Monday, November 15, 2010

No Thanks, I'll Drive.

Next month I am getting away for a few days to spend some time with one of my BFFs who lives a couple of states away. Yay, Me! The getaway is her birthday gift to me and she has offered to fly me to out for a visit in celebration of the biggest holiday of the year.  How cool is that?  I say very.

However, the more I think about it, the more I don't want to fly.  Mind you, I am not afraid of air travel, nor have I ever had any anxiety about boarding a plane,  until now.  It's not mechanical failure or security threats that have me anxious and unwanting to fly, it's the TSA and airport screening procedures.

The implementation of full body scanners does more than give me the hebejebees, it invades my privacy to a unacceptable degree.  Sure, I can opt out of that scan, but that means subjecting myself against my will to an 'enhanced pat down' that is a little too close to molestation for my comfort in it's aggressiveness.

The body scanner reveals nude black and white pictures of the subject in such detail that you can determine an individuals personal grooming preferences.  Plain and simple, that's nothing short of pornography and you're not even paying the subjects.  If I wanted you to see me naked, I'd be naked.  No thanks.  I don't care if it's one person viewing the images or a bachelor party.  I deserve my privacy and the scanner goes too far.  Of course procedures and protocols are in place to ensure that your image doesn't show up on the internet or the local bar, but you can go ask Domino's Pizza and Burger King about procedures being broken.

If you opt out of nude photos of yourself being taken and analyzed, you get fondled for free!  The 'enhanced pat down' involves someone groping and grabbing at your genitals and breasts.  That's a little too intimate for someone who hasn't even bought me dinner.  If you did this to someone on the street or in a bar, you would be in jail facing sexual assault charges and getting labeled as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

Neither of these options allow me to maintain any semblance of privacy or dignity. It's too much. I certainly would not want to subject my children to being searched in this overly invasive way.  If these procedures happened at school, the cops would be called.

Yes, I understand air safety and the threat of terrorism, but not at the cost of such a personal and intimate invasion of my body is plain and simple not worth the perceived benefit.  Nor is the convenience of flying worth the loss of my dignity or a personal assault on my body.

There are better and less invasive ways of identifying possible security threats in our skies.  Save the scans and or the uber intimate pat down for individuals that send up red flags behaviorally or give some other cause for a more invasive search to be necessary.  I'm already taking off my shoes and belt,  emptying my pockets and submitting to a metal detector.  

I let my BFF know, that yes indeed, I will be coming to visit.  However, I will be driving.

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