TSC: I’ll leave the commentary to others, but one person on reddit decided to swap the genders from the much praised “So did the Fat Lady” speech featured in Episode 3, Season 4 of LOUIE on FX.
First, watch the actual clip as it aired on American television. Then read the transcript of the same scene with the genders and subject matter adjusted for clarity. Does it still seem sympathetic? Why or why not?
The modified version:
“You know what is the meanest thing you can say to short guy?”
‘You’re not short.’
"And the worst part is I’m not even supposed to do this: To tell anyone how bad it sucks because it’s too much for people. I mean, a short girl? She can talk into the microphone and say she can’t get a date, or clothes to fit, or is difficult to kiss a tall guy. And it’s adorable. But if I say something, they tell me I have a short man complex. I mean, can I just say it? I’m short. It sucks to be a short man."
"Can people just let me say it? It sucks. It really sucks. And I’m going to go ahead and say it. It’s your fault. Look – I may even like you, you may even be a nice girl — so, sorry. I’m picking you. On behalf of all the short guys, I’m making you represent all the girls. Why do you hate us so much? What is it about the basics of human happiness – you know, feeling attractive, feeling loved, having girls chasing after us – that’s just not in the cards for us? Nope, not for us. How is that fair? And why am I supposed to just accept it? You can say that is only about confidence, but come on. If it was just "having confidence" then girls would say yes when I ask them out. I mean, come on, be honest here."
"You know what’s funny? I flirt with girls all the time. And I mean, the great looking ones, like the really high caliber? They flirt right back. No problem. Because they know their status will never be questioned. But girls like you never flirt with me because you get scared that maybe you should be with a guy like me. And why not? You know, if you were standing over there looking at us, you know what you’d see? That we totally match. We’re actually a great couple together. And yet, you would never date a boy like me. Have you ever date a boy was shorter than you? Have you?"
"Have you ever dated a short guy. Have you ever kissed a short guy? Have you ever wooed a short guy? Have you ever held hands with a short guy? Have you ever walked down the street in the light of day, holding hands, with a short guy like me?"
"Go ahead. Hold my hand. What do you think is going to happen? You think you will be less feminine in the hands of a short man? You know what the sad thing is? It’s all I want. I don’t even need a girlfriend or wife. All I want is to hold hands with a nice girl, and walk and talk."
"And, thing is, I have no control or choice over my height, and never will."
Preferences for waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), sexual dimorphism in stature (SDS), and leg-to-body ratio (LBR) have been investigated predominantly in Western cultures. The aim of the present study was to examine the preferences of a relatively isolated, indigenous population (i.e., Yali of Papua, inhabiting the mountainous terrain east of the Baliem valley). A total of 53 women and 52 men participated in the study. Study sites differed in distance from Wamena, the biggest settlement in the region, and frequency of tourists’ visits. We found that the mate preferences among Yali men and women for WHR, LBR, and SDS were not exactly the same as in Western samples. Yali preferred low women’s WHR and relatively high women’s (but not men’s) LBR. Women’s and men’s ratings of each SDS set were similar, which suggests that the “male-taller norm” in Yali tribe was far weaker than in Western cultures. Additionally, the observed preferences were modified by contact with different cultures, age, and accessibility of food resources (pig possession). Our results suggest that human norms of attractiveness are malleable and can change with exposure to different environments and conditions.
Anonymous: Have you ever thought about approaching prominent people who have an established voice in the society and may be sympathetic to your cause (e.g. Robert Reich, off the top of my head), and see if they would help bringing wider attention to the issue?
TSC: Not really. This is an extremely taboo topic, and heightism is a much cherished form of prejudice and so a famous person would have very little to gain by trying to challenge heightism but a lot to lose.
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TSC: Not sure what to think about this, but I’m happy for them.
I met Kirk through his cousin, Jason, who was also a college friend of mine. One day, Jason told me he was sick of seeing me home alone so he was going to hook me up with his cousin. Before I agreed, the first question I asked him was, “is he tall?” Jason said, “yup! He’s about 6 feet tall.” I love tall guys so after hearing that I was sold! He gave Kirk my number and he called me THAT day. Our conversation lasted about 30 minutes and all I did was laugh. He was so funny. Thereafter, we texted each other for about a week and eventually met face-to-face outside of a bar in Queens. When I walked out of the bar, he was sitting in his car and when he stood up and got out, he was about 6 inches shorter than me (I was wearing heels, but still!). I was so upset! First thing I said, “You are short!” He turned to me with a smile, “And, you’re tall, so what?” His smile was so captivating and his response was so witty that I just stood there smiling (and blushing). I’ve been smiling ever since.
TSC: Casual heightism in support of Amputee Awareness Month (first 40 seconds of the clip). Notice how comfortable and unquestioned his convictions are when it comes to his desire to be taller. So, this isn’t very offensive, but it is remarkable just how “normal” heightism is in our everyday lives. It’s virtually never questioned.