Two clubs, one in Ontario and the other in Detroit, have recently scheduled events for dwarf tossing in their establishments.
The scheduling of two dwarf tossing events in strip clubs run by the same woman, Alissa Katzman, caused outrage with the Little People of America (LPA) and Little People of Canada (LPC) communities this week. The organizations were furious that the establishments were hosting such a dangerous event.
“If this were puppy tossing or kitten tossing, people would be all over it,” Denise Wood, head of the Motor City Chapter of the LPA told the Detroit Free Press.
“If it was any other minority they were throwing, there would be outrage,” Jamie Danforth of Ontario added in an interview with CBC News. “I think there would be an uproar. If they were tossing women, it would be violence against women. What’s the difference between a little person being thrown and somebody else?”
Katzman was quick to come to her own defense, making sure the internet knew that there was “nothing illegal” about her dwarf tossing events.
Although dwarf tossing is not yet illegal in Canada or Michigan, Florida and New York created laws battling the vicious sport in 1989 and 1990 respectively.
Wood rejected the idea that dwarf tossing was not illegal and explained her own worries that the sport caused spectators to look at people with dwarfism as objects.
“What’s to prevent kids from doing this to someone at school? I just don’t know why people think it’s OK to toss a person,” she said. “I know this guy agreed to it, but when you dangle a carrot in front of people, they’ll do all kinds of things.”
“I’m more worried about the physical nature of it,” Danforth added. “I’m worried that someday, somebody may want to grab and pick up my kids.”
In a world where some people suddenly believe the world is flat, it’s hard to argue with that kind of logic.
In fact, the concerns noted by Wood and Danforth are not too off base.
In 2012, a little person by the name of Martin Henderson was smoking a cigarette outside a bar in England while celebrating his birthday. A stranger suddenly walked up to him, grabbed him and tossed him to the ground. The action caused Henderson to suffer from nerve damage that partially paralyzed him.
In that case, Henderson had not voluntarily taken place in a dwarf tossing contest. Many other little people have been subjected to forced participation in dwarf tossing, or just plain harassment born from the activity.
Members of the LPC and LPA began a petition to halt the dwarf tossing contests in Detroit and Ontario, but have only received a little over 3,500 signatures.
The petition, “Stop Dwarf Tossing Events in Ontario and Detroit,” can be found on Change.org. It explains the dangers of dwarf tossing.
“Dwarf tossing is a disgusting spectacle that subjects people with dwarfism to ridicule and physical harm. The individual who is tossed is like a shot put or a javelin thrown in a track and field event, or a bowling ball rolled down a lane. While dwarf tossing is an extreme risk to the individual, it also objectifies the entire dwarf community. Dwarf tossing treats people of short stature as a piece of equipment and encourages the general attitude that people with dwarfism are objects. The threat of dwarf tossing extends to individual people unrelated to the event. Dwarf tossing should never happen in any location in the United States, in Canada, or around the world. No little person, or their friends, family and peers should ever be subjected to the barbarity of a dwarf tossing event, and no little person should ever again be put at risk because of dwarf tossing.”
[Photo by Nolte Lourens/Shutterstock]