The Lefty Manifesto
Apolitical Statement on the rights of the Left-handed people
17 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10004 info@LeftyManifesto.orgTweet to @LeftHanded7
Was Albert a Lefty?
For centuries the Lefties were ostracized, tortured and denigrated. Church, religious institutions, and later, the secular societies were forcefully converting little kids to become Righties. As a result, many of these kids suffered permanent disfigurement, emotional distress, and lifetime of medical issues. The direct result of those conversions is Dyslexia, ADHD, and memory impairment.
Contrary to the Church teaching, the lefty-righty conversion is not a mechanistic process. Our bodies are complex physiological multidimensional systems. By forcing a drastic change on the little kid comparable to amputation, we affect, unfavorably, each and every physiological feature in the body. The conversion process may affect negatively the childŐs cognitive abilities, IQ, growth, sexual orientation, vision, weight, and self-esteem.
Even in those countries where the conversion is no longer practiced, the Lefties still face myriads of obstacles.
As in any previous scandals, where churches and synagogues and their leaders where involved in rape, pedophilia, child endangerment, murder, no churches are expected to come forward, and offer apologies or pay for the monetary damages. Secular educational institutions are not in a hurry to do anything correct either.
We no longer want to associate the Right-handedness with Good and Right and Righteousness, and Left-handedness with Sinister.
We demand to stop the practice of extending the Right hand to greet as we meet. We want to extend our Left hand to greet. It would be perfectly ok to shake left and left hands, and left and right hands, and right and right hands.
We want to change the way we speak and write as related to Left-handedness and Right-handedness. We no longer want to use the words
Other words can be used for that purpose. The language has to become hand-neutral, just as it is currently evolving to be sex-neutral.
Tools and instruments have to be designed and produced to accommodate the Lefties.
To atone for centuries of the Lefty discrimination, we have to celebrate the Lefties.
Left-handedness comes handy when writing in Arabic or Hebrew, from right to left.
Leonardo Da Vinci used a mirror to write books in secret code, from right to left.
It is important to state that this Manifesto is NOT political. The term Lefty was used centuries before left of center politics was branded Lefty. We, the Lefties, are expropriating the word, and making it our own.
The humankind has suffered many times over unexplained issues. The Lefty troubles are self-inflicted. There is no good reason as to why we perpetually abuse the little left-handed children, and why we continue to abuse Left-handed people verbally and otherwise. There are no winners in these atrocities. Only the losers.
Bias against left-handed people is the discrimination, conscious or not, against people who are left hand dominant.
Approximately 10% of the world's population is left-handed.
As a result, many common tools are designed for right-handed people, making them difficult or impossible
for left-handed people to use, from simple objects such as pencil sharpeners to dangerous machinery such as circular saws.
However, as well as inconvenience, left-handed people have been considered unlucky or even malicious for their difference
by the right-handed majority. As a result of this bias, left-handed people have been shunned in language
and in some societies forced from childhood to convert to using their right hands.
Negative associations of language
Historically, the left side, and subsequently left-handedness, was considered negative. The word "left" itself derives from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, "weak". In Ancient Greek both words meaning "left" were euphemisms: the word ἀριστερός, aristerós (the standard word in Modern Greek as well) is derived from ἂριστος, áristos, "best", and the word εὺώνυμος, euōnymos, "of good name", is another euphemism used in lieu of "ill-named". The Latin adjective sinister/sinistra/sinistrum originally meant "left" but took on meanings of "evil" or "unlucky" by the Classical Latin era, and this double meaning survives in European derivatives of Latin, and in the English word "sinister". Alternatively, sinister comes from the Latin word sinus meaning "pocket": a traditional Roman toga had only one pocket, located on the left side. The right hand has historically been associated with skill: the Latin word for right-handed is dexter, as in "dexterity", meaning manual skill. Even the word "ambidexterity" reflects the bias. Its intended meaning is "skillful on both sides". However, since it keeps the Latin root dexter, which means "right", it ends up conveying the idea of being "right-handed at both sides". This bias is also apparent in the lesser-known antonym "ambisinistrous", which means "clumsy on both sides". In more technical contexts, "sinistral" may be used in place of "left-handed" and "sinistrality" in place of "left-handedness". In both Ancient Greek and Roman religion, auspices (usually the flight paths of birds, as observed by a bird-diviner, or augur) were thought to be unfavorable if appearing on the diviner's left-hand side and favorable if on the right: an ancient custom mentioned in Homer's Iliad and of apparently Middle Eastern origin (as attested in the Amarna correspondence, in which a king of Alashiya, i.e. Cyprus, requests an eagle-diviner from the Pharaoh of Egypt).
Meanings gradually developed from use of these terms in the ancient languages. In many modern European languages, including English, the word for the direction "right" also means "correct" or "proper", and also stands for authority and justice. In most Slavic languages the root prav is used in words carrying meanings of correctness or justice. In French, droit(e) (cognate to English direct) means both "right" and "straight", as well as "law" and the legal sense of "right", while gauche means "left" and is also a synonym of maladroit, literally "not right", meaning "clumsy". Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and German have similar constructs. The Spanish term diestro and the Italian term destro mean both "right-handed" and "skillful". The contemporary Italian word sinistra has both meanings of sinister and left (the masculine adjective for sinister being sinistro), and maldestro means "clumsy". The Spanish siniestra has both, too, although the "left" meaning is less common and is usually expressed by izquierda, a Basque word that made its way into Portuguese as well. In some Spanish-speaking countries, to do something por izquierda means to engage in corrupt conduct or employ illegitimate means, whereas por derecha or a derechas means to do it the right (legitimate) way. Also, in Spanish, to tell someone "Eres tan zurdo" means that they are being clumsy, though the literal meaning is "You're so lefty." In Portuguese, the most common word for left-handed person, canhoto, was once used to identify the devil, and canhestro, a related word, means "clumsy". In German, recht means "right" (direction) and "right" (correct), while the word link means "left" and that someone is back-stabbing or a liar.
In Irish, deas means "right side" and "nice". Ciotóg is the left hand and is related to ciotach meaning "awkward"; ciotógach (kyut-OH-goch) is the term for left-handed. In Welsh, the word chwith means "left", but can also mean "strange", "awkward", or "wrong". The Scots term for left-handedness is corrie fistit. The term can be used to convey clumsiness.
In Finnish, the word oikea means both "right" (okay, correct) and "right" (the opposite of left). In Swedish, vänster means "left". The term vänsterprassel means "infidelity", "adultery" and "cheating". From this term the verb vänstra (lit. "lefting") is derived.
In Hungarian, the word for right is jobb, which also means "better". The word for left is bal, which also means "bad". In Polish, the word prawo means: right as well as law, prawy means: lawful; the word lewy means: left (opposite of right), and colloquial "illegal" (opposite of legal). In Estonian, the word pahem stands for both "left" and "worse" and the word parem stands for both "right" and "better".
In Chinese culture, the adjective "left" (Chinese character: 左, Mandarin: zuǒ) sometimes means "improper" or "out of accord". For instance, the phrase "left path" (左道, zuǒdao) stands for unorthodox or immoral means.
In Korean, the word for right is oreun (오른), to be compared to the word meaning morally proper, orheun (옳은) which shares the same pronunciation.
In Hebrew, as well as in other ancient Semitic and Mesopotamian languages, the term "left" was a symbol of power or custody. The left hand symbolized the power to shame society, and was used as a metaphor for misfortune, natural evil, or punishment from the gods. This metaphor survived ancient culture and was integrated into mainstream Christianity by early Catholic theologians, such as Ambrose of Milan, to modern Protestant theologians, such as Karl Barth, to attribute natural evil to God in explaining God's omnipotence over the universe.
Expressions and colloquialisms
The left side is often associated with awkwardness and clumsiness. The Spanish expression "tener dos pies izquierdos", in English, the expression "to have two left feet", refers to clumsiness in the domains of football or dancing. A "left-handed compliment" is considered one that is unflattering or dismissive in meaning. The Polish expression "mieć dwie lewe ręce", Dutch "twee linkerhanden hebben", German "zwei linke Hände haben", the Bulgarian expression "dve levi ratse", French "avoir deux mains gauches", Hungarian kétbalkezes and Czech "Mít obě ruce levé" all mean "to have two left hands"—that one is clumsy or is a very poor handyman. The English equivalent of the phrase is "being all thumbs". Moreover, the German idiom "mit dem linken Fuß aufgestanden sein", the Spanish expression "levantarse con el pie izquierdo", the French expression "s'être levé du pied gauche"and the Hungarian expression "bal lábbal kel fel" (literally, to have gotten up with the left foot) mean to have a bad day and do everything wrong or unsuccessfully, related to the English expression "to get up on the wrong side of the bed". The Welsh phrase "tu chwith allan" (left side out) refers to an object being inside-out. In Russian, the use of the term nalyevo means "on the left", but can also connote taking bribes or "sneaky" behavior. Balszerencse (lit. "left luck") is Hungarian for "bad luck".
There are many colloquial terms used to refer to a left-handed person, e.g. "southpaw" or "goofy" (USA). Some are just slang or jargon words, while other references may be offensive or demeaning, either in context or in origin. In some parts of the English-speaking world, "cack-handed" is slang for left-handed, and is also used to mean clumsy. The origin of this term is disputed, but some suggest it is derived from the Latin cacare, in reference to the habit of performing ablutions with the left hand, leaving the right hand "clean". However, other sources suggest that it is derived from the Old Norse word keikr, meaning "bent backwards". Australians frequently use "cacky-handed". A less common Australian slang word for a left-handed individual is the term Molly-Dooker, whose origins cannot be ascertained for certain.
Negative associations in cultures
The negative associations and connotations of the use of the left hand among cultures are varied. In some areas, in order to preserve cleanliness where sanitation was an issue, the right hand, as the dominant hand of most individuals, was used for eating, handling food, and social interactions. The left hand would then be used for personal hygiene, specifically after urination and defecation. These rules were imposed on all, no matter their dominant hand. Through these practices, the left hand became known as the "unclean" hand. Currently, amongst Muslims and in some societies including Nepal and India it is still customary to use the left hand for cleaning oneself with water after defecating. The right hand is commonly known in contradistinction from the left, as the hand used for eating.
In many religions, including Christianity, the right hand of God is the favored hand. For example, Jesus sits at God's right side. God's left hand, however, is the hand of judgement. The Archangel Gabriel is sometimes called "God's left hand", sits at God's left side, and is one of six angels of death. Those who fall from favor with God are sent to left, as described in Matthew 25: 32-33, in which sheep represent the righteous and goats represent the fallen: "And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right, but the goats on his left." In 19th century Europe, homosexuals were referred to as "left-handed" whilst in Protestant nations, Roman Catholics were called "left-footers". Black magic is sometimes referred to as the "left-hand path", which is strongly associated with Satanism.
Various innocuous activities and experiences become rude or even signs of bad luck when the left hand becomes involved. In some parts of Scotland, it is considered bad luck to meet a left-handed person at the start of a journey. In Ghana, pointing and gesturing with the left hand is considered taboo. A person giving directions will put their left hand behind them and even physically strain to point with their right hand if necessary. In some Asian countries, holding eating utensils in the left hand is considered impolite