Short Men

I recently watched, with horrified amusement, a tv program about short men who choose to undergo excruciatingly painful surgical procedures (which basically involve breaking their legs and then keeping the bones slightly apart while they mend) in order to become a few inches taller.

Asked why they would choose to undergo such a drastic, and excruciatingly painful, procedure, they said things like ‘Do you have any idea what it’s like to go through life as a short person?  To sit in a chair and only your toes reach the floor, you can’t put your feet flat on the floor?  To not be able to reach stuff on the upper shelves in grocery stores?  To be unable to drive trucks because you can’t reach the pedals properly?  To have people always looking down at you?  Do you know what that’s like?’

Well, yes, actually I do.  I’m a woman. 

Oh, but that’s different, I suppose.  Why?  Because we’re supposed to go through life inconvenienced?  Feeling subordinate?

Ah.  That’s the real problem.  These poor guys can’t take their rightful place over women.  (As one man, 5’6” before the surgery, explained, “I’ll be a better father and husband and son.”  Yup.  Sure you will.)


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    • John Richards on July 23, 2013 at 8:39 am

    What an obnoxious, infantile and utterly stupid post. I happen to be a short male who believes in and is supportive of gender equality.

    Rather than jump to conclusions about these men wanting to “take their rightful place over women”, why not try to sympathise with their feelings? They feel inadequate because other men and, yes, believe it or not, women, discriminate against them for not conforming to pre-conceived ideas about their gender. Being only 5’3” I can assure you it was very difficult growing up being so much shorter than everyone else my age, both men and women.

    Sadly, pinheads like yourself care not about the real issues at hand, and prefer to abuse feminism by using it as a platform to spread divisive nonsense. Feminism can never achieve anything without compassion and understanding between the sexes. This is of no concern to you, as you are more interested in harnessing the movement as a source of narcissistic supply – your main aim is massaging your own ego by putting others down rather than being constructive.

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    • on July 26, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Hey John, that was kind of harsh. Regardless of whether you are right or ptittle is right or you are right about some stuff and she is right about some stuff, or any combination of the above – belligerence isn’t going to go anywhere…

    Responding to what’s been written above – I’m a 46 year old guy who is 5’6″ and I would never consider someone of my stature a candidate for that sort of radical surgery described. For a man 4’8″ or below, yeah, I could see it, but wouldn’t think it was a good idea.

    But you, you’re 5’3″ and I don’t know what it’s like being 5’3″ as an adult. But also I’ve been in rooms where I’m the only guy under 6 foot, so it is all relative.

    Ptittle, if you are reading this, I would very much appreciate a clarification on part of your original post. Just how short was the “…do you know what it is like?” guy, if you know?

    The reason I ask is because my wife is five feet tall. I honestly cannot work up a whole lot of sympathy for guys who are complaining about the same difficulties that she deals with every day.

    I have no sympathy at all for the guy who is my height but feels that he’d be a better person if he were taller. No, I don’t buy that. He’d just be a little taller.

    I cannot imagine what he thinks being taller is going to do for him.

    You know how people in transition have to first live as the gender they want to transition to? I really think that anyone – especially someone who is already five and a half feet tall, should have to walk around in elevator shoes for six months to find out if it really makes all that much of a difference. And if they still think it is worth it, then let them go ahead and break their bones, stretch and let set – but I still think they will see that is barely much of an incremental improvement.

    Is ptittle projecting an unwarranted ideological assumption when she attributes a desire to dominate women to these men’s decision? Well, maybe, but try looking at what she is saying as if it were a Switftian satire.

    She doesn’t give a hoot about hurting men’s feelings or sympathizing with them, so in a sense she is – well not an objective observer, we all have our filters – but she shows a side of men that we don’t get shown very much. And if you can look at what she has to say without getting all hurt about it, you can learn something more about how people perceive people.

    tl;dr: if you are five feet or taller, suck it up, my wife manages. If you are 5’6″ and think this will make you a better husband, son, and father – then you are wrong and my lay opinion is that you’d be better off working on the internal stuff, not the external.

    • John Richards on July 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    “The reason I ask is because my wife is five feet tall. I honestly cannot work up a whole lot of sympathy for guys who are complaining about the same difficulties that she deals with every day. ”

    Society expects men to be tall and muscular, just as it expects women to be unhealthily skinny. If short men feel inadequate the appropriate response is not ridicule and a frankly laughable attempt to flip the issue around into being “That’s the real problem. These poor guys can’t take their rightful place over women”. A more appropriate response would be to at least sympathise, and then perhaps point out how this is also a product of anxiety about conforming to gender norms.

    However, that would require a little reflectivity and genuine compassion based on an understanding of both men and women as being flawed human beings who are guided by forces, principles and ideas they don’t always understand in a complicated world.

    Progress in the field of gender equality and, in particular, gender relations, is sadly hindered by self-obsessed “look at me” feminists who use the word feminism to legitimise their primary aim of farting out indignant and poorly thought out rants. The exact same phenomenon is seen in the men’s rights movement, which is why hate-filled charlatans like Robert Lindsay will never be taken particularly seriously by right-thinking individuals.

    I am not, as you seem to think, one of those short men who wishes to be taller through surgery. Likewise, I have grown out of wanting to be muscular – with adulthood has come self-acceptance and an understanding that height (and weight for women etc.) is unimportant and externally-imposed. Not everyone can think this way though: people are all different. I remember how I felt as a teenager and can sympathise.

    I have no interest in being belligerent for kicks, and I apologise for calling you a pinhead ptittie. However, I stand by my acerbic attack on the content of your blog post. While it is not exactly a crime against humanity, it is in fact unpleasant, counterproductive and rather pointless.

    “And if you can look at what she has to say without getting all hurt about it, you can learn something more about how people perceive people.”

    No. Shallow hatred and ranting have no value – we all hear enough bigotry in our daily lives.

  2. “A more appropriate response would be to at least sympathise, and then perhaps point out how this is also a product of anxiety about conforming to gender norms.”

    Yeah, men always expect women to sympathize with them. Is that what you do when women get surgery to increase their boob size? Or do you want to hook up with them and not the ‘poor’ ‘flat-chested’ woman (who might also be six feet and agonizing as much as you about finding love).

    As for pointing out that this is a product of anxiety about conforming to gender norms, it’s not my job to educate you. Awareness of gender norms is at least fifty years old. There is no excuse for such lack of awareness on the part of men. (Or women.)

    And yeah, my response to anyone who accepts, and by their behavior, reinforces gender norms that lead to men pornifying girls and women on a daily basis (and a thousand other harms), whether consciously or unconsciously, is not pretty.

    “Progress in the field of gender equality and, in particular, gender relations, is sadly hindered by self-obsessed “look at me” feminists who use the word feminism to legitimise their primary aim of farting out indignant and poorly thought out rants”. A little sympathy, John. We’ve been trying to make progress for CENTURIES. Look how long it took just to get the vote! And look around you now. We’re going BACKWARDS. All the progress we made in the 70s is gone — poof!! I challenge you to go through just ONE DAY without seeing a hundred ways in which women are the subordinated class by sex. (Yes, men suffer from the gender straightjacket too, but I don’t want to get into a competition here. If you don’t think that it’s worse for women, again, read the books on the reading list….)

    Lastly, did you note the typo in your apology? Should I laugh or beat my head against a brick wall?

  3. John, you expect patience, understanding. I’m 56. I’m all out of patience and understanding. Read all the books in the reading list (tab at the top), take a good long look around you, and you’ll be fricking pissed off angry out of patience and understanding too.

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    • on July 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Hey John,

    As ptittle alludes to above, isn’t this height surgery the male equivalent of breast enlargement surgery? Both are done to exaggerate the individual’s secondary sexual

    On your point that society expects men to be tall and muscular, I notice that for all that these men getting the surgery talk about different socio-economic reasons for why they are undergoing the procedure, the immediate result is that it will bestow onto them the dimorphic size difference that is the expected state of affairs between the sexes and that this difference is the pre-historical basis of male dominating female.

    I just spent a few minutes trying to think of anything a man might do outside of basic maintenance that is not also closely related towards attracting and/or keeping a mate. Having trouble thinking of anything.

    A related question – to what extent, if any, has evolutionary pressure made taller men more attractive to women than shorter men.

    On the question of whether or not it is reasonable to expect sympathy from radical feminists about these fellows’ decision to undergo surgery, or indeed about the plight of short men in general – – as a guy, my default idea about feminism as it relates to my actions is to think of it as a subset of ‘treating people right’.

    If I were to assume that this was the way everyone thought about feminism, then I might think it reasonable to expect feminists to be sympathetic towards the plight of shorter men.

    But I don’t think that radical feminist women see feminism in the same way I do, but are focused on a patriarchy – infused social system that harms women and relegates them to an inferior status below all men-as-a-class.

    Given that point of view, I don’t think it is reasonable to expect them to be sympathetic towards short men who are upset that their height relegates them to an inferior status in what they see as the patriarchy-infused social hierarchy.

    As a side note, this ‘heightening’ surgery is not the creepiest example of what men will have done to themselves in order to conform to perceived gender norms. I’ve read about men who underwent surgery where their ligaments supporting their penis were severed. Removing this natural support caused their penises to sag further outside the body, thus making them appear larger.

    One of these men self-reported feeling more confident and assertive because of his new longer state, even though, as he was at least self-aware enough to note in the article, he was the only one who knew about the surgery.

    Heck, wouldn’t it be a lot less trouble to pick up a ‘magic feather’ and convince yourself that you were a strong powerful negotiator?

    • on August 12, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Do you honestly think a short woman has to put up with 1/2 the crap a short man does?!

    • Rididill on September 10, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Hey John.

    I think you are missing something.#

    Conforming to male gender norms and taking one’s rightful place over women ARE THE SAME THING.

    This is what male gender norms are about.

  5. This blog made me think of my early 20’s, as I was rejected by the foxes who chased after the Alfa males and showed no more interest in me than glancing at a blade of grass next to the highway traveling at 75 MPH. And this made me think about my own personal experiences with tall women, a slightly different story from this blog, but same result due to being a Beta male.

    One 6’ tall girl, in a gym, talked to me with such a look of disinterested she couldn’t have looked or acted more uninterested if she had wanted to. I approached another, who I estimated being 5 foot 9 or 10 inches. She got angry with me for even asking her out and stuck her finger in my face informing me she didn’t date shorter men. On line, I met a girl 5’11”, and we worked out together once in my apartment complex gym, after that she did not return my two phone calls, there could be others, too, I just don’t remember them all. Now, you may say the rejections were because of my looks, that could be true, but as I approached girls closer to my height, my success rate went way up.

    This blog also made me think about the rejections by tall girls, and it angered me, but not at the time the rejection. Only years later, when I actually tallied them up, did I get angry. I was rejected not because I was fat, bald, ugly, deformed or had a rotten personality. No. The reason I was rejected by all of these women was my height. Not a one even bothered to put forth the effort to get to know me much less date me.

    I did date three women who were significantly taller than me, two at 5’11” and one at 5’10”. (I am 5’8”) And all three happened to be 32 years of age, which is more than a coincidence and a tie in with this blog. No doubt all three wanted a tall Alfa male, and lost, so a safe stable Beta male was the next best thing in their 30’s, for I certainly didn’t grow any taller and I doubt I got better looking. These women were past their prime and worried. I was in my late 30’s, at this time of my life, after being married for 10 years. It was also at this time, I could easily date younger women, and I did. When I was 38, my first girlfriend was 27, the next was 27 and the next was 24 who became my second wife. I never dated with any intent of marrying a woman my age. Younger women had no issue with me dating them, and I certainly had no issue dating them. I remember going to singles events and seeing very pretty women, who were my age, who I know 15 years earlier would not have given me the time of day. And even now, they may have looked better than myself, but now it was me who had no interest in approaching them. I did not want to take time and money away from pursuing younger women. Why go old, when I could go young? I was amazed how the dating game changed in my favor. And I used it to my advantage, just as women had done years earlier.

    I am now married and have 4 sons. I have 3 degrees, and I have co-authored 2 US patents. I could have provided a good life to any girl. I wanted a taller girl because of the physical turn on and to for fill one of my desires, yet not one single tall girl (in her 20’s) gave me a chance. I was turned down consistently and without a second thought. (Maybe due to the Alfa male fascination) So, if you find yourself in your late 20’s or early 30’s with no prospect of a husband or children in the immediate future, you have no one to blame but yourself. There were men like me, who wanted a leggy female, but they, like me, were never accorded the opportunity. (This also applies to average height women, too) And the reality is that the vast majority of tall women will not even consider a shorter man (and Beta males) until it is too late. You would think it would be obvious that if you included shorter males (and Beta males) in your suitor selection, your odds would increase of finding a mate. There are a lot more short and medium height males than there are taller ones. So my advice would be to accept the advances of all men and get to know them. I, who would have relished the opportunity of having curvy broad hips and a tapered waist to hold all night and to make love to into the early hours of the morning, was never, not once, even given a chance to start a relationship. Throw away the yardstick, for you may find someone like me, who would love to share his life and love with a tall girl.

    By the way, another tie in with this article and be found at this web site.
    This writer tell about his rejections in his 20’s by women only to find that women now chased after him, in spite of his height, now he is in his early 30’s. He warns of the dangers of the “Reformed Heightest Woman” who are desperate after wasting their life chasing the Alfa male and now want a stable Beta with a steady pay-check.
    Here is anther on how women who found the Mr. Average (Beta Males) were worth nothing in their 20’s and now that these women are in their 30’s can’t buy a date, even from the Beta Males

    Why women lose in the dating game
    During their 20s, women compete for the most highly desirable men, the Mr Bigs. Many will readily share a bed with the sporty, attractive, confident men, while ordinary men miss out. As Whiskey puts it at ”Joe Average Beta Male is about as desirable to women as a cold bowl of oatmeal.”

    ”I can’t believe how many men my age are only interested in younger women,” wails Gail, a 34-year-old advertising executive as she describes her first search through men’s profiles on the RSVP internet dating site. She is shocked to find many mid-30s men have set up their profiles to refuse mail from women their own age.

    Talking to many women like her, it’s intriguing how many look back on past relationships where they let good men get away because they weren’t ready. American journalist Kate Bolick wrote recently in The Atlantic about breaking off her three-year relationship with a man she described as ”intelligent, good-looking, loyal and kind”. She acknowledged ”there was no good reason to end things”, yet, at the time, she was convinced something was missing in the relationship. That was 11 years ago. She’s is now 39 and facing grim choices.

    • strack on September 21, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Feminists fail to understand that women only really like men with authority aka power. Women don’t often like men who are their equal or on a lower socioeconomic level than they are. “Male gender norms” are all about men striving for dominance because dominance is what rules the gene pool for men – non-dominant men are the last option that women seek when they realize they can’t get a dominant man. Look at romance novels – who is the male romantic hero? A dominant badass, a doctor, a soldier, etc.

    You also see this throughout most of the animal kingdom; it’s not rooted in patriarchy, it’s rooted in biology, except where the male gets eaten by the female.

    On the bright side if feminists get their way there won’t be many marriages or children being made anymore. Which is fine by me, I’m no fan of male dominance myself – this is a world in which a man’s value is more loved than his love is valued and being a dominant male doesn’t solve that.

    • Jerry on October 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

    You completely missed the boat here. These guys are undergoing this painful, dangerous procedure because they were body shamed into it. However, since that narrative doesn’t further your theory that they’re doing it to establish dominance, I expect this to go in one ear and out the other.

    • ptittle on October 16, 2017 at 10:48 am

    They’re not incompatible. Just as women are body-shamed into getting boob jobs, but at the same time it’s to increase their hotness.

  6. Why don’t feminists speak out against heightism? Because Feminism is not about equality for all, but rather special privileges for women. As proof, while feminists speak out about fat shaming of women, they remain silent on height shaming of men, so they are total frauds. Feminists are no different than non-feminists, they use a physical parameter of height as a measure of a man’s character, but object of weight is used to determine the value of a woman. A better question is where are the SJW’s on fighting heightism? Answer: see second sentence.

    • ptittle on December 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Um, the piece IS about height-shaming. That’s what leads short men to such a horrible ‘solution’.

    • ptittle on December 20, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I hasten to add, in case it’s not clear, that height-shaming is itself sexist; why is it shameful for men to BE short? Because they ‘need to take their rightful place above women’ in order to be a ‘real’ man… Such shit. Don’t fall for it.

    • Brad on July 8, 2020 at 2:03 am

    Lol. We have been demonstrated right from our growing years that being short is inadequate. Been ridiculed and rejected by women. We do not wish to be tall, to dominate anyone.
    We have not internalised or devised the gender norms. It is something just out there.

    • ptittle on July 8, 2020 at 7:47 am

    The men who choose to undergo the surgery do and have.

    • Wyrak on August 10, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Heightism is one of the last types of discrimination that is accepted. I am a short man and many times people have joked about short people in my presence. Discrimination against women is illegal in most countries. But there are no laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of height.

    • ptittle on December 28, 2020 at 9:52 am

    reposted from ‘About this blog’ comment section

    Where are the SJWs on heightism? Also, why feminist hypocrisy over male height?
    We hear social justice types rail against every -ism out there related to human traits: sexism, racism, heterosexism, but you never hear the SJWs complain against heightism. Heightism hurts short men, who like non-white men, didn’t chose to be non-white, or like women, didn’t chose to be women.

    In fact, short men are less likely than normal height men to get jobs, get paid less, have a far tougher time finding sex and love than normal height men, are taken less seriously, and have a high rate of suicide.

    Unlike living as a transgender, either thru surgery or just dress, which are elective acts, being a short man is not elective and there is no elective act to become normal height. And there is nearly no surgery for short men at all aside from an extremely risky and ineffectual bone extension, which is known to only add an inch or two and cause severe physical problems, short and long term.

    Unlike gays, who can “act straight” when they’re in a position they feel uncomfortable being out, short men cannot “act tall.”

    Also, unlike people who might not like their skin color and can get it dyed (which can be done and is sometimes done) or lightened, short men can’t make themselves normal height.

    Also, given how feminists wail against the gender roles, why aren’t they wailing against the idea that the man also has to be taller? Why do they complain about every hint of sexism out there, but never that a women in media is almost always portrayed with a man who is taller?

    • Mike on December 30, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    These comments are great. Especially from the last one (Plittle). I’m 5 “4” myself and I can remember countless times of being rejected by women, facing bullying/humiliation, and discrimination solely based on my height. I’m not saying short men should blame society for their ills, but clearly this conversation needs to take place.

    • Sergio Ruiz on October 26, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    I must admit as a good looking male height challenged being 5’3” was constantly rejected by girls in my earlier years and now after having some financial success women age appropriate who just flat out tower over me seem to have no problem today with my height challenges. My present significant other is a very attractive 5’11” woman wears her hi heels and has no problem with our height difference I am sure because of the life style I
    provide her and yes the stares and odious remarks are there.

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