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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

sinister means left-handed

August 11th, 2009 (01:06 pm)

Via ranka: here, have one of the best satire videos I've ever seen.

Have you ever wondered why people make such a fuss about gay marriage, but left-handed people are allowed to just go on their merry way, marrying and propagating and exposing children to their left-handed ways? Take heart, my friends. You are not alone:

I didn't think I was going to buy into this particular piece of satire, but by midway through I was rolling. Part of it is that this guy does an absolutely dead-on version of every blowhard right-wing commentator ever.

Incidentally, my grandmother, who is left-handed, grew up in Catholic schools in the era in which they tried to force left-handed kids to write with their right hands by whacking them across the knuckles with a ruler. She never did learn to write with her right hand. What she did learn to do was to write with her left hand, but upside-down. I guess if you don't look too closely that looks like you're writing with your right hand, because you're not dragging your hand across what you've already written. Anyway, to this day, she writes upside-down. She says it's embarrassing when she has to sign legal documents or anything because some bureaucrat will hand her the documents across a desk, and then she has to turn them upside-down to sign them. (I can personally vouch for the fact that watching someone write fluently upside down is pretty fascinating and more than a little bit funny, although I suppose it's only funny because Grandma herself laughs at it now.)

I doubt it would be very hard to find the parallel between this and the studies that have recently come out denouncing the practice of trying to convert gays into straights as useless and potentially damaging, but I have to go catch a bus now.


Posted by: Rebecca (theniwokesoftly)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)

Know who else was told that using your left hand is wrong? Me. And I'm only 24! Luckily, I'm somewhat ambidextrous, and I write and draw with my right hand and do other things (fence, tie my shoes) with my left. In kindergarten I used both hands, but in first grade, I had a teacher who was about my grandparents' age who'd been taught that left was Wrong and she enforced it on us, too.

Posted by: zurcherart (zurcherart)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)

My left handed aunt had a similar experience in the public schools. But she didn't start writing upside down. I remember she was strong-advocate for her lefts kids when they were in school. She did find studies about how unsuccessful and damaging right-handed conversion therapy did.

The gays thing though is a hot topic for her. She'd convert us all and never get the connection. Sigh.

ETA: Now that I've seen this, I think I'll forward this video to her next forwarded email screed.

Edited at 2009-08-11 05:44 pm (UTC)

Posted by: don draper's gin-soaked conscience (theholyinnocent)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)

True story: Years ago I had a job working as an editor for a science journal. Days after I was hired, I was sitting with my new boss in my office. She made a disparaging comment about the illegibility of my handwriting.

I could not help but agree; my handwriting is pretty bad, which is why I print most of the time.

Then she said, "Well, at least you're not left-handed. They're pretty stupid."

This said as I sat across from her holding a pencil in my left hand. We both took a moment to acknowledge the pencil IN MY LEFT HAND. Perhaps she also took a moment to realize that she was the stupid person who had hired the stupid person, and quickly changed the subject.

Posted by: Underwear Ninja (chavvah)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)

My mother was "switched" when she was in school. She writes right-handed, but she does everything else (eating, throwing, etc) left-handed. Her handwriting is, as you might imagine, not great.

I don't write upside down, but I do write with my hand at a very unnatural angle to avoid smearing my writing. I have often been complimented on my neat handwriting and printing, but it comes to me through years of being forced to stay after school to practice my cursive and recopy my written assignments.

Posted by: erindubitably (erindubitably)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
my hands - hands off

My little brother (who is 19 now) was 'switched' from lefty to righty when he learned to write in school. He does everything else left-handed but still writes with his right because of the teacher that wouldn't let him do it otherwise. I don't know how old she was, but it still happens, apparently.

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)

I'm personally against ginger marriage. We must stop redheadedness before that recessive trait pollutes the gene pool any further!

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)

Ah, those lefties, polluting our society...clearly the fact that I was born ambidextrous shows the depths of my moral failings.

I was never intentionally "switched," and my mother has no recollection of having guided my hand-preference in any way, but I've got at least one pretty clear memory of when she was first teaching me to write:

Mom: Okay, now you pick up the pencil in your right hand.
Me: Which one's my right hand?
Mom: It's the one you use your crayons in.
Me: I use crayons in both hands.
Mom: It's the one you hold your fork in.
Me: Which one is that?
Mom, picking up my right hand: This one.
Me: No it's not. Not always.
Mom: Well, you hold your pencil in this hand, okay?

Were it not for that, I probably would have ended up lefty. As it is, everything except writing I do lefty or ambidextrously.

Posted by: Nathaniel Wolfthorn (ganimede)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)

I realised a few years ago that although I use my right hand for writing, I use my left for pretty much everything else. Also every so often, I have a pen in my right hand and it just feels completely weird and wrong. I began to wonder if I'd been corrected to use my right hand at school or somewhere but I have no idea. My cousin is left handed and my grandmother apparently was the same as me, so it's possible.

I remember something several years ago about how left handed people die earlier too. I don't know how they worked that one out.

Posted by: Obsessively opposed to the typical since 1987 (baroque_n_roll)
Posted at: August 11th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)

And yet, the two right-handed members of the Beatles died first...

Posted by: Nathaniel Wolfthorn (ganimede)
Posted at: August 12th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)

Well, John was murdered so that doesn't really count.

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