08/14/2021 The Art of Bird Throwing   Leave a comment

As we’re all aware this last year-and-a-half with the pandemic has changed many things, some for the better and some for the worse. Since the onset of the pandemic I’ve noticed a disturbing trend with female drivers in the area and I’m assuming that it’s pretty much the same all across the country. I’ve mentioned in past posts that common courtesy is one of the victims of the pandemic and I need to take that one step further. It seems that many female drivers have taken to “flipping the bird” with a vengeance. I’ve seen teenage girls, old ladies, soccer moms, and just about everyone else getting with the program. Needless to say it sparked my curiosity which then required a little research into my archives about the practices of “throwing the finger” and here’s what I found.

SOME HISTORY OF THE BIRD

Tossing the bird has been a tradition with us men that has been passed down through the ages from grandfathers to fathers and then to their sons. Guys have been throwing the finger for a variety of reasons for as long as I can remember. We owned this gesture until the feminists arrived. Now the ladies have every right to be as obnoxious as we’ve been and believe me their certainly doing it with panache and gusto.

Thrusting up a middle finger or “flipping the bird” is one of the more familiar hand gestures across this country. Its popularity is also worldwide and has been around for a very long time in a number of European countries. No one is sure how it originated but we all know that the Romans used it at the time of Christ.

Just as there are many gestures in the world to convey one’s negative feelings about another, there are also regional differences to show approval. Men around the world have several gestures to imply that a woman is pretty. In the United States, men lift their eyebrows, in the Arab world a man grabs his beard, while in Greece he would stroke his cheek. In Italy, a man sticks his finger into his cheek and rotates it, Frenchmen kiss their fingertips, and Brazilians will pretend to hold up a telescope to their eye.

Obviously, almost any gesture can have meaning, either positive or negative, somewhere in the world. So the next time you travel abroad, be careful how you gesture with your hands. You might unwittingly attract unwanted attention from the natives, especially in the Middle East. They seem to look for any spoken word or gesture by a non-Arab as a reason to throw you into prison for a chat or to just execute you.

In my attempt to be fair I’ve also seen a few men with some unfortunate habits. While I myself would never today do something so crude. In my youth I may have lost control a few thousand times. I deeply regret those times when I “birded” nice old ladies or a few hundred clergymen. It really is nice to see that the female of the species now has the capability and the mindset to throw the bird to damn near anybody for damn near any reason. “I Am Woman” hear me roar.

And thanks to whoever placed that Ryan Gosling GIF on the net. It made my day.

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