TSA scores another PR coup!

So this lady’s trying to get through security to catch her plane. She’s struggling with a fussy 4-year-old. Also she’s an amputee. In these days of “heightened security measures, what could go wrong?

Regular TUAK readers know that I am an amputee. I don’t build my identity around it, as this lady Peggy seems to have done to some extent. I don’t consider it a “disability,” though I suppose it certainly can be. But you know, she’s absolutely right to be infuriated.

I don’t think that the general public understands how personal a residual limb is to the amputee. It is on par with one’s genitals. I simply don’t remove my liner in public exposing my limb, and I was humiliated by the request.

I don’t know if it’s quite ‘on par with genitals,’ but I can imagine that for a woman it well might be. I don’t mind it when people see my prosthesis, because for a guy there’s actually kind of a cachet about it. (Probably not so much for women.) Hell, when I was young and doing a lot of diving in Florida, I used to prance around in swimming trunks. But I am extremely reluctant to ever let anybody get a glimpse of my stump. (She calls it a “residual limb,” because even the word is ugly.) That’s not cool, it’s just a deformity. We hide our deformities, for purposes of survival. It’s an instinct. I can well imagine (and no sexism is implied or expressed) that it would be ten times worse for an already stressed-out woman.

Having said that, if you’re really going to try to fight terrorism by screening unlikely passengers for plastic sporks, it would be absolutely ludicrous to ignore prosthetic limbs. It’s where I’d put my bomb. If, you know, I had one.

Nor is that revelation new to security screeners. Hell, one time in Saudi they made me take off my leg, put it on the conveyor, and hop one-legged through the metal detector. But even there they didn’t make me expose my stump.

Yeah, this lady’s right to be mad. I hope her story gets spread far and wide.

H/T to Breda.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to TSA scores another PR coup!

  1. I know this is NOT what your post is really about but here goes: No sexism taken, subliminally and not so subliminally women’s value is so defined by their physical form from the get go. (Damn the Farrah the she traitor) Both sexes buy into it to certain degree, I mean what guy wanted to be dating the heavy chick with the unibrow? It is hard for lots of women to shake that kind of thing off. Whole industries have been devised to help women preserve their attractiveness, hide unfortunate body parts. Meanwhile UGLY men as long as they have $$$$$ seem to do just fine, look at Mick Jagger. Just about the UGLIEST man alive for decades and still women will line up. Ewwwwwwww. Not sure if that says more about women or men…

    Heh… the word verification is frett.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I had a friend who had been shot through the jaw, so his jaw was wired shut. He carried a small pair of pliers to cut the wire in case he started choking to death. The TSA goons took his pliers away.

  3. Trey says:

    Sorry, I started laughing at your naming her “Peggy”, then I realized that is really her name.

    Am I a bad person?

  4. Joel says:

    Let’s just leave it at unfortunate coincidence. ;^)

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