Well, it turns out that a host of ladies sporting bionic buzzies have had troubles with so-called insensitive TSA employees. My friend Dee just sent me a link to an article about the very topic. Check out http://globaltravelerusa.com/web/view/tsa-apologizes-to-breast-cancer-patient-for-embarrassing-screening-at-jfk#.UCTliYaeypY.email. The gist of it is that last fall, a lady who had recently undergone bilateral mastectomies with reconstruction and had those expanders with the metal ports in them set off the screening gizmo at JFK airport and was not exactly treated with kid gloves.
Now look, I am the first to speak out in favour of heightened airport security in this crazy world we live in. Anyone could produce a document from a “doctor” indicating that they have some prosthesis that might set off the screening thingie.
Nonetheless, I agree that a modicum of civility is warranted. Even if the TSA folks are not satisfied by a card or a doctor’s letter proclaiming the presence of a prosthetic medical device (and I ain’t saying they should be), should not the bearer of such be offered a private screening if so desired? You can cop a feel or have a look, but only in the champagne room, please.
Luckily for me, I am not easily embarrassed and did not mind being patted down in public at Heathrow airport. I don’t think I would like having to go into a private room and take off my top, but if asked I would do so. Safety first, after all. I really don’t give a shit.
But not every person embraces the honey badger way. I read about one poor lady who had to remove her bra for the authorities and about another whose prosthesis was manipulated from side to side by a TSA employee. Not really a turn on.
At the end of the day, most people don’t know a damn thing about breast cancer or prosthetic devices. The TSA is not going to concern itself with whether you have had a hard time being treated for x, y or z over the past months and whether their exam of you gives rise to emotional trauma. They just want to process you and make sure you aren’t going to blow up at 35,000 feet. And after the shoe bomber and other pathetic sacks of excrement like him, you can hardly blame them.
I have to fly three times in the next ten days so I’ll have plenty of opportunities to get mistreated and will let you know how it all goes. If I get invited into the champagne room I can tell you right now that I plan to charge for it.