NOTE: This was supposed to go up yesterday, but I fail at scheduling, so it didn’t come up until today….so the plea at the end is probably a bit too late. But I’m leaving it in, because I like my ending and don’t want to rework it :-p

So…

A lot of you have probably heard about the new TSA “advanced pat-downs” or whatever they’re called.

I can hold my silence no longer, I must join the conversation…I don’t like them, or the body scanners that go along with them.

First off, the scanners.

They expose you to radiation. Your naked pictures can be stored and then leaked (And those aren’t from the current body scanners they’re using…..the ones they’re currently using have even MORE detail. So your naked pictures are even MORE embarrassing).

Good news though, you can opt-out….or is it?

If you opt out, they essentially grope you. They go up your thighs until they “meet resistance”. That means, open palm on the genitals. This could be increadibly traumatic for a sexual assault survivor, because it could trigger the person (males can be sexually assaulted too, yanno!), which, if you read the link, you can understand why that would be bad.

One of my good friends was sexually abused as a child. She also has other problems, that she’d prefer I not discuss publicly, that prohibit her from being able to go through the body scanners. She can now no longer fly, because she can’t go through the scanners, and she refuses to go through the scanners and get triggered. And she can’t even try to fly but them opt-out of flying if she gets chosen for a scan, because now they’ve made that punishable with a fine of up to $1100 USD. Really now, a few thousand dollar fine for choosing not to fly anymore?

They also give pat-downs to little kids, too. There’s a video, even. Poor 3 year old girl. This one doesn’t look too grope-ey (hard to see that clearly) but the poor girl is obviously terrified, it seems. I mean, I understand that kids can be used as mules for transporting weapons or what have you…but there has got to be a better way than terrorizing this poor girl, potentially putting her off flying for the rest of her life.

There’s also the story about the flight attendant who had breast cancer who was forced to remove her breast prosthetic, and another cancer survivor who ended up covered in urine due to their own carelessness and not listening to the man’s warnings.

The thing that really gets me about all this? The reason they implemented these scanners? The “underwear bomber”….who they wouldn’t have been able to detect with the scanners! This is seeming more and more about pointless security theater and less like real security measures.

If you’re as outraged as I am, there is a way to take a stand. Tomorrow, the day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days in the US……is National Opt Out Day. Opt out of the scanners that seem to only exist to try to intimidate you to use the body scanners (The TSA agents in this story seem to come as close to saying that outright as you can get without actually saying it) If enough people opt out of the scanners, the lines will get horribly backed up and the TSA will hopefully abandon this foolishness. Are you a male? There’s a bunch of other males who intend to go in, wearing a kilt with nothing on underneath, so that if they are chosen for the screening…well, you can imagine. So, I implore everyone flying tomorrow, or anyone flying at any time, to opt-out of the invasive body scanners, to show them that you disagree with what they’re doing, and in an attempt to plug up the system as much as possible. Thank you.

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