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Fables of Deconstruction


Imagine, if you will, a land where most people are right-handed: where most tools, office supplies, musical instruments, sporting equipment and other common products are designed for right-handers; where Kindergarten instructions in fine motor skills like drawing or crafting are aimed at right-handed children; and where right-handedness is generally assumed to be everyone’s mode of holding a pen, a fork, or a phone. Now in this land, the relatively few left-handed people have learned to live with these constant small slights and inconveniences, and many of them have, of necessity, become functionally ambidextrous—otherwise they’d be forever stuck with upside-down guitars and mouse pads on the wrong side of their desks.

Imagine that lefties start to resent their second class status and all the insults that it brings. Imagine that, over time, their unity as a group—in contrast to the right-handers, who are otherwise so varied they don’t really see themselves as a single culture—gains them a measure of political clout, and they persuade the government and other big institutions to mandate accommodation of left-handed employees and clients. Imagine that left-handedness…

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