Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Children suffer the most from right handed privilege

Left handed children suffer the most because right handed privilege is unlike any other form of privilege.

When people in other minorities face privilege (adults or children), they can ask for help, band together and take action, or at the least, communicate with each other and find support:
  • Women who are harassed or face a glass ceiling in the workplace
  • Those who endure racism
  • LGBTQ people and homophobia
And so on.  People in these groups can gain support both within families and within communities, or even further afield.  They are large and visible groups, with the knowledge and ability to take action because there are many adults among them, and they can communicate with each other.

For left handed people, it's a different matter.

Left handed adults have very few problems with it.  Aside from possible hiring discrimination (e.g. mechanical devices and machines designed only to be operated with the right hand), it's a non-issue.  Adults have the experience, education and knowledge to adapt, adjust or take legal action.

Left handed children, on the other hand, have massive problems.  Women, ethnic minorities or LGBTQ people who can obtain support from family, teachers and community.  But for left handed children, their own families, teachers and community are most often the source of discrimination and abuse.  The people who should be their support system are most often the source of the problem, and  left handed children have no one they can ask for help.

Without that sense of community,  left handed children lack a support structure, and are isolated.  And because they are young, they lack the experience, knowledge and ability to help themselves.  It really is the same way gay people felt decades ago, as if they're the only one in the world, and everyone is telling them they're wrong.

Often the only left handed person in their families.  If the parents are biased against left handedness because of religion or culture, they will try to force the child to switch hands.

In schools, teachers are almost all left handed and fail to teach left handed children properly.  "Corporal punishment" and verbal abuse still go on, even where it's illegal.  I've seen it first hand, teaching in various Asian countries.

Communities and cultures often perpetuate ignorant and outdated views that left handedness is "evil", "dirty", "stupid" or "awkward", none of which is true.

Parents: If your child is left handed, educate yourself instead of taking it out on your child.  Forcing a child to change hands is a form of child abuse.  Read books.  Become informed and understand that left handedness is as natural as one's gender.

Teachers: Respect the fact that left handedness is natural and does not need to be "changed", that abuse is not acceptable.  Your personal views have no place in the classroom.  You have an obligation to treat that child with respect, and an obligation to do your job and teach that child.  Neglect and passive-aggressive behaviour are as much abuse as violence or insults.

Communities: "Culture" is a choice.  Ignorance is a choice.  Left handedness is natural.

Religions: Keep your views to yourself.   Left handedness is not "evil".

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