Friday, July 17, 2009

Ladybrain Review of: Being tall (part one)

I'm tall. I'm not crazy tall, or anything, but I am taller than your average man, even in the United States (by about a tenth of an inch). Now, maybe my ladybrain just can't handle the nuanced implications of my tenth of an inch height infraction, but it sure seems like men notice it. Especially the shorter ones.

One time, at my job, a respected volunteer leader in our organization came to our national office. He was being introduced to people, desk by desk. When my boss brought him around to meet me, I thought it polite to stand up and shake hands with him. I was at a normal hand-shaking distance, so it's not as if i was looming over him or anything, but when he saw that I was a couple of inches taller than him, first he looked down at my feet (I was wearing flats), then he looked back up and me, and cowered.

I'm 24. I'm in a relatively low-level position at my organization, he's being shown off as a guest of honor and this man actually cowered. After catching his recoil, he puffed his chest out, shook my hand, started talking loudly and quickly to my boss, and strode importantly away. Interestingly, my boss, who is a few inches taller than me, didn't seem to have the same effect on him.

Ladybrain verdict on tallness: Terrifying (to certain men).

As an interesting side note, a (very tall, very qualified) female colleague of his asked him for a recommendation for a full-time position with our organization and he made all sorts of bizarre excuses as to why he couldn't recommend her. None of which implied in any way that she did a bad job, but it understandably made our search committee slightly uneasy. She narrowly missed getting the position.

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