TSC: Why do even anti-heightist articles about short men have to read like a big joke? Has anyone else noticed that when short men go public against heightism, they often do so in a self-deprecating way? It’s like they have to humiliate themselves and frame short men as clowns in order to sneak in some basic truths about tolerance and social justice. I hate articles like these because even though the overall message is positive, most people will only feel more justified in their prejudices because “clearly heightism is funny”.
When news of the TomKat split erupted a couple of weeks back, I braced myself for the inevitable. Just how long would it be before the media and the Twittersphere pointed accusing fingers at that mysterious, select group of individuals, that elite corps of which Tom Cruise, David Miscavige, and I are all such prominent members? Not long, as it turned out. Not long at all.
“Cruise and Miscavige are great friends. They are both short men, like motorbikes and are deeply into Scientology,” screamed the London Independent.
The Twittersphere was even more direct:
“Apparently Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes standing on top of the Eiffel Tower. How paranoid do you have to be about your height?” quipped @theLastJedi.
“Tom Cruise is a creepy little midget. Congrats Katie Holmes, you dodged that bullet,” added @MaceyWaddington.
How horribly predictable it all is! Whenever things go awry, pundits the world over blame the short guy. Was Tom Cruise attempting to oppress and control his wife and daughter Suri? Quite possibly! Is that because Tom Cruise is a Tom Thumb and must therefore be an ill-intentioned control freak?
Whenever there is perceived oppression, the world pulls out that yardstick—and I do mean yardstick—and starts measuring the oppressor. OK, I understand there are some unfortunate short-equals-bossy precedents. Hitler was dinky, Mussolini was too, and Bono is not exactly the tallest person on the planet. But these examples do not mean that every male under average height is hell-bent on establishing a tyrannical global brand. Yes, the Marquis de Sade was petite. But so was Gandhi.
From my vantage point—an admittedly low one, since my passport says 5 feet 4½ inches, and I just measured myself and I have lost half an inch in the last 40 years, which is actually a relief since I thought it would be more—the picture is by no means a simple one. The truth of the matter is, there are all kinds of little dudes. Yes, some of us are megalomaniacal, rage-filled Hummel figurines with Napoleon complexes. But only when the situation calls for it! And not all of us have such maniacal tendencies. We short guys are a spectrum, a rainbow. Let’s start at the darkest end… (Read the rest at SLATE)