Amongst the eight women is Esperanza Guerrero-Anderson who runs her own consultancy firm. The article states
Here it seems to me that Ms Guerroro-Anderson is highlighting societies prevailing attitude, that assertiveness is a trait that belongs exclusively to taller people.
It reminded me of an incident from my past, one which I might have spoken about before. Many years ago I lived in a block of flats and there were a number of problems with them. I decided to try and get some of the residents together to discuss these issues and I arranged a meeting and advertised by leafleting, rather then knocking on doors and speaking to people in person. No one had seen me before the meeting.
After the meeting I got to chatting with one of the men who had attended. He was a fairly tall man. He made a comment which confused me at the time, but that I now think I understand. He said something along the lines of "I was shocked by how short you were when you opened the door. I expected to look straight into your eyes."
Now in fairness I am shorter then average so I suppose my height can surprise people. But what I now wonder, in the light of Ms Guerroro-Anderson's comments is if he was shocked because he didn't expect a shorter person to behave in the assertive way that I did. Organising that meeting was an assertive act, almost an act of leadership. I do wonder if his surprise at my height was partly based on his internalised heightism? Did he subconsciously view my actions as those of a taller person? He had no other reason to suppose I was going to be as tall as him. He was a perfectly nice man and his comments were not intended to hurt me or even said in a critical matter, just said in a very matter of fact way.
I suppose I'll never know.