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Flying with kids - new TSA screening stuff - Page 3

post #41 of 46

"I have a GED and barely make a livable wage but I'm not pretending that I'm somehow qualified to stop terrorism or to perform invasive inappropriate acts on strangers."


Heck, I have a Master's Degree and I never use it as an excuse to grope strangers at the airport! orngtongue.gif

post #42 of 46

I love your humor Smithie! Your son's story a few posts back had me laughing so much :)

post #43 of 46
Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post

This topic infuriates me like almost nothing else. 

I think there are a lot of issues here that are rarely brought up. 

The first is the whole "professional" argument. While most of the TSA agents may be very nice, well intentioned people, they are hardly professionals. There are no education requirements and the salary ranges somewhere from 25-40k. There is nothing wrong with not having a higher education or making a low salary. I have a GED and barely make a livable wage but I'm not pretending that I'm somehow qualified to stop terrorism or to perform invasive inappropriate acts on strangers. These agents are not required to take a class on ethics or communications and are given nothing more than on the job training to use very complicated equipment.

Secondly, while I think it is wise to have basic security measures in place (scanning of bags and such), are we maybe just too afraid for our own good? I can sit here and come up with a dozen things I do every day that are more dangerous than getting on a plane, I would dare to say that are even more dangerous than getting on a plane that has had no excessive security screening at all. More people are killed in car accidents every single month than have been killed by terrorism in the history of our nation. That's not me being insensitive, it's a statistic, a fact. 

Other modes of transit like bridges and subways in large metropolitan areas, especially New York, are under the "threat" of terrorism every day as well. Remember that there was a subway bombing in London? And yet millions of people get on the subway and drive over bridges every day. And ..... do it without ANY invasive or personal security measures. NONE, not one. As someone who lived in NY for twenty four years and still goes there frequently, I can tell you that I've never once heard anyone ask to have airline security measures extended to subway use.

So my point is that I very personally resent someone telling me that my child should be forced to pose for pornographic pictures and be subjected to inappropriate touching to make them feel better about sitting on a plane, when odds are they are a lot more likely to be harmed when they get off.




post #44 of 46

It sounds like their policies are kind of wishy-washy. They change regularly but half the airports don't get the memo. My experience was fine, but I don't feel like that's any garuntee that yours will be. But just in case it helps, here was how it happened to me:


I recently went through the Nashville airport (BNA) at the end of December.  My biggest beef with the scanner and pat down (besides the fact that it's done at all) was that they didn't do anything to let you know what the scanner was. The fact that I'd done some before hand (because I was so nervous about being scanned) was the only way I recognized it. So you're not giving informed consent to be scanned.


The lady directing people to the scanner was friendly. She tried to convince me the scanner was less invasive than the pat down (for most people it probably would be, but I'm weird like that), but she was sympathetic and said she'd "get someone nice" to do it. I was briefly separated from my DP because he went through the scanner without knowing what it was, while I hung back waiting for the patting-down agent to show up. When she arrived, I went through the normal metal detector and into an area sectioned off for this purpose. She found my DP so he could be a witness. She got fresh gloves. She asked if I'd had the pat down before, and I said no, so she explained the procedure to me (moving hand up the thigh until it "meets resistance" etc, you've heard it), so there were no surprises. She touched my butt with the back of her hand, and she checked between and under my breasts with the side of her hands. She did reach in my collar and waistband. She didn't touch my genitals, but she came close enough that it could have easily happened by accident, I think. (It'd probably be more likely to happen on a man?) I had to wait while she tested her gloves for something or other. This all occurred at the same time that your shoes, laptop, bag is going through the x-ray, so I'm glad my DP was there to re-pack our bags.


I was wearing slacks and a slightly form-fitting sweater. It seemed like everyone had to go through the scanner (or pat down) whereas I've heard they just pick random people sometimes. However, it wasn't especially crowded at that time.

Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post

I'm not sure I understand why these pat downs are considered sexual -- is going to the doctor for a check up (the gyno, a physical, etc) sexual? No it's someone doing their job...


It may or may not be because I was sexually abused as a child, but I do in fact find a medical professional poking around my private bits to be very, very distressing. And it used to be worse. Hell, it was years before I could comfortably change clothes in front of stuffed animals! (We're talking long after an age where I knew stuffed animals weren't secretly alive, but I did keep getting flash backs of Toy Story anyway.)


Still, there are some key differences between going to the doctor and going through "enhanced" airport security.


1. Technically, you don't have to do either one. Technically, you never have to do anything in your life except occasionally sleep and eventually die. But being able to say "But it's your choice!" doesn't make it okay for you to put another person in a situation where they have to choose between two bad things. The TSA is pretty much blackmailing people a la "Let us take a naked picture or you and/or feel you up, or else you don't get to see your family this Christmas." With the doctor analogy, you're choosing between an exam or the risk of an undiscovered health problem, but that health problem is a fact of life rather than something another human is deliberately inflicting on you.


2. Doctors try to give you as much privacy as possible. They leave the room while you're changing. They give you a gown which they move aside just long enough to do what you need to do, and then you can cover up again. They don't make you stand still for several seconds while they look you up and down naked.


3. You can choose a same-sex doctor if that makes you more comfortable. You will get a pat-down from a TSA agent of the same sex, but you don't get to pick who looks at the scanner picture.


4. If a doctor is creeping you out in any way, you can leave and get a new doctor.


I think I've heard that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused at some point, plus there's people who for cultural or religious reasons were brought up with ideas resulted in them being very modest. So just because you don't mind the pat down and image scanner doesn't mean it's unreasonable that someone else does.

post #45 of 46
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post

The fact that the searches are coercive and violate my rights and I didn't hire someone to do them.




THAT is why I WON'T FLY! Want more info on the unconstitutional and ineffective pat downs check out this site.... http://wewontfly.com/

post #46 of 46
Originally Posted by sk8boarder15 View Post

THAT is why I WON'T FLY! Want more info on the unconstitutional and ineffective pat downs check out this site.... http://wewontfly.com/


My childhood best friend is getting married in Scotland.  All of a sudden saying "I won't fly" is a different choice.

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