In Defense of the Short Men

My colleague and friend Kay Steiger tweeted something this morning that made a lot of people defensive:

Declared History’s Greatest Monster by many, she followed it up with an awesome blog post this afternoon:

Height discrimination seems to be one of the last socially accepted irrational dating biases. If you’re short, there’s literally nothing you can do about that. When I say that I think women who refuse to date a man simply because of his height I usually get a litany of reasons defending this position—pretty much all of which are irrational.

I’m just not attracted to short men.
Fine. I don’t really get why you’d eliminate an entire population simply based on height, but there is some evolutionary psychology to back up the idea that women tend to be attracted to greater height. But if we’re totally being honest, there are tons of “evolutionary” romantic biases that modern people work around pretty effectively: People tend to be attracted to people that look most like them, women are “attracted” to wealthier men, or that women evolutionarily want to be more submissive to men. Why we adhere to the height “evolution” reason and tend to reject others as biased is beyond me.

Short men have a “Napoleon” complex.
I don’t have any scientific data to back this up or anything, but I’m pretty sure Napoleonism isn’t a universal trait among men under a certain height. What women mean when they say this is they once dated a short guy who was an asshole and so they’ve taken to assuming all short men are assholes.

And so on. Go read the rest, it’s good.

I just want to follow this up with something one of my followers brought up, and something Kay touched on a bit, but bears teasing out. Women are socially conditioned to want to feel smaller than men. Superhero women are smaller than superhero men (mostly). Wanting a bigger guy than oneself is often about wanting to feel small and protected, and less visible. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting what you want, but casting aspersions on a whole group of men because of personal preference quite literally is bigotry. And if we’re getting personal, I actually have a slight preference for shorter men because I’m only 5’3″ and I like looking a guy in the eye. It also makes other logistics easier. But! I would never not date a much taller man because of that, and people, I suspect, would call me crazy if I said I just wasn’t into tall guys.

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1 Comment

Filed under Sexism, Women

One response to “In Defense of the Short Men

  1. Pingback: Dating: Are you taller than a 5th grader? « Halftime

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