leg. The numbers on a computer keyboard, if not on the top, are on the, you guessed it, right hand side. Everything in a car is designed for right handed people. Watches, believe it or not, are right handed, as are scissors, zippers, irons, and much more. As most lefties living in a right handed world, I have adapted quite well.
I am proud of my "leftedness!" Very much so. As a basketball player, I could shoot, dribble, and pass with either hand - only a very few very, very left handed people cannot use their right hand, and that is because they didn't have to suffer the pains we lefties did.
I used to laugh when opposing coaches would yell at defenders about me: "He's left handed, make him dribble with his right hand." What? I learned to dribble a basketball and hit a baseball with my right hand earlier than with my left hand. That's because I had RIGHT HANDED people teaching me "their ways."
According to Katie Notopoulos - BuzzFeed Reporter, "The Worst Things For Left-Handed People" are as follows:
1. Spiral Notebooks 2. Writing in a three-ring binder. 3. Only one gross lefty glove in gym class. 4. Only two pairs of the green lefty scissors in class, three lefty kids. 5. Ballpoint pens don’t work as well because you’re pushing, not pulling the ball. The ink will never flow as well for lefties, so our pens stop up more. 6. Ink all over the side of your hand.
7. Bonking elbows with a righty at the dinner table. 8. On the iPad Kindle app, the left side is back page. This is really annoying — if you prefer to hold it in your left hand, you have to move your hand all the way to the other side to tap. On a real Kindle, page forward is right. The left is the back page. 9. Driver’s cup holder is for the right hand. 10. Number pad is on the right-hand side of keyboard. 11. Dying sooner, so becoming a zombie sooner. Studies have shown lefties die up to nine years sooner than righties. At least we’ll get to eat their brains. 12. Classrooms only had ONE left handed desk among 30 right handed ones. So you had to battle to get to class first and grab the left handed desk. Believe me, this is very true. College lecture hall desks with postage-stamp sizes desks. You have to twist your back and hold up your arm to use.
13. Measuring cups show you the stupid metric side. The cups/ounces side is for the righties. You have to do that thing where you twist your whole arm around to be able to read ounces. 14. CAN OPENERS ARE FOR RIGHT HANDED PEOPLE ONLY. Left handed people have to use the can opener backwards and upside down. (Don't believe me. Try it). 15. Video game remotes are made for righties. Apparently you can get modified lefty controllers, but maybe you should just go outside. 16. Cord on the credit card machine pen is never long enough. Annoying. Annoying. I’m annoyed.
17. Left side of left hand ALWAYS dirty from ink and lead from pens and pencils from having to drag your hand across the paper when you write.
My own personal additions: 1. Fishing reels are made for right handed people; 2. Watches definitely made for right handed people. You have to have a special skill if you are left handed and put the watch on your right wrist. (Again, try it. It's not as easy as it sounds); 3. Most electric guitars are right handed. Left handed guitars cost more; 4. Measuring tapes - yep - made for right handed people; 5. Ball point pens and ANY MARKER; 6. Pants zippers (yes, check this one out); 7. In cars, the only important thing on the left side is the steering wheel. Everything else is on the RIGHT side; 8. Saws, especially electric or circular saws. (Again, check this out); 9. Writing on a white board with a marker.
5 Reasons Being Left-Handed Screws You for Life
By T. Z. Keiser May 13, 2012
Much of the last century or so has been dedicated to alleviating the plight of minorities, from one human rights campaign to the next. But in all this time, one group has consistently fallen through the cracks, remaining disadvantaged in almost every category. We're talking about left-handed people. It seems innocuous, but being born with this crippling condition means that ...
5. Left Handed People Die Sooner Than Right Handed People
Studies have shown that the number of left-handers who make it to old age is drastically lower than the number of their right-handed peers. In short, lefties tend to check out earlier. Why? Well, for one, lefties just have more accidents. Lots more accidents. One study surveying nearly 2,000 college students found that lefties report far more accidents than righties, especially car accidents. And another study of around 1,000 people living in Southern California showed that the risk of getting into a fatal accident was nearly six times higher if you were left-handed, and the risk of getting into a deadly car crash was four times higher. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was also found that right-handed people usually make it through nine more birthdays than left-handers.
So why are left-handed people so much more likely to kill themselves accidentally? Are they just fatally clumsy? Are they, as many cultures believe, such an affront to nature that nature actively seeks to destroy them? The most agreed upon explanation is that lefties get in more accidents simply because they're trying to maneuver in a world that's upside down and backward to them.
Probably the most notable example of dangerous right-bias is United States road laws -- we travel on the right side of the road, right-hand turns are acceptable on red lights and even parking lots are designed with the right-handed flow in mind. Imagine that you're driving to work during peak hours when a squirrel (most likely a right-handed squirrel) darts into the middle of the lane. If you're right-handed, your response is likely to swerve to the right, up onto the sidewalk, causing a potentially hilarious scene like hitting a fire hydrant. But if you're left-handed, you jerk the wheel left into oncoming traffic, resulting in a situation with far less comedy potential.
Southpaws also get sick more often, possibly due to left-handers' lopsided brain chemistry. Research done on "true" left-handers (excluding those fence-sitting ambidextrous types) showed that lefties were 2.7 times more likely to suffer from immune disorders and 2.3 times more likely to have been hospitalized at some point. It's not their fault -- the double curse of left-handedness and the risk of spending your life in a plastic bubble likely came from your mother stressing out during pregnancy. Ironically, she may have been stressing about the possibility of pushing out a left-handed freak of a kid.
#4. They're More Likely to Go Insane
Here's a fun fact that you can share on your next socially awkward date: Although left-handed people make up only 10 percent of the population as a whole, they compose a full 20 percent of schizophrenics. If you like those odds, you should know that left-handedness is also associated with dyslexia, ADD and some mood disorders.
Be aware of warning signs.
Is it because all those right-handed can openers slowly drive them mad? Possibly. But Clyde Francks, a researcher at Oxford University, believes that it might have something to do with a newly discovered gene. Unimaginatively called LRRTM1, the gene is closely linked with left-handedness, as well as being related to increased odds of mental illness. You wouldn't think those two things would be related, but Francks believes the gene affects the symmetry of the brain.
You've heard about how different sides of the brain control different functions in the body -- scientists have known for a while that schizophrenia and other disorders are caused by a kind of confusion between the two about which side should handle what. Now they think that a similar glitch in brain symmetry is one reason people might favor their left hand over their right.
Metten Somers, a psychiatrist and brain researcher in the Netherlands, suggests that most of the left-handed population still have normal brain symmetry. It's the other 30 percent who are more likely to fling cats at passersby and scream at their dumpsters.
#3. They're Screwed at School
If you think about it, it's kind of surprising that left-handers are as emotionally balanced as they are. Right out of the box, left-handed kids realize the world wasn't quite made for them. At school, they do worse on timed exams and suffer awful back and neck cramps in the process. Why? Freaking right-handed desks. And scissors. And everything else. If you're one of the 90 percent or so of people who were born right-handed, you probably weren't even aware that there was such a thing as a "right-handed desk," but in fact most school desks are biased toward right-handed people, forcing lefties to contort themselves uncomfortably in a desperate effort to reach across and take notes in our awkward left-to-right written language, their hand smudging everything they write, on a desk designed for their reflection.
There's no grand conspiracy involved -- left-handers just tend to fall through the cracks, being that there are so few of them. In a recent survey of left-handers in 50 different countries, the number of lefties who were ever taught how to operate as a left-hander in a right-handed world sits frequently around 10 percent -- everyone else just has to work it out on their own, until they finally try to drown the pain by spilling beer down their shirt from a right-handed beer mug. And we're just barely kidding there -- pens, pencil sharpeners and other tools are also designed for the right hand, making life difficult (and even painful) for lefties. On computers, the mouse is set up on the right side. Interested in wood or metal shop? Be careful! The safety switches on all those spinning and stabbing blades are set up to be quickly accessible to right-handed people.
Of course, being a left-handed student in this day and age isn't as bad as it used to be in your grandparents' time, when teachers tried to solve the problem by beating left-handed kids with paddles. Still, it wasn't the worst thing they did to minorities.
#2. They're More Easily Scared
OK, so being left-handed can be a hazard to your physical and mental health. Can you at least be emotionally well-balanced? Come on, look at what website you're on. Do you really think we have good news for you here? Studies have shown that, if you're left-handed, you're twice as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
They did a study to test left- and right-handers on their tolerance for terrifying shit (because torturing people weaker than themselves seems to be all scientists do these days) and forced a test group to watch a gruesome eight minutes of The Silence of the Lambs. They then measured the emotional response. What they found was that reactions differed depending on which hand the subjects used to cover their eyes during the gory bits. Right-handers were usually able to recount details of the entire scene they just watched, while lefties were more likely to give fragmented accounts.
More surprising, left-handers actually tended to exhibit subtle symptoms of PTSD. That's right -- a disorder commonly suffered by first responders, combat veterans and escaped victims of serial killers actually began to emerge after watching eight minutes of a movie that isn't even a horror film so much as a taut psychological thriller.
According to the researchers, this is once again because of that left-and-right-brain thing. In left-handers, the right brain tends to be dominant, and you guessed it, that's also the side involved in the shit-your-pants response.
It gets even worse: Studies agree that the opposite-side dominance in lefties tends to make them more inhibited, spending hours making basic decisions and then worrying that they've made the wrong call. To test her theory, behavioral psychologist Lynn Wright of the University of Abertay Dundee conducted a series of behavioral inhibition tests on 46 left-handers and 66 right-handers. On the tests of restraint, both left-handed men and women scored higher than their right-handed counterparts, while on tests monitoring lack of inhibition, to the surprise of no one, the opposite held true.
The left-handed responders were also more likely to agree with statements such as "I worry about making mistakes," "Criticism hurts me quite a bit" and "This interrogation is making me shit myself with fear."
#1. Hating Them Is Ingrained in Our Culture
Left-handers in the Western World are kind of lucky that they only need to worry about annoyingly awkward tools. In certain parts of Africa, Europe and much of the Far East, it's actually offensive to do anything with your left hand besides wipe your ass. For this and other reasons, the left hand is considered unclean and carries a cultural stigma. This makes being left-handed especially perilous in social situations, since waving hello or (God forbid) trying to shake another's hand with your left is akin to dick-slapping them in the face.
Lefties also have to be careful not to use their left hand to give or accept gifts, eat, or pass food. If they forget, it's not uncommon to see their dinner partners gaping in abject horror, like they just passed them a steaming bowl of their own feces, which isn't far from the actual implication. Even in countries without strict social codes for wiping, the language of the left has always had negative connotations. A backhanded compliment, when you deliver an insult disguised as flattery, is also known as a "left-handed compliment." Even the dictionary defines being left-handed as something that implies being "clumsy and awkward."
And this goes back a long way. The word "left" derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "lyft," which meant "weak." And "sinistra," the Latin for "left," is also where we get the word "sinister." "Gauche," which we use to refer to a social faux pas, is actually French for "left." And in the Akan language of Ghana, to say that someone has "slept on his left side" is a euphemism for death. Why do you think your partner in crime is your "right-hand man?" It's because the guy on your left can't be trusted. With all this history to contend with, it would be better for you if, instead of being born left-handed, you were just born with a huge dick-shaped birthmark on your forehead.
If you're one of the 10 percent of the population who have become progressively more depressed reading all this, for obvious reasons, then you should know that there's an upside -- you're more likely to be president. Of the eight U.S. presidents since Nixon, only Carter and Bush Jr.were right-handed. So good luck, but don't get your hopes up! (Clinton, Obama, Bush Sr. Ford, LBJ, Reagan - Lefties). James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, and Harry Truman were also lefties.
Regardless of what is said in the paragraphs above, let's celebrate left-handedness by listing the most famous left handed people of all time
(As reported by THE HEFTY LEFTY news report, Excerpted from
August 13, 2012 · by abdul mannan · in All lefty, Left Handers Day, list, The Hefty Lefty of The Day.
Let’s take a look at my pick on top 100 most famous left-handed people of all time. And this only scratches the surface of famously left handed people!
Leonardo Da Vinci
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec
Peter Paul Rubens
Amitabh & Abhishek Bachchan
Robert De Niro
Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
Sarah Jessica Parker
Chewbacca the Wookie
Janet Street Porter
Sir Paul McCartney
Alexander The Great
Jack The Ripper
Joan of Arc
Sir Bobby Charlton
Diego Armando Maradona
I don't know this for a fact, but I think Jesus Christ was also left handed. Why not? He was extremely creative (carpenter), very sensitive, died an early death, many in his culture hated him (the Pharisees and Sadducees and their henchmen), he drank more (wedding feast at Cana), and he was an outcast. (Proof from my extensive research that he was left handed!)
Plus, my father always yelled at me "Jesus Christ, can't you do anything about that left hand?!!!" See. Being left handed invokes the name of our Lord in vain.
And remember this
The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
We're in great company. Dang. It feels good to be left handed.