Salvo 11.14.2022 8 minutes

Height Supremacy

Teenage boys (16-18) wrestler, leaning on short boy

Shorting the dating pool.

I come from a long line of unreconstructed female height supremacists. The first question my mother asked me when I told her about my now-husband was, “Well, how tall is he?” When I told her he was under six feet, I could hear the crushing disappointment in her voice. Meanwhile, my mother’s worshipful nickname for my height supremacist sister (5’ 8”) and my sister’s husband (6’ 4”) is “The Talls.”

My mother married a man over six feet tall, and she always cited my father’s height as one of the reasons she was first attracted to him. Unfortunately, his height was not enough to prevent their marriage from crashing to earth in a divorce. 

Because I bucked my height supremacist upbringing with a marriage to a non-six-footer, I now have a teenage son who is not going to be a tall adult. Among our multifarious offspring are two boys close in age, but there the similarity ends. One is fast approaching six feet. He seems to have acquired the tall genes from my paternal line. 

The other son did not acquire this gene. He may hit 5’ 8” or so as an adult, he may not. This used to be a source of frustration for him, since he was obsessed with basketball. But his ball skills could never quite compensate for his inability to tower over the other team. 

Like a teenage boy version of “The Gift of the Magi,” the taller son has zero interest in basketball. He prefers to build his own PCs, which is its own, much more expensive, sport.

As realization sinks in that we may end up with a son who is not “tall,” the very-online male height discourse has taken on some personal urgency. 

Tall Lives Matter

There is much discussion on social media—i.e., memes—about the average height of American men vs. the strict height standards of single American women.

Some men enjoy mogging their haters by putting their height, real or not, in their Twitter handles, as in “Jake Smith, 6’ 3.” It’s funny, and if you’re doing this to own the libs, I approve. After all, height in men is a classic indicator of manly virtue and physical prowess and is therefore the perfect attribute to use as a cudgel to mock and shame those who despise traditional masculinity.

But beware: this spread of rigid height supremacy is starting to affect birth rates. 

The height meme has now crept into the dating sphere, where promiscuous feminists have taken it literally. Six feet is the line under which you dare not go. The dating marketplace has become as ruthless as the selection process employed by the Nazis in the camps, only instead of calipers, single women use measuring tape. They’ll happily boast of triple-digit body counts on TikTok, but they have standards, okay?

Beware single ladies bearing measuring sticks! Single women sizing up guys these days are like Captain Quint and Hooper when they spot Jaws in the water. “That’s a six footer.” “Six foot five.”

Dating apps have contributed mightily to the American birth dearth by making it much too easy to weed out the vertically challenged. On Tinder, for example, you can simply set the app to only show you men who are at least six feet tall. I mean, why would a fully self-actualized, empowered woman even speak to a man under six feet tall? You don’t expect her to go to the trouble of unfreezing her eggs when she’s 48 only to be forced to raise a litter of munchkins, do you?

It is funny that when it comes to height, it’s suddenly okay to discuss genetics when seeking a mate. If you are so specific about a prospective partner’s height, what about his race? His IQ? His ability to process fermented foods? Tall lives matter most.

The irony is that the tall men these women seek tend to be either politically undesirable, or so desirable to height supremacists that they have little incentive to pluck a single girl from obscurity and put a ring on it.

On the other side of this painful standoff are the benighted “average” height men who are pushing back against blatant height discrimination. They rightly point out that girls who limit themselves to a semi-arbitrary height cut-off is what is keeping them single, since the overwhelming majority of men are well under six feet tall. 

Instead, every woman on Twitter is competing for the same tiny sliver of males who can dunk without jumping. 

The online RWBB (right-wing bodybuilder) community is as guilty of setting unrealistic physical standards as the height-supremacist women on dating apps. The Platonic Ideal of the perfect man is often jokingly depicted as the massively ripped GigaChad guy, but the joke’s on you, because they really do want to shame you with their shredded eight-packs and statuesque masculinity. 

Meanwhile, the average height of American men for all races is 5’ 9.” The average height for American whites is just under 5’ 10,” followed by black (5’ 9”), Hispanic, and Asian, who are tied for third at 5’ 7.”

Internationally, Dutch men are the tallest on average, coming in at just over six feet tall. Vikings, man. Most American men do not have Viking genes, and so are not getting picked out of the hat—the ladies are drawing the tall straws every time.

Here’s to the Homunculus

Here is where the height discourse is falling short. I have spoken to my fellow womyn in the Longhouse. They concur with me that height discrimination is not really a thing in meatspace. If a man is genuinely short, he may have a more limited dating pool, but he is not destined for inceldom. In high school, my brother’s friend group included several short guys under 5’ 4,” who nonetheless persisted and enjoyed heartthrob status among the girls. They both ended up married to much taller babes. The height agnostic chicks I know agree that they had crushes and dated many “short” guys. 

What won them over was, in all cases, charm. Remember charm? The ability to woo? Court? Flirt? Sadly, it seems to be in short supply these days. I recall in my single days that tall men tended to bore me—probably because they had no pressure to be charming. They may be long in length, but they’re short where it counts most.

Birth Rates Bottom Out

Have you even seen our birth rates lately? Babies are running low, which is not good. 

Gentlemen, our civilization hangs in the balance; do not let your 5’ 7” genes die with you!

Ladies, here are some of the men you would reject without ever seeing when you set your partner’s height quota to six feet:

Matthew Broderick, 5’ 8”

Paul Newman, 5’ 10”

James Dean, 5’ 7”

Brad Pitt, 5’ 11”

Eddie Murphy, 5’ 9” (have met, can confirm)

Mel Gibson, 5’ 8” (have met, can confirm)

Rob Lowe, 5’ 10”

Timothée Chalamet, 5’ 9”

Frank Sinatra, 5’ 7”

Harry Styles, 5’ 9”

Sure, these men are towering giants in their fields, and rich and famous, which probably helps. Fellas, if you are lacking in verticality, aim to make gains where you can!

Winning the Height House

Everyone knows there are only two things that not being tall will permanently bar you from: playing Batman in a movie and the White House.

This country has never had a short president in the modern era. The Internet says Ron DeSantis is 5’ 9,” so either that is Russian propaganda or Ron will never be president. George W. Bush is 5’ 10,” and look what happened. I recommend we send Martin Shkreli to chase DeSantis with some measuring tape and find out before the height truthers weigh in. In a battle between DeSantis and Trump or DeSantis and Gavin Newsom, modern presidential history favors the tall. With ballot harvesting operations now impressively controlling the outcomes of our elections, height may be the least of our worries in 2024.

(Note: Shkreli did not get arrested not for committing fraud, that was a smokescreen—he’d put out a ransom during the 2016 election for anyone who could provide him with a sample of Hillary Clinton’s hair suitable for drug testing.)

Gymcels May Win in the End

“Peachy, this is cope, you’re just trying to shame girls into dating people they aren’t attracted to! They just like tall guys, okay? Telling them to date midgets is like asking a lesbian to date a woman with a penis!” Hey, if you enjoy dating NBA players, fine, go have fun trying to collect child support. I’m just asking everyone to widen their scope a little, maybe an inch or two. 

“Fine, we’ll date shorter guys—when you tell guys to date fatter girls.” 

Fair, you got me. But when you look at the obesity rate, most of them don’t really have a choice. 

Let me explain something to the thin supremacists: an “average”-shaped woman who would not be acceptable as a runway model still can look plenty good. Bone-thin women may slay in couture, but they are not going to be great at birthing you the sons you will need to rule your empire.

Back to the right-wing bodybuilders for a moment. My not-tall son started working out during the pandemic to get better at basketball. But then he discovered that working out made him really good at working out. He recently graduated from a small weight set in our garage to a trendy “influencer” gym, with dim lighting and cool music. He even complained that it didn’t have a dedicated “posing” room (I had to look up what that meant).

This kid is about to compete in his first junior powerlifting competition, and happens to have movie-star good looks, so I am confident his life will be fine no matter what his final height is. I’m pretty sure that if you can deadlift 400 pounds at his age, height-pilling the ladies will be easy.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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