Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Unearned privilege, dextronormative and otherwise

I understand that when Nance Rosen writes about your left hand “hating” your right, she intends it as a metaphor for personality types and skills.

As a point of clarification, however, my left hand doesn’t have a problem with anyone else’s right hand. My difficulties as a left-hander stem from dextronormative bias on a systemic, social level.

Similarly, in childhood I was ostracized and shunned because my peers enforced a social standard that I did not conform with.

When readers act on Rosen’s advice to cultivate compassion, I hope that they consider any unearned privilege conferred on them by society.

What are the social-norm equivalents of desk-chair units and right-handed scissors? Which personalities and what types of traits are they in place to support? What quiet strengths are being overlooked or condescended to because society views them as “weakness”?

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