Oh, wait…it was a TSA agent. Sorry; it’s hard to tell the difference between what happened to Tabitha Hale yesterday at the Houston airport and what Herman Cain’s been accused of.
She started by asking me to take my cardigan off. I said I’d rather not. She seemed put out, but didn’t make me remove it and began the pat down from behind. She made me lift up my cardigan to check my back, went into my sleeves, and touched every inch of my hair.
Then she got to my waist band. I had on black tights under my dress, which I’m certain is not uncommon. She asked me to lift my dress so she could check the waistband of my tights.
I felt my stomach drop. I said “I’m not lifting my dress for you. No way.” She was obviously irritated with me now and said that she would take me to the private screening area if I would like.
I said “No, absolutely not. If you can’t do this in front of everyone, you should not be doing this to me.”
She then called a manager over. The manager approached me and explained what they were going to do and that if I failed to comply, they would escort me from the airport. I told her I saw no reason that they should have to lift my dress to clear me to get on a plane. I would have, however, allowed them to escort me out of the airport before they got me to lift my skirt and stick their hands down my tights. I was bracing myself to spend another night in Texas.
She sensed the rebellion in me, and it was almost like they were punishing me for not just lifting my dress and making their lives easier. She checked every inch of my neckline, sticking her fingers between my breasts because she needed to “clear” the (very slight) ruffle.
They cleared the waistband of my tights through my dress, then made me put one leg forward at a time so they could get better “definition of my thigh.” She then proceded to pat down every inch of me, all the way up to my crotch. And yes, she used that word. Twice.
You have to wonder about the thought process of the TSA agent. Why did she find the waistband of a pair of tights so problematic? Seriously, what could you conceal under this waistband?
It’s not as though the waistband is bulky; on the contrary, it’s comparable to the waistband on a pair of panty hose and much less so than that of a pair of granny panties. Are TSA agents reaching down inside the pants of elderly women to check those out? I doubt it; I mean, where’s the fun in accosting old people unless you can leave someone soaked in urine?
Moving on from that, did she really expect that Tabitha would lift her dress in public? Have other women done so when requested?
Speaking as the mother of a (dare I say it?) beautiful and shapely young woman who flies across the country several times a year, I find this very disturbing. I fail to see any pressing security concerns centered around the almost non-existant waistband of a pair of tights. TSA refuses to take steps that would actually improve airline safety, such as skipping over toddlers of the WASP persuasion to focus on people who might actually be terrorists.
Instead, U.S. citizens are being systematically desensitized to clear violations of their 4th Amendment rights and told it’s for their own good. Personally, I don’t see what good can come of it.