Disclaimer: this story was of particular interest to me [Michele Hickford] because technically, according to the Little People of America, I’m part of the club. I’m 4’10.” And I have to be honest, I’ve been dying to write an article about “height privilege.” But I digress…on to the story at hand, which truly is beyond parody.
As the Free Beacon reports, and I swear this is not a joke:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a regulation on Thursday to stop referring to midget raisins as “midget” after an activist group called the term offensive.
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued the proposed rule, announcing the U.S. “Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins” would eliminate all five times the word midget is used. Midget has long been used to describe the differences in sizes of California raisins.
“The action would clarify AMS grade standards by eliminating the use of the term ‘midget,’ while consistently using the term ‘small’ for raisins graded in that category,” the USDA said in the proposed rule.
The government said the change was prompted by a request from the Little People of America, a nonprofit membership organization for people of short stature.
The group wants to eliminate the word “midget” from society, and zeroed in on the raisin classification, although they said it was a benign use of the term.
“On May 13, 2013, AMS received a petition from the Little People of America stating that they ‘are trying to raise awareness around and eliminate the use of the word midget,’” the USDA said. “The petition further stated that, ‘Though the use of the word midget by the USDA when classifying certain food products is benign, Little People of America, and the dwarfism community, hopes that the USDA would consider phasing out the term midget.’”
Oh my goodness. What’s going to be next? Will we have to get rid of the word “shrimp” and refer to those tasty crustaceans only as prawns? Will peanuts be renamed “groundnuts” – because surely “goober” is also pejorative? What about the horticulture industry? Dwarf maple? Can’t have that, now can we? Someone might take offense.
I’ll be honest. I checked out The Little People of America website to see if I should consider becoming a member. But I think I’ll skip it. My “size identity” doesn’t tilt that way. It never has. The way I see it, I’m normal size, and everyone else is just bigger. And now I’m sure I’ll get angry emails from people who say I’m insensitive because I’m not “authentically short.” You know what? I’ve heard every damn “short joke” in the book a million times and I OWN it. Because I wouldn’t be me any other way.
[This article was written by Michele Hickford, author of Do I Need To Slap You?]