How Did We All Miss International Left-Handers’ Day Yesterday? Right-Handers’ Conspiracy.
Yesterday, August 13, was International Left-Handers’ Day. If you missed it, there’s probably two reasons why. Either you’re in the 12% male and 10% female part of the population that likes to do things with their left hand, meaning you were probably out being awesome. Alternatively, you’re a filthy right-handed scab who deliberately ignored the day, in order to keep your unethical persecution of the left-handed man (and woman) down. Don’t pretend it doesn’t happen: we’re all aware that it’s a right-handed world, and my fellow southpaws have long been doomed under the weight of your overbearing opposite-side-of-the-hand thumbs.
It’s been going on for CENTURIES. In the Christian faith, it’s always the right hand that blesses, and the right hand that gives the sign of the cross. Apparently, as far as God’s concerned, all us left-handed heathens can just burn in hell. When Christ separated the sheep from the goats, the blessed sheep were put to the right and sent to heaven, whilst the goats were pushed to the left and sent to eternal damnation. (To quote Matthew 25: 41-42: “Then he will say unto those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.'”) Even the word “left” itself is derived from from the Old English “lyft”, meaning “weak” or “foolish”.
The hand of God (is the right one).
But fear no more, my left-handed brothers and sisters! Even though we may have missed our special day, let us take this opportunity to stand up to our oppressors and the devilish ways in which they hold us back, and celebrate our own unique talents.
Well, actually it was yesterday and nobody remembered.
The right-handed tools of left-handed oppression:
The mere sight of these things is enough to send shivers up the spines of roughly 10% of the global population. Sure, the advent of the ring-pull made things slightly less infuriating, but that’s clearly a right-handed gesture that is, at best, lip service. And don’t tell us to simply go out and buy a left-handed can opener, because that’s not the point. Telling a lefty to buy a left-handed can opener is like telling someone in a wheelchair to stand up for themselves. It’s rude, arrogant, and needlessly difficult, so stop it.
Who the hell designed these monstrosities? It must be lovely for those of the ‘normal’-handed persuasion to just waltz their pen right up to the margins as footloose as a young Kevin Bacon (who wasn’t left-handed, but Luke Skywalker is so cop THAT). But for those of us who swing to the left, it’s a goddamned nightmare. What are you… Which way do… HOW ARE YOU EVEN SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH THIS? do you seriously expect us to crane our wrists up and over like some sort of swan neck? It doesn’t just stop with binders, either…
Writing in general
Written Chinese? Hebrew? These are languages that cater to the humble southpaw, written forms that flow gloriously from the cold, distant right, to the warm, loving left. But English? Forget about it. Not only do we have to suffer the indignation of raising our hand and peeking under to see what we’ve written (making us look like four-year-olds protecting our last few potato gems from the thieving forks of our older brothers), but by the time we’re done writing, the side of our hands are completely covered in ink. Solvol isn’t cheap, you know!
What a freakshow!
Fortunately, there are also areas in which left-handed people secretly KILL IT:
Right-handers may have won the pen-and-ink battle, but we left-handers win the typography war. The QWERTY keyboard, invented by Christopher Latham Sholes in the 1870s, is the ultimate friend to the left-handed, and shunner of the right. It may have banished the lesser-used keys to the left of the board (Christ-style), but the fact is there are around 3400 words that can be typed solely with the left hand on the QWERTY keyboard, as opposed to a measly 450-odd that can be typed with the right. Who uses a pen to write anymore, anyway?
Driving a manual car (in Australia, or the UK, or pretty much anywhere that isn’t dumb)
You’re sixteen: Foolish. Cocksure. Bulletproof. You’ve gone your whole life without having to rely on your left side one bit, despite your junior sports coach’s constant reminders that Shane Crawford/Liz Ellis can do it. “Screw Shane Crawford/Liz Ellis!”, you yell. You’re invincible! Then you get your Learner’s Permit, sit in the drivers seat, and find, to your horror, that your left side has to do all the work. Gears, clutch, indicators — they’re three of the most important things! Suddenly, we left-handers whoosh past you in a flash, the leaders of the pack. How’s that gear change? Boom, in to second, no drama at all. Feel that clutch control? We’ve got this baby purring like a kitten. Then, just to rub it in your face a little more, we indicate RIGHT. Stick that up yr jumper.
Sorry, we couldn’t find a left-handed gif.
A lot of left-handed people might not know this, but we’re all a highly-evolved breed of Flippers, according to science. Admittedly, that science is thin and under-researched (most likely due to the fact that left-handed people are also more likely to be artists rather than scientists), but that’s not going to stop me from listing it as established fact. When the ice caps melt, we’ll be the ones laughing. Next stop, gills!
Cam Tyeson is a writer/comedian/Commander in the Left-Handed Liberation Movement. He tweets nothing but southpaw propaganda at @camtyeson.