I’m getting a lot of questions about the new security regime, including some pointed ones from women. Do the imagers, for example, detect sanitary napkins? Yes. Does that then necessitate a pat-down? The T.S.A. couldn’t say. Screeners, the T.S.A. has said, are expected to exercise some discretion.A traveler writes Gladrags about her experience with that "discretion":
This email isn’t going to be as polished as I would normally send, but I’m upset and I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else (if I can stop it).
I recently traveled via air, and was subjected to that new scanning device. “No problem,” I thought. I was wearing jeans and a linen tanktop, bra, panties, and one camouflage pantyliner.
I’m a rule follower, so I never have any problems at the airport. Not this time. I was stopped, and then held for 15 minutes while they tried to find a female supervisor. I couldn’t get to my bag, my shawl or my shoes; just standing there while the TSA agents kept me in one place.
Now, I don’t want this to be about bad TSA agents; they were doing their job, they were as delicate as they could be, etc., etc. But what ultimately happened is that I was subjected to search so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assaults.
Because of my flannel panty-liner. These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your “groin” while another woman watches on (two in my case – they were training in a new girl – awesome).
So please, please, tell the ladies not to wear their liners at the airport (I didn’t even have an insert in). I’m a strong, confident woman; I’m an Army vet (which is why those camo liners crack me up), I work full-time and go to graduate school full-time, I have a wonderful husband, and I don’t take any nonsense from anyone. I don’t dramatize, and I don’t exaggerate. I’m trying to give you a sense of who I am so you won’t think that this is a plea for attention, or a jumping on the bandwagon about the recent TSA proposed boycott.
I just don’t want another woman to have to go through the “patting down” because she didn’t know that her glad-rag would be a matter of national security.