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Southpaws unite!

October 27th, 2011

It’s no secret discrimination has been a prevalent issue at John Carroll. Until 1968, JCU was an all men’s school, and the idea of allowing women into the community was just unheard of. We have had recent problems, too. Two years ago, the LGBTQ community highlighted some major problems with our employment clauses. And recently, there has been controversy about racial prejudices on campus.

Each of these issues should receive special attention, but while we are on the bandwagon of justice, I would like to bring one more issue to the attention of the Carroll community: dexterity discrimination.

Perhaps to the average right-handed person, discrimination against lefties is no big problem here at JCU. False. For the few southpaws who have chosen this institution, we encounter serious obstacles in our daily life.

The biggest hurdle we have to deal with is the desk situation in classrooms. If we are lucky, there are maybe two desks out of 25 that are left-handed. This is not justice. Just because we don’t conform and write with our right hand doesn’t mean we don’t deserve the privilege to write at all.

Naturally, since we are right-brained, we have found creative solutions to this problem – using another notebook on our lap as a desk, turning our whole bodies to reach the desk, etc.

But when a right-handed person has the misfortune of finding a left-handed desk, you would think it’s the end of the world. Righties, you need to grow up. Stop throwing temper tantrums every time you get a lefty desk – we deal with your desks all the time, so just try for once to sit in our seats for a class.

That’s not all. All spiral-bound notebooks, essential to in-class note taking, put us at a disadvantage. We struggle everyday to take fast notes and keep up with professors; but after 75 minutes of intense scribbling away, alas, most of what we have written is on our left pinky or smeared across the page.

This is an unavoidable fate, but it is a severe handicap that so frequently goes overlooked by the dexteriously fortunate right-handed crowd.

But perhaps the biggest form of discrimination against us is in the very name of the school. On our seal we are the “Universitas Joannis Carroll” with the inscription “Lobo y olla” beneath – completely in Latin. We use this language as a symbol of academia and prestige as a university. But it is also the language of the lefty-loathers.

If we look at the etymology of Latin itself, you’ll find that it has a subtle, but discriminatory undertone as well. The word “sinister,” which means evil and cruel-intentioned, derives from the Latin word “sinistra,” which literally means, “left.”

I think the true tragedy of this problem is awareness. This is the first step in solving any issue, and I hope that you, my readers, will spread the word for left-handed people’s rights. We aren’t radical or violent. We aren’t the 99 percent that is occupying every major city. We are just the 10 percent; the peaceful 10 percent of people who use our left hand instead.

It isn’t something we chose, we were just born that way. But we are proud of it, nonetheless.

Some of the most influential people in history have been the “sinisters” of the world: Obama, Ramses II and Marilyn Monroe, just to name a few. The point is, lefties are the movers and shakers. We are proud to be the first black president; we are proud to be Egyptian pharaohs; and we are proud to be the sexiest woman of the 20th century. We, the southpaws, are proud to be left-handed.

So it’s time for all of the dexterously-challenged to unite. Join the cause and let people know that we deserve equal writes (Get it? It’s a pun because I can use my right brain creatively like that).

The time is now. Do what’s right  and stand up for the left.