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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » The TSA

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Author Topic: The TSA
Saffron Raymie
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The TSA are the security people who search peoples' bodies for weapons before they fly. To me, this is like an OB-GYN exam. It's non-sexual touching. However, there is a lot on controversy that the TSA should not be allowed to touch breasts, penises or vulvas, and never touch children.

If the passengers do not consent, they cannot fly. Some poeple think this is done deliberately to stop people travelling. Some people think culture has created a fear of abuse without knowing what abuse actually is. Some people think the TSA are not police checked and are sexually assaulting people.

Thoughts please! [Smile]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Jill2000Plus
Activist
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But, would it still be like an OB-GYN exam if they were checking in people's vaginas and rectums? Because theoretically someone could plan a suicide bombing and put stuff in there, but I sure as [self censored] know that I will not put up with anyone performing routine checks of those parts of my body when I fly on a plane, even if it's not intended sexually (also, such things are open to abuse, someone could sign up because they want to be in a position where they get to touch people's genitals when they may not be comfortable with it.)

[ 07-13-2011, 06:18 AM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Saffron Raymie
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They do check vaginas and rectums in OB-GYN exams.

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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TonicTwelve
Activist
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Theres been some controversy here fairly recently about the introduction of full body scanners into airports to reduce the need for pat down body searches. People are stating that it is an invasion of privacy. Personally I can't see the problem with it, having seen the images, facial or genital features aren't discernible and it's only a very fuzzy grey image of your body. I would find that much less invasive that to be patted down.

Still, if shows like Customs, Airline and Border Security are at all accurate (they're my secret television vice [Razz] ) then touching of these areas is certainly not routine. From what I've seen on these shows, if a person is suspected to be concealing something in their vagina or anus then a body xray is taken. If a person refuses then they are kept in a cell with a special toilet where the contents are not flushed away so if they move packages of drugs or something then they can be kept as evidence. If the security deems a genital exam necessary for whatever reason then they are taken to a hospital to have it performed by a qualified doctor. A person can refuse these things at any time but with the caveat that if they do so then they will not be allowed to fly.

Presuming this is what happens, which it may well not be considering daytime tv is not usually the best source of reliable information, then these measures seem reasonable and fair to me and I would not be unhappy at going through these measures in order to prevent the importation of drugs or to prevent illegal weapons on my flight.

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~~Caitlin

"Oh baby I said,
It's all in our hands,
Got to learn to respect,
What we don't understand,
We are fortunate ones,
Fortunate ones, I swear."


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Atonement
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I know there's a lot of controversy but I personally think that nothing is more important than safety.

I've been through the body scanners personally a couple times, and did not feel uncomfortable at all. My sister in law chose the pat down because she was scared of radiation, and said it felt a little invasive, but that it was her choice.

The thing is, they're not going to do a cavity search without an EXTREMELY good reason that there's something of interest in there. Everyone who's flying knows the rules, and s aware of what could happen.

My opinion is, if you don't want to be searched, take extra caution and make sure you don't have anything on you that warrants being searched. And if you're that uncomfortable with the scan or pat down, you can choose not to fly.

As for kids, I think they should absolutely be given just as much screening as adults. This is a safety issue, not a morality one. And if i were a terrorist, I would think it very intelligent to plant things on a child to avoid security.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I do think it's sound and reasonable to ask IF these are really providing extra safety or not, and if so, at what cost. And if we have no reason to think that they are (has anyone seen any stats on this yet?), then why are we "paying" the expense of some civil liberties?

These changes have been a real issue for some people, especially those with PTSD from traumas around their bodies. While I don't think we can talk about PTSD responses being valid or not valid, because they simply exist and are real, I do think we can say that someone who is finding themselves unable to travel like everyone else because of this specifically, and PTSD, is dealing with a kind of discrimination, and a potential issue where they are feeling unsafe because of something which may not, in actuality, make anyone else safer.

As well, I do think that from a health perspective, potentially unwarranted radiation -- and then the choice of a full-body search if you don't want to risk that -- is also not something to just blow off. That's real cause for concern, especially since there have not been long-term studies done on these yet.

(Just FYI? Sometimes being searched isn't something you can avoid by packing a certain way. All my life, I have been one of those people that clearly is often perceived as looking "suspicious." Those "random checks?" I've said before to people doing them that I have a hard time think they're random since, for the love of gawd, it always seems to be me who gets checked, and I am meticulous about packing for travel, as a very well-seasoned traveler.)

[ 07-13-2011, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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atm1
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FYI, there are actually two types of scanners currently in the US. One uses x-rays, one uses radio waves. Ones that use radio waves (so called "millimeter wave" machines) are almost definitely safe from a radiation exposure perspective. At a minimum, that radiation is small compared to what you're exposed to *every day*. I believe that there's much more reason to be concerned with the x-ray machines. They may emit a small portion of radiation, but it's all concentrated on your skin. Seeing as how my pale skin means I'm at high risk for skin cancer, I decline the x-ray machines. I'm weirded out by the radio wave ones, too, but if I'm in a rush, I won't decline them.

I will also say that the times I have gotten the "enhanced" patdown, the women performing the patdown have been completely professional, warning me before they touched me *anywhere.*

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CoatRack
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I'm trans and as part of my gender presentation I bind my chest. That means that my chest area can look "blurred" or, well, like something is strapped down. So I get a lot of pat downs.

Usually I wait to see if they send a male or female agent (I'm pretty androgynous). And then I tell them they were wrong no matter which they send.

It's petty. But whatever.

It can be pretty bad for trans folks - especially trans women who have not had "bottom surgery" but who present as very female - again, looks like something between their legs and they get picked for a pat down and they are, essentially, "outed."

[ 07-14-2011, 04:21 PM: Message edited by: CoatRack ]

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Hey folks, my name is Andrew and I was a mod here for awhile a couple years ago. I'll be here for a couple weeks while Heather is out and the site is even more short-staffed than usual

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atm1
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I hear you, Andy. Because of this, one of my trans friends refuses to fly all together. It's rough now that she lives on the west coast and her family's on the east coast--with a 4 day drive each way, she's not planning on going home more than once a year.
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romeoG
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Abuse of power is when you cross the limit of your authority. TSA officials are said to be abusing their power when they touched the private body parts of air passengers. A bill might be really helpful to stop all the complaints against TSA. Just recently, a mother was arrested because of misconduct when the TSA official required her daughter for a pat down. This incident occurred after the TSA changed its procedure concerning the pat down of children recently. Here is the proof: Woman arrested for scene when TSA attempt to pat down her daughter.
Posts: 1 | From: Los Angeles | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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