Common Fallacies When Discussing Height Prejudice

  • Relative Privation: "Height discrimination is not that bad because someone else has it worse."
  • Just-World: The belief that bad things happen to bad people. "It's not about height, it's your bad personality."
  • Survivorship Bias: "Whether it be movie stars, or athletes, or musicians, or CEOs of multibillion-dollar corporations who dropped out of school, popular media often tells the story of the determined individual who pursues their dreams and beats the odds. There is much less focus on the many people that may be similarly skilled and determined but fail to ever find success because of factors beyond their control or other (seemingly) random events. This creates a false public perception that anyone can achieve great things if they have the ability and make the effort. The overwhelming majority of failures are not visible to the public eye, and only those who survive the selective pressures of their competitive environment are seen regularly."
  • Kafkatrapping: People accuse short men of having short man syndrome or being insecure, then when any short man argues against this, it's used as further confirmation for these claims. However, putting up no resistance results in these claims going unchallenged, and therefore accepted as fact.
  • Appeal to Nature/Naturalistic/Biological Determinism: "Height prejudice, and the inequity that stems from it, is just the natural way of things." Plenty of things are natural and instinctive, such as the urge to assault somebody in a fit of rage, indulging in unhealthy but satisfying cravings, or taking a male more seriously than a female because the latter is physically weaker on average. Yet all of those things are discouraged, because something being natural doesn't inherently make it excusable. Unless someone has mental illness, a person's words and actions are their own responsibility.
  • Burden of Proof: The burden of proof lies with the person who is making a claim. Society claims many nasty things about short men, yet expects short men to "disprove" these stereotypes - the accused is guilty until proven innocent (I've written a series of posts specifically about this).
  • Composition/Division: Inferring that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole. "I have never experienced heightism, therefore nobody experiences heightism.
  • False Dilemma: When something is falsely claimed to be an "either/or" situation. "You can either think about heightism, or live a fulfilling life."
  • Appeal to the People: Believing something is true because many or most people believe it. "If so many talk about angry short men, it must be a real issue." Could also be done in reverse, "Society as a whole doesn't acknowledge heightism, therefore it doesn't exist."
  • Argument by Laziness: A person makes a statement or gives an opinion on an issue without having studied the topic being discussed. Everyone seems to be an expert on height related issues, but how many have done their research?
  • Strawman: Substituting a person’s actual position or argument, then attacking that new, false narrative. One person could be talking about height discrimination, but the other will act like the first is mad about dating issues.
There is of course also the fallacy fallacy, which people use to excuse committing any of the above fallacies, but the fallacy fallacy only applies when you still have a point despite being fallacious. Most of the time, a person has no argument aside from their initial fallacy itself.

The Guardian Attempts to Shed Light On Height Prejudice

I say "attempts" because partway through the article, it essentially shifts the spotlight from heightism, to how short men react to heightism. Starting from here:

"Insecurity generally manifests in oversensitivity to insult (which may contribute to the stereotype of short men as angry, resentful, over-compensating Napoleons.)"

The article then goes on to give various examples of short men who cope with heightism in their own ways.

That's okay and all, but if one looks at The Guardian's articles about fat shaming (of which there are many), the focus is usually only on the prejudice itself. Do a ctrl+f search for words like "insecurity" on their articles about weight, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a single hit. Why? Because the word "insecure" is inherently negative, and makes it seem like the problem is with the person on the receiving end of the stigma. Mainstream websites avoid using such phrases for issues like body shaming, because they don't want readers to think it's the fat person's mentality that's the problem.

There's this part as well:

"As to whether or not short men really require kudos just for being secure … well, it depends on your perspective."

Whatever your perspective is, good luck finding the same line of questioning in mainstream articles about fat women. The message I've gotten from those, is that you're a bigot if you don't automatically praise females for being proud of the bodies. People basically have no choice nowadays but to pat women on the back over body positivity, or else feminists will show up to teach everyone a lesson. Less double standards here would be nice.

The existence of The Guardian's article about height shows how far we've come, and how far we have yet to go in terms of both quantity and quality. On one hand, it's nice that a mainstream website has an article about heightism at all. On the other, it's interesting how many more posts there are about weight than height. The way the topics are discussed is also worth noting. When it comes to weight, the responsibility to behave is placed entirely on how everyone else views overweight people. But when it comes to height, we start talking about how short men should view themselves. It's ironic how The Guardian's height article talks about "toxic masculinity," because the idea of men manning up while women are catered to is a classic gender dynamic. We're getting somewhere though, there's no doubt about that, and a lot of short guys are grateful to get any scraps at all from these publications. I still recall being told to stop discussing heightism years ago because it'd never get any recognition.

Feminist Claims People Only Care About Height Because of "Toxic Masculinity"

I like how she phrases everything in the present tense, like some guy born in the last few decades is still responsible for whatever she thinks happened ages ago. How did this get over 200 likes? All I know is that this is why there's so much resentment towards feminism these days. Imagine being told you're sexist unless you're a feminist. Then other feminists basically say, "I think one of your ancestors wronged my ancestors, so it's no big deal when I wrong you." Yet somehow people are still shocked when any male doesn't identify as a feminist.

It doesn't even make any sense. Men tend to be taller than women, so if a man is below the average male height, even in the most feminist of societies he would be classified as "short" for his gender. Otherwise it'd be like saying women would enjoy micropenises and think they're big, if only it weren't for that pesky toxic masculinity. Things like looking up at or being carried by a tall male, that's all physical and has nothing to do with social concepts. If anything, it sounds more like toxic femininity to me.

This also makes it seem like women are puppets whose strings are easily pulled. Men allegedly tell women to be biased based on height, so even feminists simply comply? Very strong, independent, and empowered. When was "toxic masculinity" supposedly invented anyway, and what's forcing these woke feminists to misbehave right now? Clearly not their own choices, that would mean taking responsibility for one's actions.

Article About Height Discrimination Written By 6'4 Man

Appreciate it, because short men are labeled as insecure whiny Napoleons when discussing the same issue:

Why is discrimination against the short considered not only tolerable, but also amusing? In an era constantly on the lookout for prejudices to denounce, this obvious one gets a pass.  
The main reason our culture doesn’t denounce short-shaming is highly revealing about the essential nature of wokeness.
I’m 6’4″ (193 centimeters), so I’m not sore about heightism personally. I just think it’s increasingly a bad idea.

People Physically Humiliating Short Men

Concepts like consent and personal space don't apply to short men:

Some girls wear heels so often, they start thinking that's their real height.

Not even being a cop is enough:

Imagine the reaction if this happened to a female officer.

Of course, if either of these guys got mad in the moment, at best they'd receive the usual "it's just a prank bro/make fun of yourself" spiel. At worst, they'd be labeled with short man syndrome.

At least some people actually called out the behavior in the first clip:

"He just gets bullied all day on something he can't control..."

"How's this even socially acceptable? People just acting as if there was nothing wrong going on here. It's pretty fucked up if you try to put yourself in his shoes. It's like going back to middle school and getting bullied, but instead of standing up for you, everyone just laughs at you."

"People act like you have a condition if you are short."
"It's fucked up how much people abuse him about his height.
Genuinely fucked up. I say this as someone who cannot stand the guy. He didn't want to be picked up, just leave it alone."

Here as well:

"I have a tough time as a 5'6 man, I can't imagine 5'2 (or whatever he is). He has been shitted on all Twitchcon and seemed to be taking it like a champ, but I knew it was hurting him inside. And if he tried to rebuttal, he'd be labeled Napoleon complex. Making fun of his height is an easy meme for the unoriginal"
"I saw so many people saying shit like, "If he had a problem with all of the comments and stuff about his height then he obviously would say something or tell them to stop". Just conveniently ignoring the fact that making fun of a guy for being short is a pretty normalized thing in our society, and if a short guy does voice his opinion about not wanting others to poke fun at him for his height the issue is with him for just not being confident enough and getting bitter about people just trying to have some fun. Even if "just having fun" is at someone else's expense in regards to something which they have no control over."

Seems like it takes constant and blatant degradation of a short guy, before people realize short men are human too. Most seem to think short men are unpaid jesters, who exist on a 24/7 basis to make everyone else feel good about themselves. Having a bad day? Need a self-esteem boost or just a quick laugh? Target a short dude and play it off as a joke. If he has a problem with it, just claim he's insecure and takes himself too seriously.

It's funny how short men are stereotyped as angry midgets, even though none of these guys got remotely mad despite being physically humiliated let alone verbally. Here's another one:

I've seen people think this last video is fake because it was conveniently being filmed. It may very well be staged, but it could also be something like, "Hey bro, get the camera ready and watch what I'm gonna do to that little guy." Either way, those first two videos are real.

On one last note:

"For real though there's nothing a short person can do if this exact same scenario happened. If they fight back they'd get call out as "short man syndrome" if they don't fight back everyone laughs at the short man because "it's funny". Short people, specifically short men really have it worst when it comes to social interactions. It's a losing scenario no matter what road they take."

They're right. At least a small female can play the gender card in these scenarios, by making it seem like the guy manhandling her doesn't respect women. A short male is trapped, and even other shorties will come out of the woodwork to ensure he stays docile. "Don't fight back, or else you'll confirm Napoleon Complex."

Using Ugly Men In Media to Downplay Male Beauty Standards

I often hear that men don't deal with strict beauty standards compared to women, because there are more short/ugly/fat males in media than similar females. It's like people never wonder why undesirable men are predominantly in comedic, villainous, or sidekick roles, rather than portraying Superman or James Bond. Imagine 50 Shades of Grey starring Homer Simpson.
Fat ugly men get comedic roles due to the high demand for laughing at a funny looking idiot. When they're paired with attractive women, it's because the contrast is meant to look amusing and ridiculous, like how people laugh when a short person stands next to someone much taller. It's not portrayed as sexually appealing.

On this note, you can't have a culture that gets offended the moment a woman is asked about her weight, while also expecting more female punching bags. People wouldn't find it fun, they would find it in poor taste. For instance, sitcoms such as The Big Bang Theory contain quotes directed at short male characters such as, "Besides shortness, what genetic weaknesses run in your family?" At the same time, there are female actresses from the show talking about body shaming:

You can't have it both ways. People like Amy Schumer are rare because they demand body positivity while at the same time being a comedian ("I have never been apologetic for what could be considered a flaw on my body."). Imagine if Kevin Hart suddenly started talking about heightism. It'd become real awkward when his height is brought up as an objective flaw for laughs. He would then have less material to work with, and therefore less opportunities.

Look at this short pudgy dude in 2 Broke Girls, then picture the same scenario, but with a girl being bodyshamed:

Would people find this funny if it was a woman being degraded?

More importantly, just because these male characters exist doesn't mean their physical traits are suddenly attractive. How many women do you think find the Asian guy in the clip above appealing? If the answer is "not many," then what difference does his existence make towards beauty standards? One could even argue that many of these portrayals make short/ugly/fat men even less desirable than they naturally would be.

Fact of the matter is that insulting men based on appearance is a godsend for lazy writers. It's an easy way to get many positive reactions for minimum effort. On the other hand, when we're not allowed to comment on a woman's body let alone insult it, there will simply not be as many females in these situations. Besides, last I heard, women nowadays are looking for "empowering" roles.