Lord, Love a Lefty! Reflections of a Southpaw After National Left-Handers Day

The cultural icon for left-handedness: Ned Flanders of  The Simpsons

God love him, the cultural icon for left-handedness: Ned Flanders of The Simpsons

As a journalist and a publicist at WriteBrain Media, I see the queries from fellow journalists all day long. The hot topic query yesterday was “the Challenge of Living Life as a Southpaw.” Some studies have shown that the 7-10% population of us left-handed people lose up to a decade of our lives due to the stress of being left-handed.

Frankly, it doesn’t compute. I’ve never had a problem cutting with scissors – I just hold them at a weird angle compared to 90% of people. Ain’t no thang. And maybe I take up more of the left margin in my spiral-bound notebooks (those reporter’s notebooks spiral-bound at the top are the bomb!). I don’t write in that hooked fashion, so I don’t experience the pencil carbon smudge on the side of my hand unless I’m doing charcoal sketches. But doesn’t everyone?

Pencil sketch from Cliff Nielsen's art jam. The Brewery, Los Angeles, April 2015.

Pencil sketch from Cliff Nielsen’s art jam. The Brewery, Los Angeles, April 2015.

 

I was raised in a household where my adoptive mother and brother were also lefties, so perhaps that made my life easier. When I finally met my bio-family, I was interested to learn my dad and one brother were left-handed as well (altho’ Catholic school redirected my bio-brother to the Catholic version of political correctness: being right-handed).

From the Middle Ages on down, lefties have always gotten the shaft, but consider this: Call me a conspiracy theory nut, but you know that part in the Bible about Christ being on the right hand of God?

I think it was a typo.

Some right-handed translator got the Aramaic word for “right” mixed up with “left.” This one small typo was perpetuated throughout history, all of the way down to Gutenburg’s Press. This resulted in centuries of left-handed fuckery. Bloodied knuckles being rapped with rulers by Catholic school nuns. Southpaws being tortured and imprisoned for wiping butts with our right hands. It was discrimination of Biblical proportions, literally.

I’d like to think that today, we’re better than this. That there’s no need for social justice, a movement, and a new Twitter hashtag: #Left-HandedLivesMatter. But to know that for certain, does anyone have kids in Catholic school?

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