Short men of the world, stand up. That’s the exhortation from Reihan Salam, who is aghast at the “depressing and indeed pathetic lack of solidarity among short men”.
A slew of studies, writes Salam at Slate.com, underline the disadvantages short people face in the developed world, from job prospects to social status to life expectancy.
Part of the problem, he reckons, is that short-ish men strain to look down at those who are shorter still.
To the short men among you, I’d like to ask: Have you ever poked fun at someone for their size? Have you done so to delight your taller friends, and to establish that you are truly one of them? If so, I’d like you to think hard about the place in hell that is reserved for your ilk. If you have no fear of hell, consider this: Do you think that your chums respect you more or less for selling out one of your own?
The unlofty should not just stand up, he urges, but stand together.
It is those men who hover within spitting distance of the average height who have a special obligation to stick up for short men as a whole. When other short men are getting pushed around, it is these men who must speak up. Is someone making fun of “midgets”? Now is the time to get in their face.
When presented with the opportunity to seamlessly blend in with average-sized or tall people, it is these men who must reject it, and to assert the importance of treating all people fairly and humanely, regardless of their size. And if the time comes when discrimination against short people intensifies, it is these men who must join the general strike that will bring the entire architecture of anti-short-people oppression to its knees. My credo is simple: Stay short. Stay strong. And when you see a short brother in need, do something about it.
Perhaps the plight of short men has been overblown, however. A new study, reports the UK Daily Telegraph, suggests short men might, contra the accepted wisdom, live longer.
A study has shown that adult men under five foot two live longer than their taller rivals, with one researcher explaining: “The taller you got, the shorter you lived.”
His team, at the University of Hawaii, found that shorter men were more likely to have a protective form of the longevity gene, FOXO3, leading to smaller body size during early development and a longer lifespan.
Shorter men were also more likely to have lower blood insulin levels and less cancer.
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