Disclaimer: Comments along the lines of “What are you talking about? Short people are totally treated just like tall people and and people date them all the time” will be ignored because they are stupid.
No silliness about beauty being on the inside, or how you, personally, think everyone is beautiful, or you know a short guy who beat the odds and got laid, or worst of all, that a famous rich millionaire is short and popular so therefore normal people can do it, too. Normal people don’t have millions of dollars.
There is a truth, universally acknowledged by short men: women don’t want to date them.
Short men are discriminated against in the dating market, they were bullied more by their peers in school, discriminated against at job interviews, treated generally like shit, and when they complain, get told that discrimination against short people isn’t real.
I don’t talk much about discrimination, but discrimination against unattractive people (and being a short man is an obvious kind of unattractiveness) is obviously real. No one wants to date an ugly person, even if that ugly person is a wonderful person inside. That’s just the cold, ugly truth that every ugly person lives.
I recently read a rather sad story about a young man’s untimely death:
I’m not exactly sure when he died. My father called me with the news on Saturday, November 4, 2017, but Yush was in Italy, which is six hours ahead. I later learned that a blood clot shot up from his leg and blocked his lungs; a pulmonary embolism.
The blood clot was an unfortunate complication of leg-lengthening surgery Yush had pursued because he is short.
The author, Yush’s sister, never seems to understand what was actually motivating him. She focuses on his attempted suicide back in college, a decade beforehand, and on their estrangement due to differing opinions on feminism:
Both Yush and I were motivated by a vision of how we wanted to change the world around us. However, where he applied his vision to the physical world, I applied my observations to social constructs, questioning and challenging the power structures around me. I asked Prasad [her feminist therapist] how Yush went from being my best friend to someone I couldn’t even speak to, especially since I believed that, at heart, we wanted the same things: to be free of societal expectations, and to be treated with respect and dignity regardless of appearance, race, or gender. “The reality is, what patriarchy is meant to do is divide,” Prasad told me. “Men can still be lured by it and think, Oh if I take on these characteristics, I get what I want,” she said.
One of society’s eternal problems is people using a lot of mumbo-jumbo to sound smart.
Your brother doesn’t like feminism because feminism is about helping women, and he’s not a woman. He is a short, brown guy whom most women don’t want to date. He wants a philosophy that helps him.
That’s not “the patriarchy.” That’s your brother being a human being.
Yush’s view of manhood, coupled with unmanaged depression is one that, I think, inflicted pain, created resentment, and exacerbated his insecurities. In 2015, a few months before our estrangement, Yush told me he was pushed out of the company he helped build with men he had thought of as brothers; the betrayal deepened a belief that he was not taken seriously, or treated with the same level of respect as other male entrepreneurs, despite his profound technical knowledge and general brilliance.
Jesus fucking christ, lady. Your brother gets pushed out of the company he founded, and your reaction is to blame it on his view of “manhood” rather than, you know his co-founders being assholes?
Can you pause for one minute and contemplate the possibility that your brother’s pain was REAL? That some things in life were actually tough for him, and no amount of medication in the world would paper that over? Even women don’t like getting pushed out of things they created or betrayed by their friends.
The author keeps going on about how her brother just needed more treatment for his depression (she doesn’t give us any reason to believe he was depressed at this point, but she thinks he was) instead of realizing that he had actual, real world problems he was trying to solve.
Oh, the chorus cries, but only a crazy person would get surgery to alter their appearance so people will treat them better!
Apparently the chorus has never heard of liposuction, face lifts, breast augmentation, gastric bypass, or any of the myriad surgeries that people get every day to improve their looks. There’s a very high likelihood that the author also accepts sex change operations as perfectly reasonable. More mundanely, people alter their appearances via makeup, nice clothes, haircuts, wigs, and endlessly on–humans care about how they look and try hard to affect how other people treat them by enhancing their appearances.
We are supposed to sympathize with the protagonist in Gattaca, not conclude that he was crazy because he was willing to undergo painful surgery to pursue his dream–even though his dream was much less likely to actually come to fruition (very few people get to be astronauts) than Yush.
You can say that most of these operations are less painful than leg lengthening, but the article makes it clear that Yush sought out an operation that was supposed to be less painful than the standard version–and sex reassignment surgery is pretty darn painful.
Finally the author does talk to a psychologist who counsels short men (she apparently cannot be bothered to actually talk to a short man):
Men she’s counseled, she said, often “feel like they’re at a disadvantage. They feel like they’re not taken as seriously in terms of work environment. They feel like romantic partners don’t see them as being as attractive as they could be if they were taller,” she said.
She can’t even bring herself to just come right out and say that men like her brother are discriminated against! She couches this in a quote, and a weasely one, at that! Short men don’t just feel like they are at a disadvantage, they are actually at a disadvantage! Your feminism teaches you to see power structures and identify oppression, but you can’t even bring yourself to just directly state in plain English that people discriminated against your brother?
While the decisions he made were his own, I believe that Yush felt that society’s narrow confines of what it means to be a man—especially a brown man in America—offered him little choice.
The problem here is how society treats short men, not manhood in the abstract.
Finally–finally!–nearly 6,000 words in, she admits that her brother was right:
Yush’s observations about power, masculinity, and his standing in the world were not incorrect. Research has shown that tall people are richer and more successful, and Western culture has a long history of trying to emasculate Asian-American men (East Asian men in particular)…
Of course, she still can’t bring herself to admit that a great deal of the discrimination against short, Asian men is done by women, on the dating market.
While Yush and I saw some of the same problems in society, our responses were opposite: I have found a community of people who reject stereotypical gender identities, roles, and behaviors, whereas I think Yush internalized these messages, deepening insecurities that burrowed even further due to unmanaged depression.
Oh, honey. That works. Because. You’re a woman.
Try. Just try. To focus. For a moment. On what your brother wanted. And the options available to him.
Let’s imagine for a moment that instead of the siblings being different genders, they were different races. (Half-siblings.) One sibling is white. The other is half black.
The half-black one is being discriminated against socially, romantically, and economically because of his race, and so decides to bleach his skin. He has a tragic allergic reaction to the skin bleaching cream and dies.
Would the white sibling go online and wonder why their half-black brother didn’t embrace a political philosophy that promotes the needs of white people? Would they proclaim that with just more medication and therapy, their brother would have been okay with people discriminating against him? Would they quote some wish-washy psychiatrist about how black people feel like they’re discriminated against?
Or would they scream at the world that discriminated against him? .
Maybe Yosh did need fixing. Maybe he was stupidly fixated on something that wasn’t actually a problem. Maybe he had a hot wife or girlfriend, tons of friends, and a great job. But I don’t see any reason to declare one cosmetic surgery “crazier” than all the others. I don’t look down on people for wanting to look nicer or have nicer lives.
Fundamentally, most people just want to be happy. They want to be loved.
Before someone objects that being short isn’t the same as being black, blah blah blah, here’s a quote from a different story about a short man, The Awfulness–and Awesomeness–of Being Short:
In the years that have passed since then, I’ve come to two major conclusions about being a short man in Western society:
1. It’s awful.
2. No-one wants to hear you complain about it.
I tend to keep quiet on the subject. I’ve heard many people say to me, “Oh, come on! People don’t treat you any differently because you’re short!” (Every person who has ever said this to me has been at least 5ft 11in.)
But I know the reality of what is means to be a short man in our society. There is as much discrimination about size as there is about gender, race, religion, etc. …
According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink, it is estimated that an inch of height is worth an extra $789 (£699) a year in salary. This means that a man who is 6ft tall, might earn $7,890 more a year than I would for the same job. Over the course of a 40-year career, that could amount to a difference of $315,600.
When I read that I didn’t even feel surprised. In my heart, I always knew it was true. …
Have you ever walked into a room and felt yourself evaluated and dismissed in a matter of seconds?
Short men know that feeling very well. This is where disparaging terms like “Little Napoleon” come in, and the desire to succeed is dismissed as evidence of “short man syndrome”. If a 6ft 2in guy stands up for himself, it’s described as having self-confidence, but someone my height fighting to be heard is deemed insecure and needy.
In a marketing job I had, I would be talked over in meetings. I’d make a suggestion, which would get ignored, and then a few minutes later, someone else would make the same suggestion. People responded “Oh yes, that’s a good idea” to the second person. …
What about when it comes to dating?
The reality is, as a short man you can expect eight out of 10 women to immediately dismiss you as a potential sexual partner at first sight. The chances are, the remaining two out of 10 will only give you a couple of minutes to make your case before making excuses.
Whenever I say to my female friends that women don’t like dating short men, they almost always say the same thing: “That’s not true. I bet there are lots of women who love short men.”
“Have you ever dated one?” I ask.
“Well, no…” they reply.
An uncomfortable silence follows.
According to Freakonomics, the bestselling book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, short men are statistically less likely to receive responses from their online dating profiles than any other demographic group. The fact that I’m averaging one a year on my online dating profile means I’m actually breaking the odds through the sheer force of my amazing personality.
And I’m just going out on a limb: it’s probably worse for short Asian and Indian guys.
Now, I’m focusing on Yosh’s death because I’m pissed about it, but it’s just an example of how often people refuse to acknowledge discrimination against short people–and unattractive ones in general.
Yet SJWs never talk about “tall privilege” or “pretty people privilege”.
It’s just kind of sad.