The humiliation of airport security
I fly often and am pretty immune to security demands, but yesterday was the worst. My husband and I were going through security at Reagan National in Washington, D.C. I had loaded the bins with my coat, my scarf, my boots, and my liquids. When I approached the scanner, the security guard (male) indicated that I should remove my sweater as well.
The sweater – oversized in that it fell to my thighs, but not thick – was my clothing. Beneath it, I wore thin leggings and an even thinner layering tee shirt. I would never, ever leave my house in the leggings and tee shirt alone.
But when the guard asked, I took off the sweater. Embarrassed, I held my arms up in that scanner, then walked out, then waited, assuming that was the end of it. It wasn’t. The guard on that end pointed to the (very public) image of me with a square at the side of the breast. She didn’t verbally ask what it was. Nor did she use her eyes and look, though you could see everything that was NOT there through my white, skin-tight layering tee. Nope. She patted my breast.
What that scanner picked up was the implant that has been in my body since reconstruction after breast cancer sixteen years ago. I told her that (with some disdain). She was satisfied and let me go. But I’m still steaming. And asking questions.
Like, where’s the common sense in these security screenings?
Like, why was my husband allowed through the scanner with his heavier crew neck sweater, which he wore over a dense, oxford cloth, button-down shirt?
Like, why was that screen with the results of the scan right there where everyone else could see?
Like, are women discriminated against by male security guards?
Like, do I look like a terrorist?
I’m all for safe flying. But this was overkill. What are your thoughts here? Have you been embarrassed going through security? Know someone who has? Are women more susceptible to quasi-strips than men?
Well, okay. My knitting needles did get through without question. I’m working on a pair of fingerless mitts in a cheery yellow, doing two at a time on one 40″ circular using magic loop. So at least I had something to soothe me as I sat on that plane and seethed.