The height advantage

I WAS BORN tall and white. Blessed, as it were.

Don’t believe, however, that there aren’t downsides to being tall. Think airplanes, buses, theaters, subways and much of Latin America. We duck a lot, and we squinch up. It can be uncomfortable.

rulerThe upsides include other folks often having higher opinions of you. It has been proven that you make more money, all other things being equal, and you get hired more quickly.

Life is easier for the tall.

This applies more to men than women, however. Being extra tall for a woman can be a drawback. You gotta be gorgeous. My sister, who is 6 feet tall, is only normal looking. She had one date in high school.

Later in life, she grew increasingly sour and decided to be a lesbian.

So if you’re gonna be tall, try and be a guy.

It’s exciting when a lovely girl must stand on her toes to kiss you.

I was also born white, another plus. You probably have heard this phrase white privilege  that the collectivists have invented. It means, like being tall, you were born with a leg up. And you were.

It’s a trendy concept these days. You are supposed to feel guilty. They even throw events on ivy league campuses to emphasize the guilt you gotta feel. That’s balderdash.

If you’re born tall, white and male, you’ve scored a trifecta.

Here on the far side of life, I now realize I could have done so much more with it. No matter. Girls still have to stand on their tippy-toes to kiss me, but only one does it, and she’s my favorite.

19 thoughts on “The height advantage”

  1. “…and decided to be a lesbian.” DECIDED, oh my, you are looking for some interaction/reaction aren’t you?

    Once, long ago, in another life, when I went to all sorts of leadership training, sensitivity training, training training, a speaker was talking about the privilege of white male, he did not incorporate ‘tall’ into his discourse, he said …’white men don’t know what they don’t know.’

    I ponder that statement frequently. It is quite profound.

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    1. Debi: I believe gay guys are either born gay or become gay somewhere along the line, usually quite young, for some cause that’s totally out of their control. Which is to say, they do not decide. Mother Nature decides for them. I’m not at all sure that applies to lesbians. I think it does at times, and I think sometimes they choose it. I think my sister is in the latter category. Gay men rarely marry women except to hide. It’s far more common to find lesbians with bona fide ex-husbands in their past. My sister was married in her 20s. Her longtime “partner” is also long divorced, plus the “partner” has kids and grandkids. They both are generally angry at men. Gay men are not, as a rule, angry at women. Quite the contrary. Gay men and lesbians are quite different in many ways. Gay men with kids (unless adopted) are rare as the proverbial hen’s tooth.

      I’m not sure what to make of that phrase “white men don’t know what they know.” I do not buy into white privilege. It is PC nonsense. Clearly, those parts of the world that are most advanced in the ways considered positive (education, science, modernity, tolerance, democracy, etc.) have been white zones far more often than not. Western Europe, North America and the outposts of Australia and New Zealand, the places everyone wants to migrate to (Few wish to move to Sierra Leone, Vietnam or Bolivia). I do not attribute this to race. I attribute it to culture, and particularly the Judeo-Christian ethic.

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      1. I have been reading your blog since you started. Why? Because almost always I learn something about subjects that I have been long considering. And what I learn seems to make perfect sense to me. Thanks for sharing your reasoning. Your clear thinking and the ability to express yourself simplifies my life.

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    2. P.S.: I don’t think “white men don’t know what they don’t know” is profound at all. I think it’s something you’d hear in an obligatory sensitivity class. So we’ll have to differ on that.

      Thank God I never had to attend one of those classes.

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    3. More P.S. (or perhaps B.S.): It’s modish to think badly of white people these days, of course, particularly white men. Women, even white ones, by definition, are “oppressed.” White women live in a gray zone, so to speak. Sometimes oppressed. Sometimes oppressers.

      The bad feelings so common among nonwhite folks toward white people quite likely is actually envy. The Judeo-Christian tradition has developed the best places on earth. Those people whose traditions are different and who live, as a result, in less-developed territories see that and feel envy. Instead of realizing that it’s the culture that has developed the good territories, they simply envy the inhabitants who have been, far more often than not, white.

      That envy easily morphs into hatred.

      It is not a perfect culture, the Judeo-Christian thing. There has been unpleasant colonialism and barbaric brutalities, but nonwhite people have been equally brutal, even colonial at times, and would have done it far more had they been able to. (In that respect, people are alike.)

      Culture, not race. If there is a white privilege, it is a privilege earned and deserved by what they built.

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  2. I try to remember to thank God daily for all of the gifts he has given me. That I had two loving parents who took the time to teach me how to live at peace in this world. That I was born in an economic system that allowed the son of a struggling logger to become the counselor for a good-sized corporation. That I have had good health (despite some recent bumps). That I have seen and experienced more of the world than Christopher Columbus ever did.

    I try not to fall into the collectivist mindset where groups slap on their respective labels and indulge in the zero-sum game of self-pity. There is little profit in it. Comparing oneself with others is almost always a sucker’s game.

    But what do I know? I am just an old fat white guy who has a stunted view of this Brave New World.

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    1. Steve: Your view of this world is mostly my view too. It is a good view.

      I like the line that you’ve seen more of the world than Columbus ever did. True, and amazing that it’s not that difficult to do these days.

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  3. My daughter is 5′ nothing. Her SO is 6’4″. So much more handy than getting the step ladder to reach things on high shelves.

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    1. Carole: It is a fact that tall men very often prefer short women. Her SO (hey, I figured that out!) hit the jackpot. My mother endlessly ragged on me for decades for preferring short women. She, of course, preferred tall men. And married one. You cannot choose your inner druthers. My child bride is neither tall nor short. She is just right.

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  4. Our genetic makeup is a roll of the dice and beyond our control. It is mostly a matter of luck and due to the preferences of our parents. I have no regrets nor guilt for being born white. I feel fortunate to be tall, thin and male. The most important qualities are those that are not external and that are unique to us as individuals, such as our intellectual inheritance and our values.

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  5. Interesting that you should chose to write on this topic now. I just wrote a post (unpublished) about moreno vs güero here in Zacatecas. SOB it’s cool to be white, but somewhat ironically, uncool to be brown. It’s that latter bit I take issue with, and discuss in my post. Seems like even the brown here are promoting a European ideal of beauty that is quite out of place in this mostly moreno nation.

    I’m tall and white and decently good looking, and for that I have been blessed many many times. And for that reason I am also treated especially well here in Mexico. It seems like it’d be a better world if that weren’t the case. But I deserve no credit whatsoever for being tall and white, even though I constantly get it. It was just the luck of the draw.

    I try very hard to judge everyone on their own individual merits, not on some kind of generalization like skin tone, race, or something else that’s superficial. I wish everyone did the same.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Zacatecas, ZAC
    Where we are desperately trying to muster the energy to go clubbing.

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    1. Kim: This issue has so many aspects. First off, nobody even attempts to pretend that everybody’s equal here in Mexico in any way. We do not have that silly American obsession. I say silly because it’s not true, and never will be. People are born different and live different, sometimes well, sometimes badly. Not true here, not true anywhere, even where societal fashions demand you say and believe the contrary.

      That it’s far better to be lighter-skinned is right out in the open in Mexico. Newborn babies are remarked upon by parents, kin and friends alike as to his lighter or darker skin, the former being much, much better, of course. Even dark-toned parents say it. Whiter complexion is a cause for happiness. The other end of the spectrum no. Blue eyes, even rarer than being white, is a huge plus, and nobody says otherwise. It is a cause for rejoicing.

      White people — the official estimate is about 10 percent of the population — are called Whitey as a nickname, as you know. In Spanish, of course, Güero. The other end, Moreno — Blackie or Darkie — is rarely heard. Nobody wants to be Moreno although almost everybody is, the other 90 percent.

      TV soap operas are very revealing. The rich folks are almost always white. The servants are always brown, 100 percent. And nobody protests outside the station with placards either about how “offensive” it is.

      I look forward to your post. And you can “take issue with” the attitudes all day long, but what you’re actually doing is bringing your U.S. mindset south and trying to apply it. If you voice it out loud, people will nod, smile, and agree while inwardly they will think: What’s up with this fellow?

      I do not know if Mexico has any “anti-discrimination” law regarding employment. I really doubt it. And if we do, it would be ignored, as so many laws here are ignored. Personally, I favor such legislation. FYI.

      All humans are racist in that they notice racial differences and usually make judgments about them on the spot. As a general rule, people prefer the company of others who look like them — are like them in as many ways as possible. It will always be like that, and it will always cause problems. It is human, what we are. Your wish for a better world where such things do not happen is admirable. It is also utopian. And American.

      (For readers above the Rio Bravo, SOB means South of the Border. Its opposite, NOB, is often seen.)

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      1. I don’t take marching orders from anyone on what to think. I try to understand and respect other cultures, but don’t necessarily embrace them. Every culture has its weak points, and pretending otherwise is foolish, a point I’m sure you agree with. But feel free to report me. By the time they catch up with me, I’ll be on the lam, south of here.

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  6. A few random thoughts…
    I’m not short; I’m vertically challenged.
    Growing up as a short female, instead of tall, increased the eligible dating pool 🙂
    I’m not only white, I’m ultra-Nicole Kidman-pale white. With red hair. I really stand out when SOB.

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    1. Becky: It’s okay to be short if you’re a woman, so you’re just fine. With the red hair, I imagine you even stand out up there where you live. That’s fine too.

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