Flat White

The trauma of being 5ft 8 ½ inches

4 July 2022

2:00 PM

4 July 2022

2:00 PM

[Calm down, it’s satire.]

This morning my ever-reliable talk radio station informed me that the BBC now considers there are over 150 different genders. This caused me some personal reflection as to how I regard myself and my identity.

I used to be 5ft 8 ½ inches ‘tall’ (the half was very important), but I now see my identity differently. I have woken up to my height, and am now ‘height-woke’. I have arisen in identity terms, but sadly not in length. I am still geographically embarrassed in the height department. 

Some wish to label me as 174 cm; others as a ‘small mid-forward’, but sadly my footballing days are well behind me. I find this labelling of me offensive and am outraged. It is for me to determine my ‘height identity’ and I demand others accept my self-designation. I consider I am ‘cis-height’. And in this, I am a victim.


I demand victim status and may write a book about the trauma of it all.

In 1980, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association instituted a category of mental illness as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Despite the criteria then (and still) including ‘experiencing a life-threatening situation’ it is now universally used by counsellors to label any stress experience. I claim victim status and PTSD, and demand compensation.

I find I am universally ‘looked down upon’ by anyone over 5ft 9. This is intolerable and ‘heightist’. I need a safe space that can only be entered by those shorter than 5ft 8. But the term shorter can surely no longer be used. It is ‘heightist’ and ‘lengthiest’, making me vulnerable to discrimination by 50 per cent of the population. Most men are ‘lengthest’ I find, since I have been asked about my ‘length’ even by male colleagues.

Indeed, since I am 90kg and 5ft 8 ½ and white and male, I suffer from intersectionality – the intersection of all these identities. Therefore I adopt victim status, demand compensation, and insist that no one else see themselves as 5 ft 8 ½ inches because this would be ‘appropriation’ of my height experience. 

I insist others refer to me as ‘cis-height’ and do not designate themselves as 6ft 6, or 200 cm or ‘a ruckman’ or similar. I would find this very distressing. Similarly, to be referred to as ‘portly’ or even ‘slightly portly’ is discrimination. To see me as ‘over 70’ is outrageous, although to be honest, half the population (mainly the cis-female half) do not see me at all. To note my baldness is ageist, but I see it as ‘freedom from combs’. We must take our freedoms where we find them.

I am not sure where these concerns land me. Maybe I am attempting to be ‘cool’, or ‘random’, and ‘height-woke’ but it is so complicated these days. Now I must see myself as ‘cis-height’ but in reality I am mid- height, slightly portly, and balding, and a grandfather!

But does reality still exist? Whatever, the younger cis-females of my acquaintance still look right through me, as if I am invisible. Perhaps I am cis-visible, or visible only to those who wish to see me. Fortunately, this still includes my grandchildren, and our dog, who ‘sees’ me at 4:30pm every day for a walk!

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