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‘Left Handers Day’ ignores the Ambidextrous and Transhand communities. End this discrimination now!

13 August 2014

Today is International Left Handers Day, ‘the 22nd annual celebration of lefthanders’ superiority’. It’s an opportunity for ‘Lefties’ and their Right-handed supporters to highlight the discrimination they face from the Dextrous majority.

‘Getting right handers to do everything left-handed for the day is a great way to make the point!’ suggests its website.

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Some Righties may object to having a left-hand index finger wagged at them in this fashion, but my problem with Left Handers Day is that it isn’t inclusive enough. (That and the missing apostrophe.)

Why are Ambidextrous (AD) people excluded from this exercise? What about the prejudice they confront as they switch their pen from right to left – or, more controversially, from left to right, a gesture condemned as ‘collaborationist’ by militant Left Hand (LH) activists? What about the scorn of sceptics who say there’s no such thing as ambidexterity, merely RH people ‘experimenting’ or LH people trying to conform?

Which brings us to the most despised minority of all, those who neither identify as RH, LH or AD, but choose to change their handedness. The Transhand (TH) community face mockery from those whose ‘handed’ identity matches their anatomical handedness at birth — that is, ‘cishanded’ people or ‘cis’, as they are known in TH circles.

The only solution is true even-handedness. Left Handers Day is an anachronism that disses other hand minorities. Next year’s event should be a radically inclusive celebration of the entire LHADTH community. Can I have a show of hands (either or both) in favour?

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Show comments
  • Elizabeth Van Orden

    When people come by my desk at work and see my mouse on the left, they always exclaim, “oh, you’re left handed!” They always look a little let down when I say I’m actually ambidextrous and then walk away like I’m indecisive about my handedness. I didn’t choose my ambidexterity any more than my husband chose to be right handed or son chose to be left handed; it’s just how I was born.

  • Gigi

    I’ll give you jazz hands in agreement.

  • Rebecca Vance

    I’m ambidextrous too. I think we should revolt and start our own day :)

  • Christa Hansberry

    Who needs to switch back and forth, when you can just use both hands at once? Did that once in a Pictionary game; everything was great, until the other team caught wind of it… and then my mom, who was on the other team, declared that from henceforth Christa may draw with only one pencil at a time :-(. But I still insist that I didn’t break any rules! And it’s not my fault they’re all so limited! “It’s not fair to the other players”, she says! Well, I think they’re not fair to me! Nobody’s gonna convince me that ambies aren’t discriminated against! Oh, well; the benefits outweigh the annoyances, at least.

  • flaxdoctor

    And less of this ‘ambidextrous’ nonsense please, that’s even more discriminatory. What would I want two clumsy *wrong* hands for?

  • Xen Mistress

    I’m proud left and fully identify. However, I can use my right hand for some things. I think it’s because when I was younger, I was made to feel like an abnormal freak so to fit in, I tried to publicly be right handed. But as an older person I’m comfortable with my identity, I no longer hide from who I am. As for ADs I’m uncomfortable with them going back and fourth. I feel like it’s a convenience thing for them. I don’t understand TransHanders but I support their right not to identify.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I’m only surprised that the Catholic Church hasn’t made being left-handed a mortal sin, and a sure indication of demonic possession. Writing with the left rather than the right hand is invariably the criterion used to evaluate whether a person is left-handed. But it’s a lot more complicated than that.

  • TimboX

    This was indeed good click bait!

    I myself experimented with LHness back in my old college days, and I find this article offensive!

  • Denis_Cooper

    The article starts:

    “Today is International Left Handers Day, ‘the 22nd annual celebration of lefthanders’ superiority’.”

    Well, I’ve put the directly quoted phrase “the 22nd annual celebration of lefthanders’ superiority” into google, and the references which come up all seem to relate back to this article; none of them go to the website of the Left Handers Club which seems to be a modest sort of organisation merely trying to get small scale practical solutions to some of the problems encountered by the lefthanded and not, as far as I can see, asserting their “superiority” over the righthanded majority.

    In other words, just the sort of spontaneous grassroots civil society organisation which we should welcome as part of the “Big Society”, remember that?

    So I suppose that either the direct quote is from a tweet by some over-enthusiastic member, or maybe it was just something else made up by a journalist?

    Before anybody tells me, yes, I do realise that the article is meant to be funny.

  • Stevie G

    You’d better check you privilege before you feel qualified to comment on the prejudices suffered everyday by the pan-handed communities.

  • solly gratia

    And people who use their feet, Damien? What of them? Still invisible to the wider community, forced to foot the bill of discrimination, toe-ing the line of conformity, down at heel, the sole bearers of this stigma that attaches to their orientation like a bad smell, while they endure the sock-puppets of the ruling hegemony putting the boot it.

  • swatnan

    very sinister

  • ojfl

    This is a funny post. Congratulations.

  • SackTheJuggler

    Yep, I’ve seen this identity politics and it works. I am sick of the unthinking prejudice of the non-left handed and from now on I intend to be ‘offended’ by things.

  • Roisin

    They’ll be wanting to adopt next…

  • John O’Leary

    I pick up the pen with whichever hand is nearer and away I go. When I was learning Chinese I’d use two pens at once – writing the pinyin with my left hand and the characters with my right. It made perfect sense to me, but I was amazed how it creeped people out.

  • ozboy

    Left-handers are the spawn of Satan. It’s no coincidence that the Latin word for left-handed is sinister.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      I knew it. Demonic possession.
      Isn’t it high time this illogical violent superstition was assigned to the dustbin of history?

  • Archibald Heatherington

    Left handers should claim disability benefit, and let that be the end of it. None of this “different but equal” malarkey.

  • Unenlightened_Commentary

    I have many left handed friends but let’s be honest they are generally untrustworthy freaks who’ll as soon as stab you as tell you the time.

    • Whyshouldihavetoregister

      I certainly am.

      • TheUntalentedRiply

        As an out and proud leftie, I demand that you give me (a) your name and address and (b) remove all means of defending myself before myself and my fellow lefties have a pride march outside your house (before we “tell you the time”)!

    • Roisin

      Just make sure there are no left-handed knives around and you’ll be quite safe.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “I have many left handed friends but let’s be honest they are generally untrustworthy freaks who’ll as soon as stab you as tell you the time.”
      Here’s wishing them every success.

  • jimf01

    I would like to focus on our similarities, rather than our differences. I
    would prefer the ambi community rise above and party with the right
    handers on their day, and the left handers on theirs!

  • Francis Wright

    My sister and brother are left handed. I don’t remember them having any problems

  • Julie

    O M G, I am so left-handed! Adapting (AD) with new technology, but never could find a watch with the winding mechanism on the correct side…

    • Alexsandr

      get a fob watch. they have the winder on the top.
      you do have to wear a waistcoat to make it look good though

      • JimHHalpert

        All this talk of ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ is definitely TMI.

    • dutchmm

      Buy a watch that doesn’t need winding. And wear it (naturally) on your right wrist. But if you are not as old as me, you could just use the clock on your mobile phone.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    You know, I’m left-handed and I have no trouble at all in getting over any minor inconvenience that it may entail.

    • Chris Morriss

      I’m old enough to remember being told off for smearing ink on the page when I was learning to write (left handed) with an old fashioned ink pen and desk inkwell!

    • Chris Morriss

      There is one advantage. I can (and normally do) make notes in the lab at work with my left hand while using the mouse of my pc with my right. Although strongly left-handed, I can only use a mouse in my right hand. This is so useful that I’m surprised more right-handers don’t use a mouse with their left hand.

  • Mark McIntyre

    Guessing this left-hander has become dual-handed by default ?
    But, when writing at least – the left wins out.
    Happy to be a ‘lefty’ – only under these circumstances mind !
    Question. Why do so many lefties write ‘hook and claw’ style ?
    There be no need for it – righties do not do so – why ?
    Just tilt the paper 30-60 degrees to the right (1-2 o’clock as it were).
    Simples, Sorted.
    President Obama

    • Chris Morriss

      I’ve always written ‘claw handed’ with my left hand. I’m not sure why, though it might well have something to do with stopping the ‘trailing edge’ of your hand smearing the ink when learning to write. By curving your hand over the top, you miss the liquid ink.
      Now I wonder if those languages that write from right to left have similar problems for right-handed people?

      • Mark McIntyre

        Indeed – righties in a right > left world.
        When first using a fountain pen – around the age of ten – one tilted the paper to ninety – 90 – degrees !

        • Guest

          i dont think you understand the problem here, tilting the paper does not help whatsoever.

          • WillieYeshua’sBride Freund

            It most certainly does help! As a lefty writer/ ambidextrous for everything else. I can speak from experience

  • CraigStrachan

    And what about left-footers, Dr T? (Wait, you’ve got them pretty well covered…)

  • fundamentallyflawed

    Thank you Damian.. until this day i never realised there was a name for what I am. I am a transhand….. I finally realise what the T in LGBT really stood for. Thanks again.

  • Airey Belvoir

    Being in this minority, I used to enjoy the notion that it is linked to superior intelligence – until I read that it is most common in first-borns, maybe connected with birth trauma – and there are very few, very old left-handers. Damn.

    • WillieYeshua’sBride Freund

      My father was a first born and he was ambidextrous. He had a photographic memory and a very high IQ. He was not schizzo nor had a sinister mentality in any sense. Me and my Grandson are following in his footsteps.

  • Alexsandr

    what about a day for those who are not in any minority?

  • Connor Michie

    I did wonder if there was a day celebrating ambidexterity, being a southpaw myself. An general LHADTH day on this day would be agreeable I think.

  • Span Ows

    sinister bunch!

    • ojfl

      Bada bing!

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