Sunday, January 29, 2006

Real Life Experience

My father and I come from opposite ends of the political spectrum. I am on the left, and he is to the extreme right. He has always dismissed discrimination complaints as wild exaggerations from lazy people seeking a free ride. He has no interest in the rights of blacks, jews, women, or gays. Why should he? He is an upper-class, catholic, straight, white male. But something happened to him in his older years, which made him (only for a brief moment) aware of what it's like to be a victim of discrimination, and to see life from another angle. After his retirement and well into his 60's, he applied for a position with a large company. I will not get into the specifics, but he was denied employment and the facts of the case led him to believe that he was a victim of age discrimination. He was infuriated. After all, he had absolutely no control over his age. How could this happen to him? His outrage turned to activism and he filed complaints with both the EEOC and his elected representatives. But his complaints, for the most part, fell on deaf ears. He soon realized that this sort of thing happens, and when it does, there is little that can be done about it, even when there are laws on the books. People dismiss such claims as meritless, even when there is merit. They dismiss victims of discrimination as exaggerators or spiteful people seeking to punish employers for failing to hire them. The fact of the matter is, the EEOC wrapped up his case in a few days. Do you know what they did? They talked to the employer and then rendered their decision. Did they expect the employer to admit they committed age discrimination? Hardly an "investigation" in any sense of the word. I'm sorry my father had to experience this. It sure sucks doesn't it Dad? He still believes height discrimination is ridiculous. But then again, he has never experienced that for himself....

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Arguments against heightism discussions

I've heard the arguments against our cause. "Heightism is real, but trivial." "Spare me the liberal victim mentality." "This is nothing that a little confidence and a positive attitude can't cure." "This is all in your head." Blah, Blah, Blah....

We at NOSSA are preparing to put these beliefs to a test. Is this really a trivial matter? Can heightism be eradicated with a change of attitude? Is this really all in our heads?
Please join us as we tackle this issue at

Friday, January 20, 2006

Thank You Michael

UK Activist Michael Calwell is a pioneer in the movement to bring heightism to light. He states, "I have detected a seam of prejudice running through the whole of society regarding short people, short men especially. It involves a whole bunch of perceptions regarding physical and emotional strength, intelligence, competence, leadership and judgement. It's in the media, in people's minds, in the workplace - almost everywhere. And it's damaging and hurting countless decent, strong, able and intelligent people. " "I've never had, or will have a chip on my shoulder about my height. All I'm trying to do is challenge the assumptions people make about short people. I no more want to be taller than I want to be a fish. " Speaking to members of the Tall Club he states, "Does society look at you and say "They're so insecure, they've set up a club". No. But the minute I start talking about shortness, I have that kind of abuse hurled at me. Of course, that's par for the course when fighting prejudice. I can live with that. That's just part of the prejudice. Black people were called 'uppity n*ggers' when they confronted a white society with its bigotry. Heaven knows what abuse was hurled at the Pankhursts."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Righteous Anger

I was watching a Bill Maher comedy special recently and Maher started off the show by telling the audience, "I am angry about alot of things. I'll tell you what I'm mostly pissed off about. I'm mostly pissed off that not enough people are pissed off."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

short story

One time in college I was assigned to complete a group project for class. The group consisted of several people, including a white male who was about 5 foot 10 and a rather confident ex-military guy who was about 5 foot 4 inches tall. The short ex-military guy was very assertive and confident. He was a natural leader and he quickly tried to gain control of the group and lead us. He succeeded and was able to lead us to the completion of the project.
He was hated by the other members of the group. I had no feelings towards him. I simply wanted to graduate with a good grade. One day, the 5 foot 10 inch white male I mentioned earlier, started to make fun of the guy to the other members of the group (after the short guy had left). He started making a squeaking mouse voice and he pretended to imitate the guy. "C'mon guys" he squeaked. "I know what to do. I'm a little twerp." He said. Everybody started laughing but me. I remember looking at the guy and he had this look of anger and disgust in his eyes. I really saw that it bothered him to be led by someone who he felt superior to. I never forgot that moment.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Where are we headed

NOSSA is a united organization of short men and women from around the globe, committed to opposing heightism in society, providing a supportive environment in which to share experiences, and promoting the message of self-empowerment for all of its members.

-Disseminate knowledge pertaining to the sociological, psychological, legal, medical, and physiological aspects of short stature as it becomes known.
-Encourage research by responsible professionals concerning the above aspects of short stature.
-To promote the acceptance of people of short stature in society.
-Serve as a forum in which important problems affecting short statured adults can be openly discussed in a climate unbiased by imposed aesthetic standards and in which solutions to these problems can be discovered and acted upon.
-Work toward demanding equal opportunity for short statured adults wherever obstacles and discrimination exist.

Organization Objectives
Immediate Objectives - Media Attention on topic of heightism.
Attainable Objectives - Growing International Membership.
Visionary Objectives - International Awareness and open dialogue.

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