Monday, November 22, 2010

Sanctioned Sexual Abuse and The Terrorists

The terrorists have won, that is my opinion.

Americans, mostly white, paranoid, and scared, have allowed their human rights to be stripped away through the mental abuse suffered for eight years of the previous administration.  Scared of everyone and everything that is not white, middle class, protestant, male, and midwestern.  Scared enough to allow sexual abuse during the holidays.

I, like many, have watched in horror and disgust at the too-many-to-count reportings of TSA officials (used loosely) who are abusing customers, yes, paying customers, of the nation's airports.  They cup the breasts of women, fondle the "junk" of men, and touch children in ways that up-until-November 1st - only parents and doctors had.  All because fear has been allowed to rule the skys.

It is bad enough that you have to pack light, be charged for a bag if in a longer trip, can't take make-up, lotion, or even certain amounts of medicine, and all for the right to pay a high fee, sit in a cramped seat, breathe stale air, and be tossed a bag of stale pretzels and a bathroom cup size of soda.

The paranoia has gotten out of hand.  The thing the terrorists feared was our freedoms, the very right we have to travel across the country and not have to go through security and boarder crossing at each state line. It is because we can speak our mind (well, that could be questioned with the wire tapping that happened from 2001-2008) and because we can pursue our lives as we wish that the terrorists despise.  And because they chose to target the capital of capitalism - New York City - and use the airplanes - our freedom to explore - that we are now cocooned and crippled with fear.

I believe this TSA pat-down will go away, as should the agency, in my opinion.  Everything they think the terrorists are going to do, they don't.  It is humiliating enough to have to take off coats, belts, and shoes, to now either get radiation (what if a young woman was pregnant and didn't know it, will the TSA cover her child's birth defect treatments?) or submit to assaults that would be criminal otherwise.

My daughters are almost seven and nine, respectively.  It would be horrifying to them.  My nine year old had a fit during her yearly physical and this was with her childhood female physician and her mother soothing her.  What would happen to her with a rough, not-guaranteed-to-be-female TSA official touching her in places she has never been touched?  This is unnecessary humiliation of the American public and I hope the Obama administration does something to stop it.

I am a rape survivor and while I am thankful that I don't live with the daily horrors of what happened to me, I am not sure that it wouldn't all come flooding back if I had to be touched in ways that are only supposed to be in the intimacy of my marriage.

The holidays are this week and the travel season will be heavy.  Even walking through the airport in speedos for a guy or a bikini and flip flops for a girl is no guarantee that one wouldn't be searched or fondled.  No, for me, it will be a car, DVDs for the kids, and lots of lattes.

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