ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Left-Handed People Are Legendary

Updated on December 11, 2017
LaurenSutton12 profile image

Proud creative Lefty who has learned to adapt in this right-handed dominated world.

I will not keep our Lefty secrets safe anymore, Mr. Bowie, you glam rock pioneer, you.
I will not keep our Lefty secrets safe anymore, Mr. Bowie, you glam rock pioneer, you. | Source

We're rare.

According to Biography.com, "only ten percent of the general population is a lefty". What does that mean? That we're pretty special, that's what.

So; where do we come from? (My parents ask me this all of the time.) The theory is that being left-handed is about 25% genetic, but scientists are stumped as to the other 75%. Another theory is that a single gene controls which hand is used, but scientists cannot agree on which gene. Turns out, lefties are mysterious too.

We've persevered.

"Just a lefty girl. Living in a right-handed world". -Journey's lesser-known lyric in "Don't Stop Believin''

Admit it: it's not been easy living in a right-handed world. Think about the right-handed scissors from grade school, and any left-handed scissors that were available were just plain crappy. Try writing in a spiral notebook without your hand hurting from the spirals. Don't even get me started on bumping elbows while eating with my righty husband (we always forget to switch sides) using a computer mouse for the first time, and using the computer keypad on the right side. Also, left-handed handshakes are not appropriate. That's fine--we'll adapt to you. (For the record: of course, these are First World Problems and not real problems.)

The "struggles" go far back. In fact, 'sinister' in Latin means 'left'. Left-handed people used to be considered evil, and could be automatically accused of witchcraft as it was thought that the devil himself was left-handed. This was also true during the Salem Witch Trials, in which a Lefty was more likely to be accused of being a witch than a Righty.

A doctor in the early twentieth century, Cesare Lombroso, known as 'the father of modern criminology' deemed left-handed people to be a 'dangerous sign of savagery and criminality'. A psychologist, Theodore Blau theorized that left-handed children "were more likely to have academic and behavioral problems". I've also heard horror stories of school teachers violently trying to change a student's dominant hand to the right hand.

This stigma continued until about the 1990's, where psychologist Marian Annett finally found faulty logic with some of these crazy assertions. Thank goodness for that!

Carol Burnett and those expressive eyes! My favorite character from her show is Eunice. She is hilarious with Vicki Lawrence's grumpy character Mama.
Carol Burnett and those expressive eyes! My favorite character from her show is Eunice. She is hilarious with Vicki Lawrence's grumpy character Mama. | Source

We're creative trailblazers.

The theory from Psychology Today is that because left-handed people are outside the norm, "it forces you to avoid a herd mentality and to stay nimble and adaptable by constantly flexing your creative and divergent thinking abilities". This requires more outside-the-box thinking, which is a big part of being the leader--standing out from the pack.

Many left-handed people were some of the "first" of their times and/or used their divergent thinking to accomplish incredible feats. Let's take a look:

  • Neil Armstrong--First man on the moon. Fellow Lefty Buzz Aldrin was not far behind him as the second man. I wonder if Buzz would do it all over again and "race" Neil off the space shuttle. Just a thought.
  • Joan of Arc--Became a national heroine of France after she dressed as a man to lead the French to victory in the Battle of Orleans. Thinking outside-the-box wasn't necessarily revered thinking at that time, and the English burned her at the stake.
  • Albert Einstein--Escaped Nazi Germany to develop the Theory of Relativity and make numerous contributions to science.
  • Carol Burnett--The first woman to have her own comedy-variety show, "The Carol Burnett Show". In my opinion, one of her greatest accomplishments is putting together such a superb cast of Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, and last, but certainly not least, Tim Conway. She paved the way for other female sketch comics.
  • Charlie Chaplin--Became one of film's earliest stars after creating the pantomime-heavy character "The Tramp", after wanting to stand out from other actors' characters.
  • Oprah Winfrey--She is the first African-American billionaire, after launching one of the first talk shows with an African-American woman, despite being told she was "too sensitive" for the regular news. Her warm demeanor and empathic nature was unique to other talk shows at the time. She eventually created her own brand and empire that people still gravitate to. Quite a feat for a poor lefty-woman from the South.
  • David Bowie--Truly an original, he constantly pushed the envelope of what was considered 'acceptable' for a man. His costumes were flamboyant, and he was known for being gender neutral at times. Because of this, he influenced a new genre of music: glam rock. No other popular artist had arguable done this. Not to mention, his songs were catchy as heck.

We're presidential.

At least eight presidents are/were left-handed, including:

  • Barack Obama
  • Bill Clinton
  • George Bush, Senior
  • Gerald Ford
  • Ronald Reagan (also ambidextrous, that clever fox!)
  • James Garfield
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Harry Truman

3/5 of these former presidents are Lefties. And look; all best friends. ;)
3/5 of these former presidents are Lefties. And look; all best friends. ;) | Source

We're supposedly good at sports.

For some reason, there are a ton of sports players that are left-handed.

There is a theory that lefties have an advantage because we have to use sports equipment that is right-handed, and therefore, we accidentally become ambidextrous. (This is true for me.) Being ambidextrous apparently makes you better at sports, because you understand how to work with both hands. You could apply this to tennis or football, where you may not favor a side to throw or to hit the ball. Your competitors wouldn't be able to predict your play, and thus, possibly creating your advantage. In baseball, the pitcher may not be used to throwing to a different side as well. Alright, we'll take it.

Here are a few great sport lefties, and it's noteworthy the variety of sports in which they play:

  • Babe Ruth--baseball
  • Rafael Nadal--tennis
  • Arnold Palmer--golf, and inspiration for the bizarre, unnatural drink of lemonade and iced tea
  • Oscar de la Hoya--boxer
  • Ken Griffey, Junior--baseball
  • Larry Bird--basketball
  • Pele--soccer (I wonder if the same logic for the hands also applies to the feet?)
  • Lou Gehrig--baseball
  • Deion Sanders--football

We have our own holiday!

International Left-Handers' Day is August 13th. This is the perfect time to lecture right-handers about the struggles of left-handers until you annoy them into buying you ice cream! Hurrah!

Bonus Points: This happens to be the day after my birthday. Double Hurrah!

Another Lefty trailblazer.
Another Lefty trailblazer. | Source

Fellow Left-Handers

We're in good company. This list is intentionally long as to brag further why we rock. Let's bask in our glow, shall we?

  • Marie Curie
  • Judy Garland
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Mark Twain
  • Lady Gaga
  • Leonardo di Vinci
  • Charlemagne
  • Napoleon
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Bill Gates
  • Bob Dylan
  • Ruth Bader Ginsberg
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Helen Keller
  • Julia Roberts
  • Michaelangelo
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Wolfgang Mozart
  • Richard Pryor
  • Ludwig von Beethoven
  • Alexander the Great
  • Emma Thompson
  • Sting
  • Tina Fey
  • Robert Plant
  • Jay Leno
  • Phil Collins
  • Dan Ackroyd
  • Isaac Hayes
  • And so, so many more!

And that, my Lefty friends, is why we are legendary. (tugs on ear a la Carol Burnett)

Sources

https://www.biography.com/people/groups/famous-lefties

https://www.crixeo.com/left-handed-people/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifereum/2014/09/29/how-oprah-went-from-talk-show-host-to-first-african-american-woman-billionaire/#3ac132416163

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201308/are-lefties-more-likely-become-champions-and-leaders

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-are-some-people-left-handed-6556937/

http://time.com/3978951/lefties-history/

© 2017 Lauren Sutton

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LaurenSutton12 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lauren Sutton 

      9 months ago from Milwaukee, WI

      Jessie-Haha! You should remind them of August 13th and the undue stress they have caused you. Two scoops of ice cream should cover it! ;)

    • Jessie L Watson profile image

      Jessie Watson 

      9 months ago from Wenatchee Washington

      In the military I was called "wrong handed" haha

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)