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Just a Little Post (OK, Bad Pun; Read On)

November 9, 2009

Maybe I’ve blogged this before, because I tend to think cyclically and ratchet through my story ideas ever few months and things just stick out, you know?

Dwarfs prefer to be called “Little People” instead of “Midgets.” It’s a whole thing, I guess. My bad, I had formed the uninformed belief that “midgets” were proportionally correct and dwarfs weren’t until the PC Police clubbed me in the shins (oooo!).

In fact, the term “midget” is a term of exploitation because Hollywood had a habit of rounding up any dwarf regardless of talent to staff movies like Wizard of Oz, Disney elf, gnome, or fairy movies, Buzby Berkly flicks, and anyone else who wanted a, let’s say “height challenged,” piece of human furniture.

So somehow, and I’m not sure where such things are decided for a people en mass, the clever term “Little People” was chosen to be less demeaning.

Say what?

“Little People?” That isn’t demeaning? “You’re like a person, only smaller.” Come on PC Police, that’s a little short on sensitivity isn’t it? (oooo, again!).

Let’s face, these guys get the short end of the stick all around. The correct term, “Dwarf”, conjures pictures of white haired guys with long beards. Can’t use that. “Little People” should be an embarrassment. What’s an individual, then, a Little? Pretty sure that’s a copyright infringement…

“Midget.” What’s wrong with that, exactly? Perhaps it comes from the term “smidgen” meaning a pinch. Is that so bad? Does it conjure a negative image?

For my story, a minor character (oooo! unintentionally) is a… dominunator (how’s that!?) isn’t much of a joiner (like me) and while she refuses labels and “group think” as a matter of course, has particular loathing for the term “Little People” but if a label is demanded, goes with “midget.”

Can I, a 6’2″ “Big People” make such a claim for one of my characters when I don’t represent their group at all? (Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, I’m going to anyway).

Which term is your label of preference?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunrise permalink
    November 10, 2009 8:14 am

    I believe the singular is "Little Person". But I agree it is confusing.

  2. Bonnie permalink
    November 11, 2009 10:18 am

    The PC thing takes communmication to an excruciatingly difficult level. Because communication is not merely words, people tend to forget to look at the intent and focus on being correct or nonoffensive. Take it from me, a housewife – I mean a homemaker, it's time to lighten up a bit.

  3. Rob permalink
    November 16, 2009 9:33 pm

    Y'mean Domestic Engineer, don't you?Happily lightening up. 🙂

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