Maryland Blogger Alliance

Alliance FAQs

Latest MBA Posts

November 20, 2007

Flaunting it and groping it at the airports

Not long after I started Pillage Idiot, I wrote a series of posts on what I called "lawyer groping" at the airports. (Google it; I'm at the top.) A lawyer named Rhonda Gaynier had complained about having been subject to a bra-and-breast exam by TSA screeners at the airport. I concluded: "Brought to you by TSA, whose motto is: Better that 100 innocent lawyers be groped than that one suspicious Arab be inconvenienced."

It turned out that the groping was not limited to lawyers, or even to people who were mistaken for lawyers. In early 2006, a class action suit alleging illegal pat-downs and strip searches of black women at O'Hare International Airport was settled.

Today, we learn through HotAir, that if you're a Canadian newspaper columnist who's "a robust 34 FF," you might be subject to TSA screener groping, too. (Paula Simons: "If my bra is a threat to national security, we're in big trouble.")

Most people would agree that subjecting women who wear bras with underwire support to groping at the airport makes little sense. The TSA ought to be trying to figure out who's suspicious, not who's large-bosomed (which, I admit, is a lot easier). But as I argued in the first series of posts about Ms. Gaynier, we do stupid things precisely in order NOT to profile people. The lesson is that we need to change our approach to airport security through increased profiling and intelligent scrutiny of travelers.

Sadly, Paula Simons learns the wrong lesson. She says: "When we blindly follow rules, when we waste time and energy defending ourselves from imaginary enemies, we actually create the potential for real threats to overtake us." Like the imaginary enemies who flew jets into the World Trade Towers and Pentagon.

When someone is such a total fool, it's very hard to summon any sympathy. Grope away!