If someone wants to judge a group negatively as a whole, based off one person they don't like, is that not prejudice? Is that not what needs fixing, rather than short men's behavior? The moment a person begins thinking this way, they are no longer even in the realm of rationality, so why appease them by lecturing short men? A tall guy could beat somebody to a pulp and he's judged as an individual. Meanwhile, a short man has to never even look at someone the wrong way, or else short men are blamed as a group. Why not just discourage height prejudice outright, rather than rely on how many gold star stickers a short guy has? It costs zero time or money to judge people as individuals, yet it seems like short men must fellate all of society in order to drag them kicking and screaming towards this goal.
It's apparently realistic to preach the following: "No matter what happens, always behave yourself as a short man." Yet not once have I ever seen anyone say, "No matter how many short guys offend you, don't discriminate based on height." People expect perfect behavior out of short men, but not those who stereotype short men. The only things being proven here are double standards, not stereotypes. No matter how much some tall man is despised (like Donald Trump), tall guys are never judged negatively as a group. If a woman is bodyshamed and flips off her bully, many people nowadays cheer her on. If a short man remotely gets upset by height discrimination, he's insecure, he has short man syndrome, etc.
Is there even a quota of good behavior short men must meet before society erases the Napoleon Complex/Short Man Syndrome from everyday use? Is there some kind of formal agreement that by a certain year, if every short man were more docile than any pet or child, society will finally stop this wanton labeling? Until then, what's the endgame in the bigger picture? These are actually trick questions. The real answer is "it doesn't matter." Someone shouldn't need to do this in the first place, simply for being born a certain way. Plus, I've seen short men who were polite and ready to patiently discuss heightism, but they got accused of "perpetuating the angry midget stereotype" simply because they discuss heightism. This is called kafkatrapping: using the denial of guilt as proof of guilt. One could say, "well, people only go there because of past experiences with nasty short men," but why is it the bigot who gets the benefit of the doubt?
The whole idea of the accused having to prove their innocence is a bum deal anyway:
"Burden of Proof is a fallacy in which the burden of proof is placed on the wrong side... For example, in American law a person is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty (hence the burden of proof is on the prosecution)."A person can't claim God exists then expect others to disprove it, that individual must prove it themselves. Likewise, people claim a man is more likely to be a bad person the shorter he is, then expect short men to spend their whole lives proving society wrong. That's not how logic works, especially when the thing that supposedly makes it worse, is a short man acting the exact same way others do, which means being fed up once in a while... Or in this case, even daring to disagree with or defy someone will apparently "confirm stereotypes" (even when that someone could be outright discriminating). When the burden of proof is placed on others, it turns out, and I quote, "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." So what more is needed for short men to be let off this hook? No, anecdotes are not enough ("I saw a short man start a bar fight once. Proof of short man syndrome right there!"). People with this illogical mentality are the ones who need reprimanding, not those being stereotyped.
The study above is salt in the wound, because it proves that short men already hold back more on average, as recommended by the "thou shall not confirm stereotype" advocates. What has been achieved from this? Less hatred of short men? To me, it seems like as everything else becomes politically incorrect, people only discriminate against short men more. Besides, the cat's out of the bag at this point. Even if every short man from now on got castrated, someone could just use a short villain from the past (like Charles Manson) as their excuse to hate all short men (but ignore the fact that boogeyman Osama Bin Laden was tall). Once a stereotype has been created, it can be brought up at any time as an insult. Height stereotypes are especially ridiculous, as it's gotten to the point now where a short man can be slapped with these for doing almost anything:
Simply seeing a short man dating a tall woman confirms short man syndrome.
I've seen short guys who were popular with women diagnosed with the Napoleon Complex, as in "He has a new lady every week to prove his masculinity." A short man who lifts more than 5 lb dumbbells or makes above average wage is often viewed as compensating. A short pro wrestler simply blocking someone on Twitter gets called “an angry little troll.” Point is, if you're a short man who fears these stereotypes, you might as well strap yourself into a straitjacket and never do anything.
Let's also not forget the human follies of confirmation bias and the halo effect. If there was one short man rubbing people the wrong way, and two tall men doing the same, people would focus on slandering short men. When there are a few short males people like, short men still aren't tolerated as a whole, those few good short guys are just regarded as isolated cases. It's not until the prejudice itself is stigmatized that the entire group will be viewed in a less negative light. There are those who think height prejudice can be lessened through sheer goodwill rather than direct conversation. These people don't understand that prejudice is irrational. There's a reason why society tells us to not bodyshame women, rather than suggesting women be good girls in order to avoid bodyshaming. Every time a short man does something unsavory, it's added to the list of bad things short men have done. No item from that list is ever removed however. When a short guy does something grand, it's not "short men are great," but rather "he's 10 feet tall on the inside" or something similar. Martin Luther King was 5'6 but height prejudice has not lessened. Yet some cherrypicked short meanie gets his sin carved into the monolith? Convenient how this "judge short men as a group" mentality only works one way: negatively. In fact, it seems like society brings up short male height only when they want to elicit hatred. Everyone somehow knows Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un are short, but people tend to be shocked when they find out the heights of MLK or Bruce Lee. If this isn't a rigged game then tell me what is.
Part of me thinks people are almost grateful that things like racism or sexism have the histories they do. Now those who have never even lived in those times can use said history as an excuse to treat others worse. "Yeah, we hate when women are told to behave more than men, but we have no qualms about expecting that from a man." It's a hypocritical and petty form of revenge. "Somebody stole 500 from me, so now I can steal 50 from you." I also don't think people realize political correctness doesn't stop a stereotype from being statistically accurate. I point this out because even if I had a thousand examples of bad apples from some politically protected group, my stereotypes about them would not be considered factual. With short men, all it takes is a single one to "confirm stereotypes."
In a hippie rainbows-and-sunshine fantasy land, it'd be great if nobody was rude ever, but currently I cannot think of any other type of bigot that's immune from repercussion. Society's consensus is "If you don't want to be mocked and ostracized, don't have narrow-minded viewpoints... Unless you're prejudiced about height, then short men have to watch their mouths around you." Simply put, short men are born guilty until proven innocent. That's what needs to be fixed, not short men's behavior. You know how children aren't allowed to swear as much as adults? The very idea that short men have to behave more than other regular adults is infantilizing and dehumanizing, like short men are kids or pets that need to watch it or face punishment. Insert "short men = children" joke here (but no hate against short girls please). The real power of these stereotypes is that they're like scolding a dog by saying "bad doggy!" Shuts up most short men like mutts. Then you have all the short people who threaten other shorties with these stereotypes. They're like those who police and snitch on their neighbors. Good thing everyone is always so vigilant, making sure short men know their place. People think they're being benevolent when telling short men to behave in order to avoid inequity, but the very fact that someone has to behave more than everyone else, simply due to benign DNA, that is inequity in itself.
Ultimately, the most ironic thing about all this, is how those who use these stereotypes are actually the ones perpetuating them (and yes, trying to censor a short man with these stereotypes counts as utilizing them). Imagine if someone didn’t even know short men had stereotypes. Maybe they're from a different culture, or perhaps we're simply talking about children. How do they learn this terminology in the first place? Is it because they saw some mean short guy and suddenly the words appeared in their head? Of course not. They learn about these stereotypes from those who use them on short men. This particular blog post wouldn't exist if it weren't for people like this, and I myself wouldn't even know what "Napoleon Complex" or "Short Man Syndrome" were if I didn't hear it from others. At least if someone learns this from me, I paint it as a bad thing to label someone with, which is not how these stereotypes are usually portrayed (like in Shrek). Either way, often times the first person to even mention these stereotypes is the one warning short men to not perpetuate them. Isn't that ironic? If a short guy moved to some village or tribe in the middle of nowhere, all of a sudden he wouldn’t have to censor himself any more than the average person, because these stereotypes don't exist there. Isn’t that funny when compared to our modern day, supposedly more “tolerant,” "educated," and "civilized" society? When it comes to behavior, a short man would be more free living among people in rags. Still, if we must play this game of accusing others about "perpetuating stereotypes," here's one from yours truly: humanity strives off of confirmation bias and prejudice.
Short men shouldn't have to beware confirming stereotypes, because the original premise is ridiculous on its face. It's literally saying, "If you're born this way, society considers you more likely to be evil. Now behave more than I have to for the rest of your life, just for the privilege of not being discriminated against." Claim this with any other trait, word for word, then see whether or not most people nod their heads. A short man could be a damn serial killer, but judging all short men based off that one person should never be an acceptable line of reasoning. The moment the burden of behavior is placed on short men, it sends the impression that it's almost understandable and sympathetic to discriminate based on height. If it isn't excusable, then why do short men have to worry about it at all?
"I hate all short men now, because this one short man confirmed all the negative stereotypes society taught me. He made me do it!"
"Oh, okay. You better watch yourselves now short men! You're partly to blame when this happens."
It's like short men are on a form of probation, except probation actually has an agreed upon end point, and the initial crime here is that a short guy's head isn't high enough off the ground. Most people nowadays would instinctively say "yes" when asked if they support equal treatment. Yet these same people would disagree with me when I state how a short man shouldn't have to behave any more or less than those around him. Put the two together and show me how they fit. The phrase "blame shifting" is thrown around a lot these days, but everyone ignores how they do exactly this when it comes to height.
Maybe people should stop antagonizing based on height, because many times a short guy "perpetuates" a stereotype, it's because someone provoked him. It's like if I poke an animal with a stick, then I huff and puff when it retaliates. After that I say, "If it wasn't so mad, I wouldn't poke it in the first place." On this note, you know what pisses off many short guys? Stereotyping short men. It's telling how people never take their own medicine by thinking, "Perhaps judging short men as a group will only create more angry short men." What short men think doesn't matter, but everyone else is entitled to being treated with respect by short men. This is all made worse when we remember how a short man is often mad due to people's actions, but height bias starts off solely due to appearance. Of course, throughout history, people who discriminate based on genetics always have their excuses for why the targeted group deserved it.
Unless short men are all given lobotomies, some short guy is going to get pissed off eventually. Instead of expecting saintliness from short men, people need to be educated about confirmation bias, and how society expects more docility out of someone the shorter they are. If it’s realistic to expect short men to be well-behaved 24/7 in spite of heightism, then why not cut out the middle man, and tell everyone else to not stereotype short men despite angry short dudes? Just because these stereotypes exist doesn't mean everyone has to use them. The way things are does not mean the way things should be.
TL;DR: Instead of simply saying “let’s both not be rude,” people would rather threaten short men into submission by saying “you're confirming stereotypes.” The latter is objectively biased behavior, because other people cannot be instantly censored in this way. It’s up to a bigoted society – the one that uses stereotypes as behavioral control – to change, not those targeted by said stereotypes the moment their genes are determined. This shouldn’t be complicated, and yet even the most politically correct among us fail to comprehend it.
Click here to read Part 2