International Lefthanders Day: how the notion of left-handedness as “wrong” is embedded in our language

Did you know that the notion of left-handedness as being “wrong” is embedded in our language already? For example, the adjective ‘sinister’ comes from the Latin ‘sinestra’ or ‘left hand’.

Wonder what it’s like to see the world from a “left-handed” point of view? US Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were/are left-handed. Or there are artists Leonardo Da Vinci and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, actors Robert De Niro, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, guitarist Jimmie Hendrix, Sir Paul McCartney, in history Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill – prominent left-handers all.

Why at the occasion of this international day as a right-handed person not connect with left-handers? Lefties are everywhere. Hear their stories about what it was like for them to grow up in a world made for righties.
We should not forget that it wasn’t always “cool” to be left-handed.
Educators and physicians used to advocate “retraining” left-handed children to use their right hands. Some of the methods they used in these “retraining” methods were cruel, such as tying children’s left hands down so they couldn’t move them. Did you probably come across the term “bad hand” to describe the left hand?

Still today, being a lefty can be rather inconvenient.
Those of us who are right-handed may not think much about the difficulties faced by left-handed people. However, most things in daily life are in fact designed with right-handed people in mind, everything from school desks to a pair of scissors.

For the rest, physically left- and right-handers are not that much different from each other. We all use the same hemispheres.
According to neuroscientists, about 98% of right-handers are left-brained – but so are about 70% of left-handers!
Just there are fewer lefties than righties in the world. Estimates put at between 7 and 10% the proportion of natural left-handers, so well in the region of 760 million people worldwide.

Anyway, let’s make a toast to all left-handers today and celebrate their uniqueness together.

Have a Happy Lefthanders Day! 🙂