Monday, June 16, 2008

We might as well just start walking around naked

Read this crazy blog over at Pam's House Blend that talks about the new "body scans" in which security personnel are able to view a person's body minus clothing, etc. Meaning, they get to see you naked, all in the name of safety. (Talk about a job for closet pervs)

It's a creepy article and I highly recommend reading it, especially the note about the potential targeting of transgender individuals as terrorists, or "persons of suspicion."

The ACLU is, of course, fighting it. Thank god.

I've been thinking about why this bugs me so much. On our way to San Francisco, we were lucky enough to get the "red flag" on our tickets, which meant we were subject to additional scan. Airport security went through every item in my bag and screened it for bomb material, including every bra and piece of underwear. They opened my bottle of ibuprofen, they wiped my cell phone and took the back off, they even screened my fucking tampons. THEY WIPED DOWN MY TAMPONS PEOPLE.

I normally don't mind the hassle that is airport security. I can stand feeling like a cow standing in a slaughter chute. I can handle the slight feeling of insecurity that comes from standing barefoot and vulnerable as someone looks at my possessions via x-ray. But I felt truly violated by this security check. I was angry and humiliated. I felt like a target, not a potential victim.

Why do we treat people as guilty until proven innocent rather than the other way around? In our desperation to find some semblance of safety, we compromise the thing that actually DOES make us feel safe: privacy. We've all heard the horror stories about mothers being forced to drink their own breast milk, minorities being targeted by their appearance, Muslim people being asked not to fly- gross violations of personal rights that wouldn't be tolerated in any other circumstance (can you imagine the day that some terrorist attack comes via automobile?) And for what? So some bureaucrats can cover their asses?
Studies show that all this airport pomposity doesn't make a bit of difference in actual safety.

Frankly, I think I have a right to fly on a plane without having security personnel dump my underwear out for all to see. I have a right to go through an airport security check without wondering which security guards have seen my areolas.

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