When the topic of disassociating people with dwarfism from the word midget comes up, people often begin the rant of “The world is too politically correct”, “You can not say anything any more” and so on. This has always been fascinating since this seems to happen only with smaller minority groups such as the dwarfism community. When dealing with other larger minority groups, that have large numbers in society and pose a threat either by force, financially or through boycott the rants seems to silence.

The fact is that until a few decades ago, even in the medical world, the word midget was in common use: Some physicians employed the word to refer to persons who were small and proportionate, most often as the result of a growth hormone deficiency. Dwarf was used to differentiate this category from individuals who were small and disproportionate, most often as the result of various cartilage and bone disorders; their conditions were known medically as forms of skeletal dysplasia.

While proportionate dwarfism is quite rare today because of medical advances, people still refer to individuals who are small and disproportionate as “midgets”.

If the word were still considered acceptable today, the reference would in fact be incorrect. Yes incorrect..Not politically incorrect.

Many times, when justifying the reasons that the “M” word is considered offensive, a comparison is made to the “N” word. This comparison often brings up the argument of one can not compare the history of both these words. While this is true, as it is with any offensive and hurtful term, they are all labels which at times becomes a person’s only identity and offers a less of a chance for them to succeed in life.