• Fri, Nov 19 2010

How Do You Feel About Airport Body Scanners?

The catch-phrase of the week — and, I hope, the entire holiday season — is, “don’t touch my junk or I’ll have you arrested.” Uttered by John Tyner after he refused a full body scan and then a full body (junk included) patdown by airport security, the phrase is making its way onto t-shirts (I want one) and into household vernaculars (like mine).

But in all seriousness, the whole TSA screening thing officially makes me uncomfortable. As far as I’m concerned, a false sense of security (and false it is) isn’t worth sacrificing my privacy (or my mom’s privacy, or my grandmother’s). In fact, that doesn’t feel like security to me at all — security feels like strangers not having the right to look at me naked against my will, not the other way around.

Of course, the other camp argues that giving up a little personal space and privacy is the only way to smoke the terrorists out of the foxhole, if you will.

What do you think? Are you for or against full-body scanners and pat-downs at airports?

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  • Rose

    I’m horrified and apalled at the new “safety” screenings. Anyone with a half a brain can find a million ways to get dangerous items around these screenings, either in their checked baggage, or in legal carry-on items like syringes of insulin etc. These screenings are only going to catch the stupid terrorists that would’ve been caught with the old screening measures (not that they caught anyone either). While only giving the illusion of increased safety, these new measures do give actual humiliation and trauma to air travelers. It flabbergasts me that this has been allowed to go on as long as it has. It’s nothing less than assault, and a gross invasion of privacy. As a rape survivor, I panic just at the thought of being publicly felt up, or having naked pictures of myself transmitted to some mysterious location out of sight where who knows who is viewing them and possibly snapping cell phone pictures to send to their buddies or post online. I will NOT fly as long as these policies are in place. Nothing will entice me into an airport as long as I’m faced with the prospect of these horrific personal violations.

  • Katie

    Even if the scans/patdowns are not really effective, I don’t think they’re such a big deal. I did both a month ago when my underwire bra set the metal detector off, and the TSA people were extremely respectful and considerate. They even carried my bags over to the scanner and helped me to repack my backpack when I had to take my laptop/liquids out.

    • Danielle

      a month ago wasn’t the same procedure as they have it now. the pat downs are extremely intense, there’s no patting involved anymore- they are required to physically grope you everywhere to make sure you’re not hiding anything.

      its fucking ridiculous and theyre taking away our liberties under the veil of security. several experts have come out and said that these scans are easy to get past with explosives and weapons

  • Eileen

    I understand why people are upset about it, but personally I really couldn’t care less about going through a full body scan or pat-down.

    • stephanie

      obviously, you haven’t been molested yet.

    • Lindsay Cross

      Like Eileen, I understand why some people are really upset by this. And I feel awful for sexual assault survivors who feel like this is just another invasion of their privacy and personal space.

      For those who are uncomfortable with the scanners, I think it’s unfair to assume that you know someone’s personal history based on one opinion they provide. Personally, I don’t find the body scanners or patdowns to be a personal violation. And yes, I’m aware of what a personal violation feels like.

  • Harry87

    You want to palm my crotch, you have to take me out to dinner first.
    Also, how safe is it for that TSA officer in your photo to next to, essentially, an open X-ray all day long?

  • Stephanie

    When I was flying back to the U.S. from Morocco, everyone had to go through a patdown, which consisted of women manhandling your vagina like you were at a gynecological exam. The 60-something women in front of me was crying as she was being groped. I felt SO bad when I saw that and I don’t think the patdowns (or -rays) make us any safer, to be honest.

  • stephanie

    i don’t buy the line “when you buy your ticket you give up some of your rights.” this is sick and twisted and something has to be done. this is invasive and unconstitutional. i am sickened further by every story.

    congress doesn’t give a fuck about us. they are supposed to PROTECT our rights and instead they are signing them away.
    terrorists? pilots already have guns in their cockpits and locking doors. i THINK that’s enough.

    i am just angry, in disbelief of those who commented before me saying “it’s not a big deal.” step back and use your fucking heads. good god.

    • nolalola27

      The pilots’ guns & locking doors wouldn’t have stopped the underwear bomber – if his stuff hadn’t malfunctioned, he could have blown up the plane. I’m with you – it is a gross violation of privacy, but there’s also gotta be a way to stop people from getting dangerous things onto planes.

  • porkchop

    What about the TSA workers? Imagine if someone came up and said to you that you have to spend all day feeling strangers or you would lose your job. It’s probably more traumatizing for them than the patting was.

  • nolalola27

    I’m flying out the day before Thanksgiving, and I am DREADING IT. I don’t want to be scanned, I don’t want to be groped, and I don’t want to wait in 3 hour long security lines because of all the uproar this is going to cause. However, I also don’t want to get blown up on the flight, so I’m just going to take myself some sleepy meds and wander in a daze through the screening.