Tuesday is the annual International Left-Handers Day, a celebration of the minority of men and women of the world who identify as lefties.
“Celebrate your right to be left-handed,” declared the site run by The Left-Handers Club, which launched the celebration in 1992. It claims the effort is more than a token cause, citing a list of left-handed events that have been held in more than 20 countries, including the following:
“Left-v-right sports matches, a left-handed tea party, pubs using left-handed corkscrews where patrons drank and played pub games with the left hand only, and nationwide ‘Lefty Zones’ where left-handers creativity, adaptability and sporting prowess were celebrated, whilst right-handers were encouraged to try out everyday left-handed objects to see just how awkward it can feel using the wrong equipment!”
Lefties make up about 10 percent of the world’s population and have long been subjected to discrimination both passive and explicit. As recently as the 1800s, being left-handed was considered a mental illness in many parts of the world. Left-handed people do, in fact, suffer in higher numbers from several ailments, including autism, dyslexia and schizophrenia. However, that might be based on the smaller sample size of the left-handed population rather than any scientific evidence.
However, lefties also often excel. As “Just Explain It” notes, five of the past seven U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama, have been left-handed.
Parade magazine notes some other left-handed celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, England's Prince William and entertainers Justin Bieber and Angelina Jolie.
But lest left-handers like me think the battle for equality has been won, take heed: On the day celebrating our unique status, Microsoft announced the launch of its new Sculpt Mouse — with right-hand-only functionality.