Speaking out on Handedness issues

Note from Todd Robertson, editor-in-chief of The American Magalogue:

This article originally appeared on the U.K.-based website Mummy Wumsy’s Super Duper Advice Blog, a parenting website which in recent years has come to focus primarily on left-handed issues. As the numbers of people identifying as “left-handed” have skyrocketed, left-handed activism is an ever more extreme and powerful faction in British politics, closely aligned with Antifa and the marxist Black Lives Matter movement. In a horrible blow to free speech, the writer of this piece was effectively silenced for expressing common sense views rooted in a Biblical understanding of handedness. She has been branded a “LHERF,” or left-handed exclusionary radical feminist, and the woke mob has cancelled her via a number of vicious and uncalled-for criticisms. I of course disagree with the writer’s views of feminism—feminism is a cancer which seeks to destroy the traditional family—but her silencing is a terrifying omen of what may happen in the United States if we do not clamp down on left-handed activism as aggressively as possible. I have chosen to reprint it in The American Magalogue in the name of continuing this crucial conversation despite the efforts of powerful handedness-activists to silence all dissent.

The debate on left-handedness might as well be a 2003 hit single by Britney Spears,1 because it’s toxic.

It has gotten so toxic that many are frightened into silence. When we see how those who speak out are treated—from speaking invitations rescinded, to abuse from supposed “left-handed activists” on Twitter—it’s easy to decide to keep one’s head down and keep quiet. Things have gotten so extreme that in many parts of Europe and North America, everyone is too scared to even debate whether they should stop driving on the statistically more dangerous side of the road, lest just asking the question means they’re branded a bigot. It has created a free speech crisis, with many well-respected academics and progressive writers deemed persona non grata for having an apparently impermissible perspective on this subject.

So why am I writing this now? Because recent events have forced me, like many others, to think much harder about these issues. This is not a matter of leftphobia. I do not have any problem with left-handed people: I know and love many left-handed adults, who just want their lifestyle to not be subject to abuse, discrimination, and persecution. [Editor’s note: it is not discrimnation to refuse to employ left-handed people and in fact these supposed left-handed “rights” constitute anti-Christian discrimination. If they were rights they would be in the Constitution.] The current explosion of left-handed activism, however, seeks not just to secure the rights of left-handed adults, but to redefine how we think about handedness. While for decades the progressive position on handedness was that adults should be free to use whatever hand they would like, contemporary left-handed ideology goes much further. Left-handedness, activists insist, is innate. It is bigotry, therefore, to question the validity of self-identification or to object to children as young as four being labelled “left-handed” simply for picking something up with that hand.

The number of self-identified left-handed people in the US has skyrocketed. According to University of Chicago psychologist Jerre Levy, in 1939,2 the year Amelia Earhart was declared dead, “2 percent of the population wrote with the left hand. By 1946,3 it was up to 7 1/2 percent. In 1968,4 9 percent. By 1972,5 12 percent.” In one study, while just six to seven percent of people over forty claimed to be left-handed, this “jumped to well above ten percent” for the 18-to-39 age group.

The same pattern is true across Europe. I know what you’re thinking: Europe isn’t real, Euroasia is a continuous land mass, but let’s indulge the myth for a moment. [Editor’s note: Europe is real and the birthplace of civilization.] A Swiss study found younger people were twice as likely to consider themselves left-handed as older people. It is hard not to be concerned. Left-handed activists often claim this is due to increasingly tolerant modern attitudes, meaning more “naturally” left-handed people feel comfortable being public with their identity. Yet there has not been a comparable explosion in other parts of the world, where numbers remain steady. In South Korea, Mexico, China and Japan, less than five percent of people are left-handed. There are no recorded cases of left-handedness in North Korea.

In the eighteen years since “Toxic” went to number one in six countries and top five in nine more, left-handedness has become a trend. [Editor’s note: “Toxic” peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.] Celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner, Lana Wachowski, and Elliot Page claim a left-handed identity, and entire online communities are devoted to left-handedness. In one subreddit for self-identified left-handers, a user wrote they were having trouble adjusting to using a left-handed computer mouse, writing that they became “disoriented” and lost “80 percent of their skill.” Replies encouraged the user to continue regardless, advising that “it can take a long time to learn the coordination.” These insular echo chambers reinforce left-handed identification, like some kind of hollow enclosure used to produce reverberation, even when real-life support systems urge caution. Questioning kids often feel pressure to be left-handed in order to fit in. So-called “right-handed” (i.e. not left-handed) people are easily dismissed as prejudiced.

Social contagion and peer influences are obviously at play in the rising numbers of self-identified left-handed people. Indeed, some school teachers have noted a pattern of left-handed identification where multiple siblings, and even entire families, become left-handed-identified. While activists insist that no-one could be convinced to be left-handed, are we supposed to simply accept as happenstance that there are so many incidents of multiple siblings in the same family claiming to be left-handed? Indeed, many friends of mine have pulled me aside to voice concerns, in hushed tones, that their left-handed relatives may be forcing their children to use left-handed scissors.

When very young children adopt this left-handed identity, it sets them down a path that is very difficult to get off. If a child learns to write with their left hand—a comparatively messy, difficult process—they rarely can switch back to the right hand. It’s no wonder I receive more and more emails and messages and carrier pigeons every day from those who, now adults, regret their decision and are critical of parents, teachers and medical practitioners who enable or encourage early left-handed identification. Most of us aren’t aware of it, but there is such a cult-like belief in innate, internal handedness-identity in our institutions that society is marching blindfolded into a brave new world whose victims are increasingly children who will one day tell their stories of regret.

Of course some children will use their left hand. Like a monkey with two bananas, it’s natural that we make use of more than one hand. Many handedness-critical folks like myself used both hands interchangeably in childhood, without contemporary identity politics’ pressure to label oneself. But in the vast majority of cases, children who exhibit left-hand preference in childhood grow up to be right-handed adults. In spite of this, many left-handed activists believe adjusting to predominantly using the left hand as early as possible is necessary for the well-being and mental health of genuinely left-handed kids. What kind of message is this sending: that if you find writing, drawing or throwing with your right hand difficult, it is literally the incorrect hand to use? It’s hard to see how it helps anyone—least of all left-handed people—for left-handedness to be reduced to a “feeling” about what hand you prefer.

Where previous generations were required to pass through robust systems before living left-handed in adulthood, the current left-handed activism contends that all one has to do in order to be left-handed is to “feel” left-handed. This is not some fringe perspective we can afford to ignore, like disliking Britney Spears’ acclaimed song “Toxic”. Uncritical left-handed acceptance is treated as gospel in college campuses and, increasingly, by school teachers and childcare providers. I recently received an email from a mother whose young son’s preschool teacher “informed” her that he is left-handed, despite his mother having seen him use his right hand to peel a banana and scratch the right side of his nose on multiple occasions. For parents who are not as well-versed in these issues as myself, this is an anxiety-inducing kind of indoctrination that they may not have the knowledge and wherewithal to fight back against. It is only a matter of time before countries add left-handedness as a protected category in hate crime legislation, meaning it would be an offense not to shake someone’s preferred hand. Courts may soon deem it permissible to fire someone for “leftphobic” views, including such common sense positions as right-handedness being preferable to left-handedness. Considering that left-handers have lower life expectancy and higher rates of schizophrenia, this isn’t just a case of agree to disagree, it’s a matter of denying facts to spare the feelings of a minority.

One arena where the debate is actually being had, as opposed to the mainstream discourse that stifles all dissent, is in sports. It helps that this is more clear-cut than, say, the bathroom issue. (Many left-handed activists have demanded an additional door handle so that the door can be easily opened with the left hand from both sides. Some even lobby for right-hand side toilet flush levers to be replaced by centrally-placed flush buttons.) It is obvious that left-handers have a natural advantage in sport, a fact denied only by extremists on either side. This is true across a huge variety of sports. Pele, Diego Maradona, Babe Ruth, John McEnroe: all left-handed. Rocky Balboa might be fictional, but he’s certainly left-handed.

One can firmly defend a person’s right to live with the hand preference of their choosing yet look at the statistics of left-handers’ disproportionate success in sport and believe that objections should not be summarily dismissed with cries of “bigotry.” Increasing numbers of people are questioning if left-handers should be allowed to compete in right-handed sports. To paraphrase left-handed tennis player Martina Navratilova, it seems to many that the current rules reward cheats and punish the innocent. Despite claims from left-handed activists that no one would pretend to or be convinced to identify as left-handed for their own advantage, we are already seeing evidence of this in the sporting world. Phil Mickelson is openly right-handed, but transitioned to playing golf left-handed at a young age. Can anyone doubt this played a role in his winning the PGA at the freakish age of 50 years, 11 months, making him the oldest Major winner in golf history? Yet Mickelson’s handedness is reported as a simple quirk, or even, as Golf.com frames it, a helpful strategy for aspiring golfers: “This is why right-handed Phil Mickelson swings lefty (should you do the same?)”

How can we dismiss the concerns of right-handed athletes that it is unfair for left-handers to participate in their competitions when it has clearly become necessary for right-handed athletes to feign left-handedness to succeed? Mickelson continues to live right-handed outside of his sport. If no action is taken, it seems clear that right-handed sports will be taken over by a giant race of purposefully developed left-handed sportspeople.

I’m sympathetic, of course, to genuine cases of athletes exhibiting persistent left-hand preference in childhood who wish to play sports in the manner that corresponds to their handedness identity. [Editor’s note: these individuals should simply decide to no longer be left-handed, resolving the conflict.] But the current system is clearly unsustainable, robbing right-handed athletes of their rightful opportunities to win championships and receive awards, and possibly to gain sports scholarships and other benefits.

But for me, the debate around left-handed issues is not and has never been just about sports and bathrooms. It is, fundamentally, an issue of women’s rights. There is now a demand from some activists —many of them not left-handed themselves; many of them men—that the class of women itself must effectively be erased.

Men are 23 percent more likely to be left-handed than women. It has become clearer and clearer to me that this is the central issue. There is a conflict between the demands of left-handed activists and the hard-won rights of women. What is the contemporary left-handed movement if not an attempt to rebalance the scales back in men’s favor? [Editor’s note: We believe, based on good evidence, that it is in fact a Marxist antifa plot hatched by Joe Biden and AOC; see “The Secret Hand Behind Handedness” in our print issue.] This is just another part of the backlash against feminism, using the handedness of the vast, vast majority of women—the right—to reframe us as an oppressor class. Is it any wonder the whole concept of left-handedness as an innate identity emerged in parallel to second-wave feminism? The movement is an attempt at erasure, to rewrite history as mean ol’ right-handed women oppressing poor, innocent left-handed men.

It no longer surprises me that the main objections I’ve gotten for my views on these complex issues are not from my left-handed friends, but from supposedly “woke” right-handed men. To paraphrase “Toxic” by Britney Spears, guys like that should wear a warning. There is a perverse glee that otherwise progressive men seem to take in shouting women down, as long as they can do it under the cover of “left-handed rights.” I have nothing but respect for the tiny percentage of the population who are left-handed, but it’s clear their “movement” demanding “a fair and equal society structured for everyone” has always secretly been another way of telling women to shut up.

For ­engaging in this debate, I have been the subject of a series of harassment campaigns, including vexatious legal actions, police visits, magazine articles misrepresenting my positions, threatening letters hand-delivered to my home. Anything and everything has been tried to silence me and prevent people from hearing the reasonable fears many right-handed women have about the impact of this ideology on their hand-based rights. I have also lost work. As a result of my sudden financial insecurity, my marriage was placed under such a severe strain that my partner and I finally agreed to separate.

If you believe that, for instance, my friend Steve is leftphobic, a man who has devoted his work and much of his fortune to the vulnerable, the bullied, the forgotten and the abused, then you are under a spell. If you believe that left-handers can fairly compete against right-handers in their sports—including club and ball sports—then you are under a spell. If you believe that children as young as three years old can declare an identity that puts them on a pathway for life, then you are under a spell. As Britney Spears warned us in her hit single “Toxic”, we have taken a sip from the devil’s cup. We’re losing our heads, spinning round and round. It’s dangerous. But unlike Ms. Spears, I’m not loving it.

1. Britney Spears is right-handed.

2. Sixty-four years before Britney Spears released “Toxic”.

3. Fifty-seven years before Britney Spears released “Toxic”.

4. One year before the birth of Cathy Dennis, writer of the song “Toxic”.

5. The year Cathy Dennis, writer of “Toxic”, turned three years old.