November 17, 2014 by Liberty
Discrimination is a tricky topic. There are a ton of directions I can approach it from but I’ve decided to try and make this article as approachable as possible. So, instead of focusing on sexism, racism, and any of the other of the controversial isms, I’m going to be focusing on height discrimination.
Height discrimination is one of the most backed up social issues around. The taller a person is, the higher their income is going to be. That difference remains even after controlling for the obvious other factors (sex, weight, age, etc.) It happens to men, women, minorities, majorities, and just about anyone else. 90% of CEO’s are above average height while less than 3% are below 5′-7”.
It doesn’t only affect a person in their career though.
Sexual attractiveness has repeatedly been linked to height preferences in study after study. Men that are short are repeatedly being shown to be unacceptable for many female partners. For the short man to have a chance with a women usually requires his income to be significantly higher. (Despite, statistically being more likely to have a lower salary.)
How can we possibly solve this problem?
Using The Law?
One of the most common ways a discriminated against group fights back is using the creation of new laws. Throughout the United States there have been many attempts at passing laws intended to protect people of a less desirable stature. Most of those attempts have failed but a few have had the traction to have a chance at passing (and one passed.)
The sad truth is that most people don’t care about forcing legislation to protect short people from discrimination. Of course, that’s to be expected. If people actually cared about getting legislation to protect short people passed, they wouldn’t be so discriminatory in the first place.
The system is not designed to protect discriminated against groups because any fair law getting passed would suggest that discrimination doesn’t exist in the first place. Of course, some laws do get passed. The ones that do get passed usually just encourage more discrimination in the future.
As soon as the height discrimination law gets passed, hiring short people will become a liability to a company. They will suddenly need to manage the heights of all their employees to ensure they don’t appear to be out of compliance. They would have a financial incentive to focus on only hiring average height people because short people could sue them for getting paid a few dollars less. They would hire short people but often as a protection against lawsuits. The actual skills of that short person would matter less than their height.
Of course, when short people are getting jobs just because they’re short, that social bias against short people is just going to get worse. People will be thinking, I worked with this one short person who was lazy as hell, maybe all short people are lazy.
The introduction of that law ultimately causes just as much harm as good.
Historically, one of the most effective means of changing social customs was by making people feel guilty.
Discrimination is understood as unfounded bigotry.
If I watched a short man steal my car then I could easily develop some completely emotional reactions to short people. With a strong enough emotional attachment I might even say, all short people are thieves. That has virtually nothing factual to back it up though. It’s just a single case that I’m creating an argument around.
Of course, much of discrimination doesn’t even have a single case to back it up.
It’s stupidity. Logic doesn’t even play a role in the unfounded bigotry.
This is a slight tangent but an important note. The statements that actually use logic and facts aren’t discrimination in the same sense. If I say short people aren’t capable of reaching the pedals to my equipment then it’s not the same as saying short people just suck. The first is discrimination in the “making a distinction” sense. The second is discrimination in the unfounded bigotry category.
What stops stupidity?
First and foremost, reality stops it. I may think I can fly if I walk off this cliff and flap my arms (really hard) but reality will teach me that lesson pretty fast.
Second, people stop it. No one wants to watch their friend walk off a cliff in a stupid attempt to fly. (I should probably add the clarification, MOST PEOPLE DON’T WANT…) That kind of attempt at flying leads to people saying, “You’re being an idiot.”
This happens in every way possible though.
The man planning to flap his wings off the ledge can say, “You’re being stupid. The sky ghosts told me that the only way to survive is by flying to the moon. You don’t want to die, do you?” Sadly, history has shown that this kind of insanity can also gain a notable audience.
Being The Proof
The first two methods of solving height discrimination come with a number of major problems. The fundamental connection between most of these problems is that they require other people to change the way they think.
Sadly, most bigots die before they change their mind on anything. They didn’t use logic to make their decision in the first place so you can’t expect them to use logic in their decision to change it. You can’t spend your life hoping that someone else will change their mind because you’ll probably be just as dead as the other person by the end of it.
You don’t have to live your life trying to convince people that being short is acceptable. Honestly, if people are stupid enough to make their decisions this way then you’re wasting your time trying to get them to change their mind.
Instead of wasting your time trying to fix stupid, you can spend your time trying to be the unsurmountable proof that they’re complete idiots. More importantly, everyone else in the world that’s considering that same bigotry can look at you and realize that it’s complete bull.
The important people do notice when you stand above this idiocy. When you’re on either end of the fighting, people won’t respect you. When you’re above it (no… that wasn’t intended as a height reference… sadly, this bias just seems ingrained,) most people won’t notice because they’re too busy fighting in it but the important ones know how to recognize each other.
You will find people that aren’t idiotic when you stop letting idiots control your life. Hell, you’ll even come to notice ways that you’re still an idiot. That’s the nature of moving up in the world.
Don’t let the world tell you who can or cannot define the person that you’re going to become. You have more power over your life than anyone else. Whether you like it or not…
Do you want to know how you can live your life without waiting for the next social justice cause giving you permission? That’s what this blog is all about. Be sure to follow to keep up with all of the updates.