Friday, April 15, 2011
It's a fact that women generally prefer to date men taller than them. This blog post goes so far as to call this a form of bigotry, which I suppose it could be--after all, height is a natural part of a person that they cannot control, like race, and if an office manager told the HR team to "only hire people over 6 feet" for any job that doesn't involve stocking high shelves, we'd call that bigotry. Is a woman who says she can only date men taller than her any different than a woman who says she'll only date a man with lighter skin than her, or someone with less Asian ancestry than her? This gets us into a sticky area--first, is bigotry really defined more by whether the trait being discriminated against is one that can be changed? For example, height can't be really changed, but someone could gain or lose weight--and surely, preferring large or petite women doesn't make one a bigot, does it? On the other side of the coin, while no one would defend bigotry on the basis of religion at the workplace (e.g., not hiring Muslims at your business), we tend to tolerate that in dating (e.g., only dating someone who shares your religious values), and religion is something that can be changed at any time. I suppose the bigotry is really best measured by whether the discrimination can be rationalized--that is, arguably a person's religion can make a difference when you are considering a long term mate, but their race shouldn't matter. So where does height fit in?