Hands Up: ¡ʎɐp sɹǝpuɐH ʇɟǝ˥ ʎddɐH


Yes, it’s August 13th again, the day when I talk about one of the largest and least violently discriminated minorities in the world (in terms of murder).

My theme for this year: Neurodiversity. No, left handedness is not a disability, but it is brain related, and left handed people differ from the right handed majority in several ways. We are more prone to have dyslexia, schizophrenia, Autism and several other brain-related conditions. We’re also more likely to be LGBTQIA.

If you’re reading here, then you obviously saw the title. It says “Happy Left Handers Day!” upside down. Many left handed people can read and write (often both) upside down, backwards mirrored, backwards order (“!yaD srednaH tfeL yppaH”), vertically, and others. I can do all of them, and write fluently. I’ve looked for studies on reverse or mirrored writing, but all of them speak of this as a “problem in children learning to write”, rather than a useful ability. There’s not one I could find that investigates its usefulness. I didn’t form backwards letters as a kid, but I was able to write in different directions without ever practicing. This man has no trouble writing upside down.

One thing I’ve seen in some LGBTQIA and disability groups is exclusion and pushback. Some don’t want left handedness classified as neurodiverse, they say it should be labelled neurotypical. Why? We’re not going to come in, dominate and make it all about us. And since many of the conditions have a many overlaps, what’s wrong with one more. If you want people to agree that group A is normal and shouldn’t be discriminated against, why not another group which is normal and has an eye shape in the Venn diagram?

Disabled World: Neurodiversity

Science Alert: There Are Many Myths About Left-Handed Brains. Here’s What We Actually Know

Neurodiversity: Left-Handedness

I mentioned a few items in the past year that I’ll highlight again:

A study from St. Andrews University in Scotland on European children (countries where forced hand switching has ceased) shows that 10.6% of people are naturally left handed.

A study on thumbsucking preference in the womb and handedness in children at age 10-12 matched 70 time out of 75 kids.

A study by Oxford University linked left handedness and brain formation.

And there was my amateur hour “study” (which wouldn’t pass scientific rigour) on left handedness and birth month. It was voluntary answers by members of a left handers group on facebook.

More later.

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