So…I’ve been making some snarky jokes and getting upset about the new TSA backscatter machines and the “enhanced” patdowns.  But I thought I’d be a little more honest with what is upsetting to me in this situation.

I learned about these changes after we had made plans to travel to CHI.  I didn’t have a lot of choice in rescheduling or driving down.

I knew there was a chance I would be selected for additional screening.

At that point my choice is, be viewed naked by someone I can’t see, have someone touch me in ways I may not consent to, be fined 11k and face civil charges for trying to leave the area.

As someone who was sexually assaulted as a child, these choices suck.  As someone with anxiety, these choices suck.  Hell, as a regular Joe…the choices suck.  People who are powereful rarely feel choices like this.  The consequences aren’t that bad, or they quickly return to a world in which they set out the options.

I want to take this moment to realize how far reaching a power is if it can make someone take these choices.  Maybe their job is at an airport concession.  Or they have to travel for work.  Or they are trying to see someone for the last time.  There are lot of reasons a person might not have a choice in refusing this screening.  There are even more reasons a person might not be able to bear to have this happen to them.

I don’t think about what happened to me that often.  I don’t experience strong flash backs, but it does come up from time to time, and it affects me in ways that can really hurt.  Standing in line, I was trying to force a smile so that I wouldn’t be selected.  It felt an awful lot like that bus ride when I was young…hoping not to be targeted.

I just can’t think of a good reason to make anyone feel that way.

Advertisements