Things that are sneakily right-handed


#1

Lefty here, and there was an interesting side discussion on the “Controversial Road Diet” thread about how bikes in the US are inherently right-handed because of how their brakes are set up. Sometimes this asymmetry might work to a lefty’s advantage – @noahdjango suggested that learning a righty guitar as a lefty might be easier because fretting with your left hand isn’t easy – but it made me wonder what other things are right/left hand biased that we aren’t aware of on a daily basis. I mean, there are so many things that are really obvious like scissors and computer mouses, but it’s the subtle ones that really annoy me, like smart phones. Since I use it with my left hand, I find that the prompts are always too far away for my thumb to hit.

So c’mon my fellow sinister handers, it’s time to unburden yourselves. What sneakily right-handed things have been annoying you?


#2

Interesting topic, though the premise that bicycles are hand biased is actually false.


#3

Not my personal argument. I’ve never actually had an issue with how the brakes are set up on a bicycle, and I might even argue that the standard clutch/break setup for motorcycles generally favors us lefties. Same with how gear shifts in manual transmission cars in the US allow me to hang onto the wheel with my dominant hand and finesse the clutch with my dominant foot.


#4

I’m ambidextrous. I can write with either hand about equally well, but I prefer to write righty because I can see what I’m writing and I don’t smudge the ink. I do use a regular right-handed computer mouse left-handed. I play guitar right-handed because it’s how I was taught, but the right hand technique requires more dexterity than the left-hand fretting.

When my right arm was in a cast from elbow to fingertips, I found public bathrooms were sneakily right-handed. The toilet paper roll is always on the right. Strange, because the only cultures with a specified butt wiping hand specify the left hand, not the right.


#5

I just wanted to point it out. I’m not ascribing the idea to anyone. The front / rear brake lever placement is dependent on what country the bicycle is purchased in, and is based on what hand is used to signal depending on what side of the road people drive on.

I’ll try to think of some things that are hand biased. I’m left handed, but haven’t found too many things that really seem biased to me. I had a relative buy me a left handed can opener once, and I couldn’t use the darn thing, because I was so used to the standard ones.


#6

Fishing reels and guns – especially something like a bolt-action gun (I’m betting that the safety on most guns is biased towards righties). Although, (if I remember correctly) I think that most fishing reels allow one to switch the handle to the other side)


#7

I’m fairly ambidextrous (my sister is quadridextrous), but the one thing that I have great difficulty doing with my left hand has nothing to do with built in bias, rather it just seems like I never developed the proper muscle memory to efficiently brush my teeth with my left hand.


#8

Ooh, don’t even get me started on pens… and highlighters! They’re the worst!

I play right handed because that’s the guitar I bought at a yard sale for $25. I did okay with classical and fingerpicking, but as soon as I tried strumming using a pick, I realized that I would have rather learned left-handed. (Seriously, holding a small piece of plastic in your fingertips and trying to aim for a little string? I should have realized that it was harder than having frets as a guide!)

Yep, I tried shooting a bolt-action rifle and quickly became supremely irritated at the whole rigamarole.

I tried brushing my teeth with my right hand once and almost put out my eye. But now I’m REALLY curious about your sister’s prehensile feet!


#9

Ugh. That should have jumped into my head first thing. Every time a right handed friend says they really like a pen, my first response is: “does it pass the left hand test?”


#10

Left-handed, left-eyed and left-footed here. I’ve had to become functionality ambidextrous in order to do alot of my craft-work.


#11

That’s a good point! I crochet and tat left-handed, but I knit right-handed because it’s just easier to go with the flow on that front. I almost prefer righty scissors at this point because I’ve gotten used to there only being righty-scissors around.


#12


Righty or lefty?


#13

That reminds me… a massive percentage of anything labeled “ergonomic”. Seriously; F*** ergonomic mice.

A side note: A coworker of mine mentioned he purchased a new keyboard without a number pad, as it reduced the distance he had to reach for his mouse. It never would have occurred to me as a lefty.


#14

Most bullpup firearms are heavily chiral. If you shoot a right handed Aug from your left shoulder you’ll get a mouth full of hot brass. And it takes a bunch of work and a few parts to make it eject out the other side.

On the other hand the FN P90 is a bullpup carbine that is fully ambidextrous and ejects its casings out the bottom.


#15

That’s a dumb excuse to get rid of the number pad. Also you can use the number pad as a precision pointing device if you ever need such a thing.


#16

I think he just wanted a new toy. In any case, I appreciate having a numpad, and it doesn’t increase my mouse travel distance at all. :slight_smile:


#17

You aren’t meant to use them left handed? I always have and I’m a righty.


#18

I can’t brush, write, or mouse with my left but my left and right fight it out over a lot of the rest of everything. “Who’s holding the fork today and who’s holding the knife? *switches three times* *grumble grumble*”

My left is better at typing, using a trackpad, and using smartphones though.

Statistically speaking I’m probably left handed (most people who are left-eye-dominant are left handed) but oh well. :laughing:

On the upside, I didn’t find fair isle knitting very difficult to pick up. :knitting_emoji_we’re_missing_for_whatever_reason:

I bought my 67-key because my desk was too small to use the way I wanted but I got a standalone 10-key (both are mechanical, wee) I set up just behind the 67-key. Now I have a bigger desk but good keyboards are expensive so I haven’t swapped them out.


#19

I’m left-eye dominant, and “left ear dominant” since I’m losing my hearing in the right ear, but I’m pretty solidly right-handed. Although I usually shoot lefty unless the firearm doesn’t allow it. Because the left-eye dominance makes a huge difference in aim.


#20

A good book that should be of interest to the sinister crew:

A free sample of Corballis: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michael_Corballis/publication/15820755_Laterality_and_Myth/links/0c960536bf98c4544d000000.pdf?origin=publication_detail