Somehow, someway, blame always seems to shift back onto short men during talks of height discrimination. Heightism doesn't exist due to the prejudice of others, but rather because short men deserve it. At least, that's what people tell themselves:
- "Napoleon Complex/Short Man Syndrome" wasn't coined due to confirmation bias, or the belief that short men aren't allowed to be powerful/assertive. No, clearly it's because short men are innately nasty human beings.
- When short men are rejected due to height in dating, people try to claim it's because short guys have poor personalities.
- "Biology/nature" is constantly used as an excuse for height prejudice.
- Apparently, the whole "manlet" thing came about because short men "overcompensate" by lifting weights. Never mind how "hit the gym" is the only advice short men ever get aside from "be confident." Of course, tall guys can lift as much as they want.
- People will often say "I'm only hitting you where it hurts." Too bad that excuse doesn't fly when body shaming women, even though it's hitting women where it hurts. Basically, if a short man reacts to disrespect, then people will make it seem like him reacting in the first place is the problem. But if he doesn't react at all, then this goes unabashed.
- Whenever anyone short calls out height discrimination, it's always met with something along the lines of, "you're just insecure/mad about being short" or "you're only mad because you can't reach the top shelf." People would rather attack those who discuss heightism, instead of confronting actual intolerance.
People will outright admit what I'm talking about as well. For example, in the movie Shrek, the message is about how it's okay to be considered unattractive. However, the films constantly mock a short character. The main excuse I've seen for this is "it's okay because the short character was villainous." Once again, discrimination is fine when the target brings it upon themselves. Here's the catch: this excuse works against anyone we don't like. Aside from straight-up eating babies or something, what makes someone an asshole in the eyes of society is subjective. A short officer could be doing their job, but if someone doesn't like it, they'll label the cop with a syndrome/complex. It's clearly okay, because all the cop had to do was not be an "asshole." Throw in things like the halo effect and one can see how this works more often than not against short men.
We also all know this great moral message wouldn't work using flat women or something. I can't start a hatefest against small breasted girls because one was an asshole. WWE used to make fat jokes towards a villainous female character, yet people got mad anyway. I actually don't blame anyone who has a problem with this, only because products marketed towards children (like Shrek or WWE) are extremely influential on young minds. If somebody wants to be offensive in an adult product then I don't care, I simply dislike the double standards of this society. This culture is more careful nowadays about making young girls self-conscious about their bodies, but ignore the negative effects on males.
Here's another example of "let's use one person we don't like to unleash our bigotry," this time from what I believe to be people who consider themselves tolerant liberals. They even have "against hate" in the side of the page which is extra funny. Here's a quote:
"Pro tip: those racial supremacist ideas are what makes someone a "manlet". You can be 6'3" (you're not though) but if you are a neonazi like that Nathan guy you are a small man."If they dislike a tall guy, he's a short man on the inside. A tall guy could beat someone up, and still society would use shortness/smallness as the insult. All the negativity will always get linked back to the idea of being short. This further stigmatizes the trait itself, causing people to subconsciously hate short men even more. The real “protip” here is that the “manlet asshole” doesn’t even need to exist for society to hate against short men. Take Napoleon who was average height for example. For a more modern example, look here.
Also note how this mentality does not work with most other traits. I don't see those who are against "fat shaming" insulting others by claiming they're "landwhales on the inside." You don't mock a redheaded person, then have them respond back by saying your ideas make you ginger. Imagine mocking someone with a full head of hair by claiming they're bald. Only two traits have this "logic" applied to them: height and beauty. Just like how someone can be ugly or beautiful on the inside, you can be tall but a "mental midget," or a little person but with a "towering intellect." My theory is that society cares so much about stature and attractiveness, that when they see a tall or beautiful person they abhor, subconsciously people must convince themselves that it's all a shell and underneath are the traits they dislike.
Either way, this all reminds of when I came across this message from South Park about using homophobic slurs. It was essentially, "using faggot as an insult isn't about homophobia, it's an insult towards assholes." Sure, South Park itself is just some dumb show, but it's pretty obvious many people subscribe to this mentality. I think it's some attempt to rebrand the slur as a general insult. What people always leave out is how nobody insults a person by using "straight" instead of "faggot." Relative Privation aside, it's much the same with height. These days, I've seen tall men insulted by claiming they have "Short Man Syndrome" because they're short on the inside. Need I say more? Associating these phrases with more negative connotations is not good. When people think of an asshole, it'll be linked with physical size more than it already is ("be the bigger man, you nasty little man, etc". Who thinks that's a good idea?
It doesn't take a genius to see how bigots always have a reason why their targets deserve hatred. It's either "the natural way of things," or the group being discriminated against is clearly misbehaving and therefore worthy of reprimanding. Part of this is due to just-world thinking, the other half is because people don't want to consider themselves as intolerant (even though they partake in height discrimination). This is apparent in those who mock short men but get mad about things like body shaming. No, it's the short ones who are wrong.
Keep in mind how many horror stories there are on the Internet about women, like the ones who lie about rape to ruin a man's life. When it comes to height, look at how many women insult men based on it: . This doesn't matter though, because if you generalize women based on those nasty ones, that's wrong. Short men are a different story.
Here's a thread with a comment straight up saying, "The reason many people discriminate against short people is because most of them have shitty attitudes and dwelll on others' pity."
I'm not even sure how people come to such a conclusion. So if the average 5'0 guy has the same attitude as the average 7'0 guy, they'd be viewed the same way? What about other groups, are they discriminated against due to their own fault?
If people spent half as much time chastising actual height discrimination, we'd be getting somewhere. Everyone's a real tough guy when lecturing short men, yet nobody wants to make a peep against actual bigots.