The “M” word (Midget) is a demeaning slur for a person who has dwarfism. Dwarfism is the result of a medical condition. The “M” word originates from the oppression and exploitation of people with dwarfism in “freak shows” of the mid 1800s. There are many who don’t know our history and that’s a shame. While often people’s usage, comments and intent may be honest and heart felt, they do not respect the prejudice a person with dwarfism faces nor the lack of acceptance, respect or understanding.
In order to gain respect and acceptance, one hurdle an oppressed group must attain is the right of self identification. If necessary, we use “person with dwarfism,” or “Little Person” (LP) or “person of short stature” but most people would rather be referred to by their name rather than by a label. Like those who have justifiably obtained control of the “N” word or other groups who were previously identified with derogatory slurs, it means we as a community of people with dwarfism need to obtain control of the “M” word. Just as many others before us, it is now our turn for awareness, acceptance and respect.