Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Why Do Some Choose To Be Left-Handed?

Normal people are right-handed. Right-handed people are normal because most people in the world are right-handed. Accordingly, from scissors to stick-shifts, the world is made for right-handed people.

The question remains, however: If right-handedness is normal and the world is built for righties, why do some people choose to do things left-handed?

Many so-called "southpaws" or "lefties" (I prefer the term left-handedists) claim they were "just born that way." That it just felt "natural" or "right" (as if!) to hold that Crayola in the sinful left hand. And that, yes, they could try to do things right-handed but it would be difficult and painful.

Further, they think that engineers and designers should take their "needs" and their unnatural hand preference into account when designing worldly objects. As though objects should also be made for "lefties" or, worse, for people of either hand preference.

As right-handedness is the normal state of humanity, we need to work tirelessly to ensure that our cars, tools, and appliances continue to fit the needs of only right-handed people. If we go around building things for left-handed people, children will grow up thinking it is okay to choose to be left-handed. You see, left-handedism is really a game of identity politics whose advocates are trying to impose their lifestyle choice on everyone else. (And dare I mention that professional sports is no help here- just look at the way Major League Baseball recruits and celebrates "lefty" pitchers. What kind of message is that sending to our young, impressionable children?)

I mean, the simple fact is, everyone- even those who claim to have been "born" left-handed- can use the right hand if they try. Just look at "lefties" who break their preferred arm. The right arm picks up the slack. Sure, it's clumsly at first. It feels weird. But years of practice, perhaps with physical and occupational therapists, can help people overcome their hand preference and live a normal, fulfilling life as an ex-lefty.

I encourage all "lefties" to do so, in fact.

At this point you may be thinking, "But Fannie, what about the left-handed gene?" Well, according to the American Right-Handed Family Association, the idea that there's a gene that makes people "left-handed" just isn't true. I don't have scientific data supporting that but make no mistake, to say otherwise is just an example of media ballyhooed "lefty" identity politics gone too far. Besides, if there were a left-handed gene, we wouldn't see ex-"lefties."

Now, what is particularly confusing are those who claim to be "ambidextrous," as though hand-dominance exists along some sort of spectrum! Some of these misguided souls choose to do some things with their right hand and some things with their left hand. Clearly, such confused and abnormal "ambidextrous" succumb to temptation at their pleasure yet continue to do some things, conveniently, right-handed when it's easier (like when using a can-opener). Frankly, they want the best of both worlds, and it's greedy.

When are we going to demand an end to unnatural hand choice and left-handed identity politics? When are we going to pass laws and consitutional amendments clearly defining hand choice? I propose this definition as a start: "Hand dominance can only exist between one person and one hand only, the right one."

And more importantly, why do people even choose to do some things left-handed in the first place if it means they will have to live a more difficult life?

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