“Life without left-handed people wouldn’t be right.” — C.R. Manske
All left-handed humans have not had it easy in the world. And by all, it goes way beyond our African aunties and uncles. In many cultures, left-handed people have generally been seen as evil, devil spawns. In the dark ages, left-handed humans were thought to be in consortium with the devil and considered less intelligent than right-handers.
The word left in English comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means weak or broken. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Left-handed’ as meaning cropped, defective, awkward, clumsy, inept, characterised by underhanded dealings, ambiguous, doubtful, questionable, ill-omened, inauspicious, and illegitimate.
Certain phrases in the English Language suggest a rather negative view of “left-handedness”, overtly. For instance, a “left-handed” compliment is an insult. A ‘Left-handed marriage’ is definitely not a proper marriage but rather an adulterous sexual liaison, a “left-handed honeymoon with someone else’s husband.
A ‘left-handed wife’ is a mistress. When someone is said to have “two left feet”, it means said person dances very poorly. When one is going nuts, incoherent or not making any sense, in these parts, such a person is said to be going “left”. The left is akin to be void of any form of reasoning or validity.
The stigma of “sinister”, “dirty” lefties has persisted. there is a general taboo on left- hand use: Giving, receiving, eating, and drinking with the left hand are considered rude by virtually all members of the community.
In Nigeria, to do any transactions with any elder with the left hand is considered a lack of respect. Take or give anything to anyone with your left hand and it is assumed that you lack home training.
Most people also consider pointing with the left hand to be rude. Pointing, here, includes both gestures that indicate a direction toward a location. Most acts of unnecessity made by any human are considered a leftish move as it is said that ‘people are born left-handed when mothers are stressed during pregnancy’.
Many people would tell you they were all forced by their parents, aunties, grandmas, teachers, to write with their right hand.
As with everything else, people are forced to lean into whatever they heard and not what they know. When asked, none of our parents or elders can say why they think or know for a fact that there is an actual problem with left-handedness.
If it has to do with the fear of that child not being prosperous, there are a lot of left-handed personalities doing well and breaking grounds. But that still doesn’t stop the stigma. They are thought to reason differently, be slow, and or write improperly.
The way forward for the left-handed ones is for them to be accepted and loved as they are. Things are looking up for left-handed people around the world, sadly, because this is rather backward for it to be notable. Two-thirds of the world still view left-handedness as a flaw but it isn’t.
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