Whenever there is perceived oppression, the world pulls out that yardstick—and I do mean yardstick—and starts measuring the oppressor. OK, I understand there are some unfortunate short-equals-bossy precedents. Hitler was dinky, Mussolini was too, and Bono is not exactly the tallest person on the planet. But these examples do not mean that every male under average height is hell-bent on establishing a tyrannical global brand. Yes, the Marquis de Sade was petite. But so was Gandhi.

From my vantage point—an admittedly low one, since my passport says 5 feet 4½ inches, and I just measured myself and I have lost half an inch in the last 40 years, which is actually a relief since I thought it would be more—the picture is by no means a simple one. The truth of the matter is, there are all kinds of little dudes. Yes, some of us are megalomaniacal, rage-filled Hummel figurines with Napoleon complexes. But only when the situation calls for it! And not all of us have such maniacal tendencies. We short guys are a spectrum, a rainbow. Let’s start at the darkest end.

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