Day eight of the ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge’ and I’ve discovered that another member of my team is left handed. Stop the press! I never knew. Tony does everything with his left hand except play the cornet while Paul, the only left hander I thought I had, does everything with his right except write. I did say it wasn’t a simple issue and I thought I knew my team.
Handy is a very handy word. It can be put in from of many words to imply that it is easy to use or useful , easily accessible or convenient. A handy guide, a handy tool or indeed a handyman spring to mind. It’s useful having a handyman around the house – apparently.
So how many of the things that are to hand, that are handy, are not easily accessible or convenient to the left-handed? It’s surprising how many everyday objects are presented for use with the right hand. Here are just a few:
A kettle – the one we have at home can be turned either way so that it can be turned on and off with a switch in the handle. The indicator light to say that is on however can only be seen when the handle is to the right. It is clearly designed to be switched, picked up and poured using the right hand.
A cash machine – the buttons to say how much cash you want or what other services you need may be on the left hand side of the automatic teller machines yet the slots for your card and where the cash comes out are well to the right. In order to insert your debit card using your left hand would be that you would no longer be able to reach the keys with your right. They are clearly designed by someone who is right handed.
A ticket barrier – if you go down to Newcastle Central Station you will see what I mean. All of the barriers are controlled by a ticket entry to the right-hand side of the passenger. Perhaps left –handed people are expected to enter the platforms backwards.
The more I look the more I see that nearly every machine has a right-hand bias. I take it back what I said about my laptop as even that has more of the key function buttons such as delete, enter, page up and down on the right die of the keyboard. Even the control button, the major prize of the keyboard left is replicated on the right.
Indeed as I wander around the house I have noticed how most items are laid out in a way that favours the right hand. The toaster, the microwave, the way the cupboards are stacked and the way the draws are filled all show a right leaning.
It is discrimination of a sort, unintentional I hope yet could be an indication of why there is such a prevalence of right-handed people in our society and that is because life has been designed to be lived that way.