- Kids Health
Left out of the Loop
If you're a southpaw, raise your left hand. It's time for this roughly 10% of the population to stand up against discrimination. It's bad enough tools and everything else are designed for a righthanded world. Then there's the battle of the elbows at the dinner table and getting smudge marks all over our left palm of when we write. Urban legend has it that nuns would swat with a ruler any left hand seen in use. (Disclaimer: I went Catholic school and the nuns were not quite that bad).
It's the subtle stuff that hurts; specifically customs and language. The literal translation of "sinister" from the original Latin is "left handed". Australian slang for southpaws is "molly duker" or, "ya throw like a girl" - which, come to think of it; is derogatory to women as well. In some Mideastern countries, the left hand is reserved for sanitary practices we won't go into here. Even in the Bible, when the Apocalypse hits, all the doomed-to-heck baddies are expected to report to the LEFT hand of God.
On the other hand, we lefties have a rep for being creative, with many musicians including Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix and Paul Simon among our numbers.,The 1996 presidential election had the unique distinction of featuring three left handed candidates, Bill Clinton, Ross Perot (as an Independent) and Bob Dole (due to a right arm injury in WWII.) Barack Obama is a lefty; in fact 6 presidents since 1923 were as well . (Records are sketchy prior to that.) and perhaps the new boxing movie, "Southpaw", will elicit some overdue respect.
Ironically, the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain, so at the least we lefties can take some consolation in that we're the only people in our right minds!