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Usually, these offensive inquisitors have exaggerated their own height

By JUDITH MARTIN, NICHOLAS IVOR MARTIN AND JACOBINA MARTIN | United Feature Syndicate

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a tall woman and am frequently asked my height by men and women alike. While I find it mildly annoying, I can shrug it off easily enough. (I've never understood why asking someone's weight or age is considered rude, but asking about height is fair game.)

But how might I respond to the occasional man who, after asking this personal question and getting an honest answer, doesn't believe me? It seems to imply that I am either too ignorant to know the right answer or a liar, both of which I find very insulting. (I have had my height of 6'0" verified many times over the years, and I have no reason to "fudge" the numbers.)

A typical confrontation of this sort comes from a man who has exaggerated his own height and wants me to explain the obvious disparity between our viewpoints. The next time this happens, is there a way I can let him know he is being a jerk - without being one myself?

GENTLE READER: Asking a woman's weight is also considered fair game these days, Miss Manners is saddened to admit. That does not make asking her height or her weight any less rude — and, as it is rude, you are under no obligation to answer.

A light smile, accompanied by, "Oh, it's been so long since I measured," is all that etiquette requires.

For the persistent male, you may add, with a slight tone of annoyance, "As I said, it's been some time since I measured. Does it really matter?"

If this is still not enough, move closer, look down at him, and ask firmly - but, please, without a snarl - "Well, we're almost the same height, aren't we?"

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Comments  

+1 # Heike 2020-08-16 19:25
Say it nicely and with a smile :
I am 6ft 2 TALL.
How SHORT are YOU ?
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-1 # Frank Johnson 2020-09-12 03:21
I ask, why would it be offensive for a man to ask a woman’s height. As a man, I would not consider it an insult. Women put height demands all the time in their dating profiles, yet no one considers that insulting to men, even though it is.

If I were a tall woman, I would consider it a curious reaction to seeing a very tall woman. I would look at it as an opportunity to meet a man, who is impressed with your presence. If you played your cards right, you might get a date out of the encounter or maybe a husband.

Looking for a way to insult him accomplishes nothing. And I would bet that if you met a man who was 8 inches taller than you, you would certainly ask how tall he was.
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0 # Sarah Smith 2021-03-23 15:08
Women having height demands in dating profiles can be problematic.

However being pestered throughout the day by people who think you have nothing else to do but cater to their curiosity is also problematic.

And why would you assume that tall women would see being pestered as an opportunity to meet a man?

As you say, you're not a tall woman, but a bit of empathy wouldn't go amiss.
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0 # Frank Johnson 2021-03-24 00:23
You are correct. I have no experience on people asking me my height. Me looking up to you.
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