Generally, I’m 5’7”. On a good day, I’m 5’8”. Hence, I suffer from the ‘affliction’ of short height. While it’s true that I don’t have a severe case of this ‘affliction,’ I still know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of height based discrimination.

Yes, this brand of discrimination really does exist and, yes, it does suck. For those who scoff at the idea of discrimination against short men, consider this definition:

Discrimination: The practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people.

Based on that definition, there’s no questioning the fact that short men in America are victims of unfair discrimination. Some may find this funny but, despite your cheeky mocking, many short men are deeply troubled by the inequities they face on a day to day basis. So please do not laugh at the tears of the vertically challenged.

To be clear, this type of prejudice is not nearly as intense or severe as the institutionalized discrimination experienced by certain races of people and women.

Nonetheless, height based prejudices do affect the lives of short men in very real ways. The problems short men must encounter are much deeper than their struggles reaching top shelves at grocery stores or the fact that cabinets above refrigerators are virtually useless to them.

Being short reduces a man’s likelihood of attaining employment positions of great stature. The average height of a Fortune 500 CEO is 6 feet tall and the average height of all US presidents is 5 feet 11 inches tall. In general, short men rarely become president.

Studies have also shown that taller men get hired or promoted more into business leadership roles and earn more money, on average. It doesn’t matter if a short man has the same knowledge and technical skill as a tall man; the short guy will still encounter greater difficulties advancing in his career.

These are just a few of the challenges short men face. We won’t even discuss the frustrations they experience within the dating arena and the general disrespect directed at them on a daily basis.

Despite the bull feces compact guys are forced to slog through every day, they aren’t allowed to complain. In a society where it seems like everyone is whining about the injustices they face—whether real or perceived—pocket-sized fellas like me are expected to shut up and deal with it.

Say something slightly insulting about an overweight person and you’ll be tarred, feathered, and burned at the stake. Say something insulting about a short man and everyone laughs and pats the short guy on the head. The hypocrisy is nauseating.

Speaking of overweight people, it should be noted that they have complete control over their size. Each overweight person has the ability to determine how plump or svelte he or she will be.

On the contrary, vertically challenged males have absolutely no control over their condition. There’s nothing a man can do to change his height. The person who has zero control over his shortcomings deserves more empathy and understanding from the general public, but it doesn’t work like that in the real world.

As a result of the tall hurdles they face, short males are often motivated to worker harder than their taller counterparts. That’s why, despite the haters, there’s a plethora of successful diminutive males who have made a big impact in the world.

From Andrew Carnegie and Kevin Hart, to Bob Marley and Pablo Picasso, countless short statured men have proved height doesn’t limit one’s ability to attain greatness.

The success these short men have achieved serves as proof that short discrimination is stupid.

It’s stupid because height simply isn’t necessary to survive in the 21st century. Sure, in 30,000 B.C. when cavemen roamed the earth, being tall definitely had its advantages. Taller, bigger men were more adept at hunting prey, hauling animal carcasses, and protecting their brood from threats.

However, in 2016 A.D., a man needn’t be tall to “bring home the bacon,” or protect his family. There’s no height requirement for having a great job, purchasing a home alarm system, or owning a gun for personal protection.

In other words, being tall no longer serves a functional purpose, which is why the preference for taller men makes no technical sense.

Some women claim they need a tall man for protection. These ladies act as if we live in the “wild wild west” and there are people trying to fight them every five minutes in broad daylight. The overwhelming majority of women will never get into a physical altercation in public and, thus, do not need tall men to serve as their bodyguards.

It is true that women require safeguarding from the small minority of society’s sickos. But the sickos typically roam at night and most of them use weapons. Unfortunately, no amount of height can shield a woman from bullets and knives.

Smallism constitutes legitimate discrimination, without question. But if being short is the biggest challenge you face in life, it’s important to acknowledge that things could be way worse.

After all, there are people who have real disabilities that vastly hinder the quality of their lives. Rather than complaining about societies maltreatment, perhaps we should stop whining and realize how blessed we are.

In fact, there are some advantages to being short, not least of which being the fact that short men are likely to live longer.

A study has revealed a link between long life and the ‘longevity gene,’ which appears more frequently in short people. This gene—known as FOXO3—protects people from the effects of aging, according to scientists. They also found that short men were more likely to have lower blood insulin levels and less likely to get cancer.

So this is for you, short fella: The next time a woman tells you she doesn’t date short men, tell her you literally have the fountain of youth flowing through your veins and that’s way more valuable than a few inches in height.