On Ender's Game

Size Matters

By Janis Ian

1. The necessary disclaimers

Let me start by saying that I’m short.

Not diminutive or petite but short. Four feet, ten-and-a-quarter inches worth of short, to be exact. Just a quarter-inch past tall enough to qualify for the United States Air Force.

I read years ago that the height limit to designate a person as a dwarf or midget was a quarter inch lower than my own height. That only bothered me when I thought my size might help me get a college scholarship. Apparently, in this one instance, I was not short enough. But no one would ever mistake me for tall or even average height. By any current measurement, I am short.

I know Orson Scott Card. I have pictures of myself standing next to him. Scott is far from short. Why he chose to write a book that not only makes lack of height an asset but comes close to glorifying it is beyond me.

Nevertheless, I thank him profusely for it.

2. Does size really matter?

Of course it does. Anyone my size who’s tried to adjust a showerhead, use a hotel magnifying mirror, or pull clothes out of the top dryer knows that. The world is not set up for short people. Kitchen counters are too high, causing wrist and shoulder problems for those of us who like to cook. Chairs are too tall, cutting off circulation mid-thigh and leading to stiff legs at best, phlebitis at worst.

Forget rental cars; those seats are designed for the Los Angeles Lakers. Forget seatbelts, for  …

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