AB Thinks  →  15th September 2016

Lefties of the world unite

Anthony Naughton

Happy Left-Handers’ Day to you all – well, 10 per cent of you anyway. There aren’t many of us cack-handed southpaws out there, but we’ll be celebrating our special gift tomorrow (13 August).

The big day will be celebrated around the world, with the likes of Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie, Paul McCartney and Bart Simpson all bellowing “Embrace the Smudge” and “Live Life Left‰”.

Social media has got in on the action, with a whole host of graphics to share on Facebook and Twitter.

Do we lefties get a bad deal? We are apparently more prone to migraines, allergies, clumsiness, dyslexia and stuttering. And three times more likely to become alcoholic.

Our life expectation is three – some say nine – years lower than that of righties. The annus horribilis of 2016 has reinforced this. David Bowie? Paul Daniels? Yep. Both left-handed.

My grandad tried to teach the five-year-old me to write with my right. It was good enough for his schooling in Dublin in the 1900s, so it would be fine for me too. “Citog” was the Irish word he used, which means “strange one”. At least it hasn’t scarred me all these years on.

The struggle goes on, with both my sons inheriting the inability to use a fountain pen. Thankfully, the likes of Anything Left-Handed sell scissors and can openers the three of us can handle without losing a limb.

Admittedly, the likes of Osama bin Laden, the Boston Strangler and Jack the Ripper have let our side down, living up to the sinister connotations associated with left-handedness. Yet we’re supposed to be more artistic, have higher IQs and make better tennis players.

We’ve been described by scholar Dr Stanley Coren as “one of the last unorganised minorities in society” – International Left-Handers Day is the first step in our fight back.