I’ve never made a secret of my intense phobia about airport security. And I’ve got a giant stack of anecdotes about me interacting with airport security and it being intensely unpleasant, from watching a wheelchair bound man forcibly stripped and yelled at, to being personally threatened with arrest for reasons inexplicable to me and the twenty witnesses who probably saved me by voicing their confusion.
The last time I flew, on my way home, I got treated to an extremely thorough pat down punctuated with commentary about how if I didn’t want to have that happen, I should have worn different pants. I’m going to sit here a moment while you read that last sentence again. Yeah. That.
But when it was all over I’d made a startling discovery; phobia gone. All I’ve got left is the offended rage it kept in check. “Crap,” says I. “I’m going to get myself arrested.”
Counting today, I’m going to go through airport security at least four times in the next two weeks. So when I got dressed this morning, knowing the pants I wear today will probably be the pants I wear every time I go through security, I paused. After all, if I don’t want to get pat down, I won’t wear my cargo pants, which have enough pocket space I don’t need a purse, or to move my bag once I’m on the plane. If I don’t want a stranger putting her hands down my waist band, I’ll wear form-fitting jeans instead. Not even Madison is safe anymore; the airport here installed the millimeter wave machines a month ago. Purse or pat down, the choice is mine.
I spent a whole ten seconds debating it. My conclusion? Fuck that. It is not my fault our security system is absurd and I will not enable it by wearing inferior clothing. My livelihood no longer depends on my ability to fly and I can get around flying for most of my recreational travel if I really have to.
I’m done with quietly freaking out while the TSA makes a farce of security. And I’m not biting my tongue when they blame me for their absurd flaws anymore. Here, have a picture of a security screening area to seal my petty little rebellion.
I’m probably going to get myself arrested. Oh well.