Is It Still Just a Joke When Most People Actually Believe the Stereotype?

This thread is full of "it's just a prank bro" comments:

If we lived in a culture where most people know this is nothing more than a derogatory stereotype, then I'll be the first to agree that it's a laughing matter. Unfortunately, people treat this stereotype like it's factual:

So while we can view that tweet with 152K likes as a joke, I view it as someone with a large audience spreading a negative stereotype. A negative stereotype which is not yet recognized as such, but rather regarded as folk wisdom. I don't think people realize something is only a joke if society recognizes it as prejudice when played straight.

The other insidious thing about this stereotype is that if any short man has a problem with it, people will kafkatrap him by claiming he's confirming the angry short man stereotype. In fact, there's a 6'5 guy right here trying this, although fortunately he's called out on it by a user saying, "You can’t insult a group of people and then make it a social crime for them to be upset about it".

Here's another case, this time of a shirt depicting supposed instances of short man syndrome. The artist claims it's tongue-in-cheek, but one quick search on twitter of "short man syndrome" will show how most people view this stereotype as a clinical diagnosis rather than a joke. Fact of the matter is that when people see a short bodybuilder with huge muscles, they will say he's compensating. When people see a short authority figure they don't like, they will link it to his height. So again, I'm left scratching my head as to how this is all in jest. Of course, when it comes to height prejudice, critical thinking is often written off as being easily offended.

Like Matt K. Lewis once said, you can't talk about people being fat, there's ageism discrimination, but you can discriminate about height and get away with it. Despite the fact that short men are not statistically more aggressive, most will never know this, because even short people themselves don't want to talk about it.

Different Reactions to Angry Men Based On Height

Short guy rages over Tim Hortons:

According to reddit: "If that's not a Napoleon complex, I don't know what is."

Tall guy rages over a mattress:

According to people in the comments section, he was just a crazy asshole.

Maybe if society routinely shamed angry tall men the same way they do to short men, this wouldn't happen:

Here's another man losing his cool, this time over a video game: At best it's funny, at worst he's a jerk for overreacting. Either way, average height and tall men do not shoulder the blame as a group.

When a short guy gets fired up the exact same way some average or tall guy does, it suddenly becomes typical of short men:

Many claim "nobody cares about height but you" whenever height bias is being discussed, yet when we look at how thousands of people focus on height in situations where height is irrelevant, prejudices are made clear.

What happens when these double standards are left alone to spread? Websites start insinuating that short men are more likely to be mass shooters.

Related reading: "The theory that short men end up as more aggressive than taller ones has been dismissed by a scientific study... Heart monitors revealed it was the taller men who flew off the handle more quickly and hit back."

Professor Points Out Height Bias to Explain Racism

The writer is black and female, which means people aren't as likely to get mad at her for daring to compare height to something like race. I would link this whenever somebody misses the point of the analogy and spews the usual strawman: "Heightism doesn't have the same history as racism." Nobody ever claims it does. We're talking about how much better/worse someone is automatically treated for being born a certain way. No more, no less.

"Isn’t it interesting that we are taught to look inwards when it comes to height bigotry..."

"...But with any other type of social prejudice, we are taught to look outwards and blame society."

This was a good quote.

When it comes to the other forms of prejudice recognized by today's politically correct society, people simply say, "Don't discriminate, it's not good."

With height discrimination, it's different. The short person is often blamed for being too insecure or not confident enough.

Instead of simply telling people to refrain from stereotyping short men (like we do with other groups), we tell short men to be more docile in order to not be stereotyped.

When people are made uncomfortable due to heightism discussions, it's the short person's fault for not making everyone else comfortable.

When minority groups are viewed as less attractive, many blame negative stereotypes and media portrayals, but when it comes to height, it's suddenly all due to personality or genetics.

If a woman is offended when being mocked about her body, many people take her side, but if a short man has a problem with anything, it's his fault for not taking it on the chin.

It's all very interesting indeed.

Example of People's Confirmation Bias and Projection Regarding Height

Essentially, photos of 5'7 Mark Zuckerberg sitting on a booster seat went viral. People mocked him for being insecure about his height and trying to look taller. It shows how important height is, that sitting on a cushion makes countless headlines, even from mainstream media outlets.

In reality, and I quote:
A rep from Facebook said the cushion was not the billionaire’s private seat, but was provided by the Senate Judiciary Committee. “That’s the committee’s standard practice,” a company spokesperson told The Post.
As you can see, people simply projected their own feelings about height onto Zuckerberg. However you may feel about the guy, to automatically assume he's insecure about his height is nothing more than conjecture, founded on the basis that male shortness is something that must cause embarrassment.

This doesn't only happen to short men who draw the public's ire, but to short men in general. Here it is happening to Kit Harington. People will automatically assume you're insecure just by existing.

How Height Affects Social Perception During Physical Altercations

I don't drink anymore, but when I did, short drunk guys were 90% of the reason I stopped going to bars. Not saying all, obviously. I've met some supremely chill people of less than average height. But when you're tall there's this thing that happens where you become a target for every ounce of resentment within a certain breed of manlet once they get liquored up.
It's very frustrating because you get caught in this situation where you're just trying to chill and someone is provoking you. And you know and they know that if you wanted to, you could just crush them. I'm talking 1 ft height/100lb weight advantage, and they're always way more drunk than you.
But you can't, and they know it. Because there's no 'winning' that fight. You give the guy what he thinks he wants, and you end up in handcuffs and come away from it looking like you would if you hit a woman or a child. So you try to stay calm and listen to this drunk chihuahua man yip and yap at you all night and can't even enjoy yourself because the persistent little shit isn't going to give it up until he's in an ambulance and you're in handcuffs.
Small drunk people fucking suck.

If this is actually true, then why did most of the people in this thread (where ironically the above was posted) not side with the short guy, and how did it get 800 upvotes?

Look at this for another example:

Reality: If you're a tall guy and you ever get into an altercation with a short man, just tell everyone the shorter guy had a napoleon complex and was trying to prove something. The only way people would wag their finger at you for teaching him a lesson, is if you beat the short guy bloody or dead. If you don't fight him, there's a reason why the saying is called "be the bigger man." If you're taller/bigger than the other guy, people will just think you're letting him live by not fighting. Socially, you cannot lose either way. It's the short guys who are in a conundrum. If the short man walks away, people will think he's afraid of the other guy's size, but if the short guy fights then he'll be labeled with short man syndrome.

The proof of this is how short men are statistically less aggressive on average, yet receive the "angry midget" stereotype while taller men get "gentle giant." Why? The halo effect. Implicit bias tests also show that people are negatively biased against short men. Trying to pretend like society would take the shorter man's side if you beat his ass, is like saying people would favor an ugly person over an attractive one. It might be a cute message in a highschool drama, where you're told by the writers who to root for, but it's divorced from reality when we look at how people actually act on their own. If you have a trait that is considered more attractive, people will impulsively believe you are a better human being. Height is also linked with power, so a short man displaying aggressiveness is automatically perceived as stepping out of line, in a way that tall men do not have to deal with.

I've seen videos where a tall man beats up a short loudmouth, and people say the latter had a complex. I've seen videos where a short man knocks out a tall loudmouth, and people say the former has a complex anyway. I want to know where this place is that that likens harm against short men with assault towards women and children. Apparently, I missed the memo where the saying has always been, "Women and children and short men first." I doubt videos like this (albeit staged) would be considered humorous if the smaller guy was replaced by a woman:

Common Misconceptions About Height

Taller is healthier.
Failing to reach one's maximum height is linked to undernourishment, but short stature itself is not unhealthy when genetic. For example, short people live longer on average[1][2]. Being taller has also been linked to cancer, heart disease, and collapsed lungs. More research on this here.

Height is mostly dietary.
It's the other way around. Height is more genetic than dietary.

Every younger generation gets taller.
The average American has not gotten taller in the last 50 years. In fact, average height in the medieval ages was only slightly shorter than it is now. If you've been noticing how youth are tall for their age nowadays, it's because kids today hit puberty sooner.

Short men are angrier on average.
This study found that tall men fly off the handle more quickly.

Every human being innately prefers tall people.
They've done height studies on various tribal cultures, and these people don't care about height the same way modern society does.

Men and women are equally strict about height.
Tall people earn higher salaries due to superior competence.
This study found there was no earnings disparity between the short and tall self-employed, concluding that the height wage gap is due to employer discrimination (unlike something such as gender).

Height has never played an important role in being targeted.
  • "At the start of the 20th century, most of the Rwandan population belonged to the Hutu ethnic group, who were traditionally crop-growers. Over many centuries, Rwanda attracted another group, traditional herdsmen, the Tutsis, from northern Africa... It wasn’t until European colonists arrived during the 1950s, that a divide developed between the two groups. The Europeans saw the Tutsis, who were taller with European ‘aristocratic’ appearances and, as was the practice of the time, selected this group to be both privileged and educated." - Source..."When RTLM (Radio Télévison des Milles Collines) began broadcasting on July 8, 1993... The RTLM called for the Tutsi to "cut down the tall trees," a code phrase which meant for the Hutu to start killing the Tutsi." - Source
  • "The one noticeable similarity with almost all serial killer victims is their short height and low weight. "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue" should be the serial killer theme song. These small lightweight victims are easy to attack, easy to beat up, easy to carry or drag, easy to put in the trunk of a car, and easy to dispose of. Big victims are far too much work. Smallish men, smallish women, and children are easy for the killer too handle. This is one reason why the top choices for women serial killers are invalids and babies." - Killing for Sport: Inside the Minds of Serial Killers
  • More on this topic here.