Ask the dwarf (or little person, or almost any other term you want to use)

Nope, I think Charla has achondroplasia, which is the most common (relatively common, that is, it’s still something like 1 in 20,000 births, but next to my less than 1 per 1,000,000 I think that’s pretty common!) form of dwarfism out there. I look different enough that some people don’t realize I actually am one, but LPA’s definition of dwarfism, and I think most docs’ these days, is a person with an adult height of 4’10" (I’d put it at 4’8" or maybe 6", just IMO) or less due to a medical issue that restricts growth.

I’d think any sexual relationship with Shatner’s character would be weird and disturbing, but I haven’t watched the show for a while now, and haven’t seen her so I can’t really say anything about it. (Besides Shatner? Ewww!) I know what you mean, though; in the other thread I noted that actual acting roles are few and far between. The vast majority of us aren’t actors anyway, but those who are often tend to have careers as Ewoks and the like. (I’d still have killed to be in one of the last three SW movies except for the suck factor, though.) I’m permanently mad at Jimmy Kimmel for his usage of midget humor as a big part of his “comedy.” There’s the whole “I have to make a living and it’s my life,” argument, but I do wish there were more actual acting/singing/whatever opportunities for LP entertainers besides the elf suits (Ever notice that you almost never see any LPs in commercials until the Christmas rush starts? I’m sure they make good money, but still) or the mockery (i.e., the late unlamented Man Show). I’ve heard people say that fat people are the only ones that you can make fun of without consequences anymore, but I hate to tell them that they’re wrong. Very wrong. We’re in the same boat. On the other hand, online I knew some people who were quite upset by Mini-Me, but I wasn’t because everybody in those movies was a joke to begin with.

I don’t think Hollywood handles difference well anyway. Stereotypes abound, ethnic or otherwise, and that extends to disabilities and other things.

I do think LP men probably have a somewhat harder time as far as relationships and whatnot go, though I can’t really speak for them. But it’s far more acceptable for women to be small, even really really small, than it is for men. A 5’0" woman? Wow, she’s tiny. A 5’0" man? He gets a lot of crap. I can only imagine it must be harder if you’re 4’0" or thereabouts. But who they end up with depends on the individuals involved, I expect. I know there are LP men married to average women because I’ve seen them, but as far as percentages go I have no clue.

whiterabbit a very interesting thread. I’m a “normal” short person, 5’3’ now, way tiny as a kid, always the shortest in the class, but, as said, just small. And female, so, of course one of the main gripes is people thinking you are “cute”, and, so, must be rather cute mentally as well. Your thoughts on that?

And, what do you see as the good side of being short-statured?

(If I may step in for this one comment, I do not mean to detract from your thread, whiterabbit, nor do I wish to sound as if I speak for little people).

My good friend is a little person (osteogenesis imperfecta type 3) and has a very very hard time with relationships. He has not had a steady girlfriend in the entire time I have known him (8 years) although he has in the past.

That’s fair. I actually had the situation come up recently, when I went out to dinner and recognized our (really, really short ;)) hostess as a member of my SIL’s high school graduating class. I approached her to ask if she’d gone to my SIL’s high school (she had), and told her who my SIL was, but neglected to get her name.

A couple of weeks later, my SIL was home from college on a break, and I wanted to tell her I’d seen one of her high school class mates working at Fancy-Pants Restaurant, but didn’t have a name.

Funny thing - I think I did say something along the lines of “really, really short”.

Wow. Being called a jerk by the biggest jerk on the board must be some sort of reverse honor. So you’re saying that although we’ve had ask the gay, ask the atheist, ask the dominatrix thread … all with jokes, that the dwarves are special and delicate and can’t hear any jokes? That’s not the way they tell it. I’m Polish, female, and Morman and I hear a million jokes a year on each one. Lighten up.

No questions, just a thank you for a really interesting thread.

I don’t mean to shove this in your face, but can you answer this question from my first post in the thread?

Sorry, I’m just really interested in this, since I don’t quite understand where someone would draw the line in any of those examples. I mean, I’ve never heard of an Asian girl dismissing an otherwise nifty potential suitor as a creepy weirdo for liking Asian girls too much–I’m not saying I don’t believe it happens, I’m just saying that, as a straight male, I’m not privy to that kind of stuff, so I’m very curious as to how it works.

Something tells me you won’t last long here if your response to a moderator warning to stop being offensive is “come on, lighten up–I’m a woman, fercrissakes!”, with a personal insult, in MPSIMS. Have you considered switching to Something Awful?

What a wonderful thread. I feel like between this and the hoarder thread, the Straight Dope is kicking my ignorance’s ass today. Thanks whiterabbit!

I KNOW I will be corrected if I a wrong but I believe HazelNutCoffee has stated before that she is “creeped out” by those guys with an Asian chic fetish…(while i don’t have an “Asian chick fetish” I still bet she is pretty darn cute)… :wink:

whiterabbit…thanks…very informative. Your candor is refreshing.


elelle, I do get “You’re so cute!” Why I didn’t think of that earlier when asked about annoying things I hear I don’t know. It’s not like I get offended, but it’s irritating, because they don’t usually mean “cute” as in “hot” or “I want to ask her out.” You know exactly what I mean!

treis, I tend to bristle at just about any use of midget. I can’t say exactly why, actually, but to me it feels like how I’d imagine it feels to be called some racial slur. It seems to be the term of choice when ridicule is involved, though it’s innocently used by some people, rather like when somebody’s grandparent uses some term for some group that used to be acceptable but for the last thirty years has become completely Not Okay, but they don’t mean it in the Not Okay way.

Advantages? I very rarely hit my head on a low-hanging branch. No, seriously, I can walk straight under some obstacles taller people have to go around. And like it or not, people tend to remember me, especially here in a small town. I’ve had to learn to be creative about doing stuff, which has served me well.

Somebody upthread asked if I drive. I do, though I use hand controls, which seemed the better option for me instead of pedal extensions. I can drive without the controls in a small car if I have to, but I end up practically squashed into the wheel to reach the pedals. I have a setup with cushions to get me up high enough to see out comfortably. Almost anybody these days can drive, assuming they have the money to adapt their car to the extent they need. It’s amazing what they can do with a car or truck, it really is.

No problem, Queen Bruin, I appreciate the input. I wish I was surprised by it, but I hope your friend has more luck in the future.

And thanks for moving the thread, Frank. I wasn’t entirely sure where to put it but figured it had to be one of the two fora, so of course I picked the wrong one.

Are you Morman or Mormon? I’m Catholic, and I usually manage to spell it correctly.

Hey snowbunny! I don’t have any questions, but I just wanted to say thanks for an interesting and informative thread. :slight_smile:

Well, to me it seems like your offense detector is set on way too high of a level. It’s the equivalent of a black person taking offense at someone using “black” to mean evil. Do you feel indirectly slighted by this quote:

Looks like it didn’t take long for you to wear out your welcome here. Good-bye.

Are you normally in the habit of telling people in minority groups which slurs they should and shouldn’t be offended by? Your argument is ridiculous anyway:

Next time, check your facts. Assuming that’s the biggest part of your problem, and in this case, it isn’t.

I’m in the habit of pointing out when people are taking offense at absurd things.

Uhm ok. What are you talking about?

No, I don’t think so. If the quote had said something about dwarfs casting a long shadow, I might be slightly annoyed by it, but it’s the choice of “midgets” which pushes it into offensive for me. Midget simply isn’t an acceptable description of a person anymore.

I don’t know of any equivalent slur for giants. But if I found out I was using a term that was deemed offensive in general among them (including “giants” which is the only word I know), I’d quit using the word, I wouldn’t tell them not to be offended by it.

Do you get offended by things like midget subs or mental midget?

Treis, “black” can mean many things, but Midget is particularly descriptive of small people, and usually used in a derogatory way. Jeez, I am a normally small person, without the complexity of smallness that whiterabbit has, but I had plenty of “Midget, Ha Ha” crap growing up. I can only imagine it worse for tinier folks, especially with body differences.

It is interesting that “giant” isn’t a slur, although people who are beyond the norm of tall must have their own foibles to bear.

I don’t object to midget being used as a descriptive term for something else. I have heard of various midget plants, for example. “Mental midget” is insulting, sure, but it’s not just the midget bit.

I don’t get why this has turned into such an issue here. Even if you think I’m being oversensitive, perhaps you could just take my word for it that I find a person being called a midget highly offensive? It’s not the word itself, it’s this particular usage of it. I don’t know how better to explain it, treis.