Left-Handed People Are Special — A Brief History On Left-Handed Hatred (And 5 Facts You Probably Never Knew)

The whole world's in your LEFT hand.

being left handed facts Jose Ros Photo on Unsplash

Today, being a lefty is celebrated, but that hasn’t always been the case. People who used their left hands to write, play sports or eat were seen as evil and were often accused of conspiring with the devil, engaging in witchcraft or simply being dirtier than their right-handed peers.

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The preference for right-handed people became clearer as tools were created and distributed to throughout the world — tools designed with right-handed people in mind.


Theories for the hatred of left-handers range from the etymology of the word “left” meaning broken or awkward in Old English to common bathroom etiquette. In fact, people assumed that the left hand was unfit for public use because it was the hand people generally used to wipe their bottoms after using the restroom. According to Time Magazine, though, lefties started to gain acceptance in society after economists realized that they could market specially-made items to them for extra money. Of course, the trend didn’t immediately eliminate tension, but it did help the world understand that left-handedness wasn’t going to disappear.


If you’re a lefty like I am, then you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of reasons why we’re awesome, despite all the right-handed hate.

1. We are incredibly rare.

Most sources claim that left-handers only make up 10-15% of the world’s population, and science still isn’t sure why! What’s unfortunate is that more people may be born left-handed than we realize, but they may be encouraged to switch to using their right hand. For example, my grandmother was punished for being left-handed and was taught to be a righty in school. Still, though, you’ll find more gag gifts and stores for left-handed people than you will find actual left-handed people. Well, that’s the theory, anyway.

2. We have our own holiday.

August 13. Yep. A whole day to recognize our unique talent. And, if you’re curious, we also have a website and a club with over 140,000 members! See? Aren’t you glad you chose the left hand to write with? Browse the site to find a bunch of downloadable posters to make your room a “Right-Hand Free” zone. To celebrate the holiday, you should ask your friends and family to do everyday tasks with their left hands (it’s funnier if they’re right-handed).

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3. Famous lefties include presidents, royals, astronauts and even Disney characters.

The last six presidents, including Barack Obama, have been left-handed. The Queen Mother was also a lefty. Even the Disney Princesses Mulan and Tiana are lefties! Trust me, you’re in good company. I bet you can already feel the love.

4. We have an advantage in sports.

Our right-handed opponents can’t predict our throwing or hitting patterns in baseball or boxing, for instance, since we’re using our other hands. In fact, evolutionary scientists believe that left-handedness only lasted this long in our genes because it proved to be a great advantage for fighting and survival.

5. We overcame a lot of disapproval.

As you know from the intro and your history books, being left-handed hasn’t always had its perks. We’ve had to live in a world that didn’t cater to us, but we’ve adapted. Some decided to become ambidextrous as a result while others chose to stick with their left hand. Whatever the reason, we persevered and came out OK.

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Meaghan Summers is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.