Left handedness

March 8, 2016 3:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In January of this year, Mouthwire.com published an article celebrating the introduction of the Justice for Dexterously Challenged Act, which meant that ‘severely’ left handed people were now eligible to receive social security benefits. The article highlighted some of the main issues faced by the everyday ‘leftie’, from ink smearing onto their hand when writing, to awkwardly attempting to use a can opener- both clearly being pressing issues.

As a fellow ‘leftie’ myself, the news that this article was pure satire was admittedly somewhat disappointing. While the issues highlighted within it appear quite trivial, it does present an interesting point of discussion: Should ‘Left handedness’ be covered by law? Not necessarily as a disability but a brief mention under The Human Rights Act could be beneficial. While the chuckles of readers everywhere at the mere suggestion of this is inevitable, I invite you to take a closer look into the reality of being left-handed.

It begins with more trivial matters such as realizing that your school only has two pairs of left-handed scissors yet there are four of you in that lesson, and it doesn’t get easier as you get older, as even once it comes to University level, those lecture theatres have pull-up tables that come up on the right side, rendering them virtually useless or at the very least ridiculously awkward to use for your average ‘leftie’. One could argue this to be discriminatory because somewhere down the line someone decided that being left-handed doesn’t require any special considerations. On the one hand it’s understandable that a school or university cannot be expected to invest copious amounts of money into certain changes, as ‘left-hand-itis’ only affects about 12% of the population however, this is dismissing the minority and last time I checked we live in a democratic setting.

What a lot of ‘right-handers’ don’t seem to realise is the amount of discrimination that is faced by left-handed people. During the 18th and 19th centuries, being left-handed was considered a disability and teachers would try and suppress this within their students. Some cultures today actually believe that being left-handed is a sign of evil or even a lack of purity, leading them to punish any child that begins to show signs of being left-handed and force them to use the ‘right’ hand (no pun intended). With a lot of the most intelligent and successful people in the world being left-handed (Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein) perhaps this is why left-handed people are often over-looked and such situations are never addressed.

There are pros and cons to being a ‘leftie’, on the one hand we sometimes feel dismissed when it comes to the small things in life, yet on the other, we have proven ourselves to be some of the most intelligent/creative beings on the planet. Having considered all of the above, maybe having left-handedness be considered a disability is a bit dramatic but as for the Human Rights Act suggestion, not so much. All we ask is for an extra pair of left-handed scissors so that future ‘leftie’ generations can cut-out their SpongeBob drawing in comfort.

And to any ‘leftie’ who is getting by in this world despite the dismissal of our people just remember, ‘A pessimist is one who makes Difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.’ -Harry S. Truman

Blog contributed by Pamela Chibanguza

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This post was written by No.1 Tutors

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