Monday, June 17, 2013

A letter to an embarrassment of a TSA agent: “Back off and shut up.”

This morning, a TSA officer at LAX humiliated and shamed my 15-year-old daughter. She is traveling with a group of high school students on a college tour and we were not with her when he verbally abused her.

Here's what happened, as my daughter described it in text messages to us: she was at the station where the TSA checks IDs. She said the officer was "glaring" at her and mumbling. She said, "Excuse me?" and he said, "You're only 15, COVER YOURSELF!" in a hostile tone. She said she was shaken up by his abusive manner.

To the security guard who got the above written about him on BoingBoing:

Mister, this is where I, and every other rational person, calls you a pervert and means it. And why not? You seem to think that your opinion of what a minor child should wear entitled you to make an authoritarian command to someone else’s child so obviously you accept that everyone else thinks you’re a perverted creep.

You wanted to shame her for doing something that only you are embarrassed by? Shame on you.

There’s a reason why your behavior is being called “creepy” by people who have commented on this situation. It’s not your place to tell someone else’s child how to dress, and it’s certainly not your place to ogle children who pass through your checkpoint to judge and assess their clothing. You are not a judge in a beauty pageant; from what I understand, you’re supposedly a security professional.

What you did, in essence, was a sexist catcall. No better than some asshole whistling at women walking down the street and just as uncalled-for.

Women are targeted with a lot of sexist and controlling language in our culture in ways unheard of by men; and furthermore your decision to target a minor-teen makes what you said even more creepypasta. This wasn’t appropriate on the street and it certainly wasn’t appropriate at your job.

What you did was embarrassing to you, to the security profession, and the TSA, and the American people for whom you work.

Next time, if you cannot restrain yourself from sexist thoughts, at least show enough self-control to keep them to yourself.