Friday, August 17, 2012

Airlines--Now Totally Safe From All the Molestations

Apparently the airlines haven't made themselves unpopular enough with long layovers, rising ticket prices, and nickel-and-diming us for things like ordering soda and carrying on an extra bag.  They're now imposing a gloriously stupid policy of not allowing adult men to sit with unaccompanied minors.  Both Quantas and Virgin have recently required adult males to switch seats with women so that they wouldn't be sitting with young children that are flying alone.

It's hard to decide whether this policy is stupid or assinine, so now I have to invent a new word for it which we shall call "stupinine".  Feel free to use it, I claim no copyright.  Here's why the policy is stupinine:

1) The policy is meant to allay the concerns of parents who send their kids on flights alone and who dont' want these kids sitting with strange men, because molestation obviously.  So these parents care so much about their kids that they're willing to make these requests, but not enough to oh I don't know NOT LET YOUR LITTLE MONSTERS FLY ALONE???  Sorry but you just failed the parenting Olympics, your booby prize is decades of therapy for your kid.

2) I'm not a child molester (and never thought I'd have to actually write that but this is the society we live in) but I cannot imagine a worse place to try and molest a strange kid.  Once you're in the air, it's not like there's anywhere to escape, and you have hundreds of people around in an enclosed space.  If there's one place I'd feel like my kid couldn't get molested, it'd be an airplane at 40,000 feet.

3) Last I checked, women are just as capable of molesting kids as men.  Is it somehow less traumatizing to be molested by a woman?

4) If the airlines are just trying to adhere to the irrational fears of the parents who send their kids on the flight alone, then consider how this would sound: "Excuse me sir, but would you mind changing your seat with a white person?  The parents of the kids sitting next to you aren't comfortable with their precious snowflakes sitting next to a black man."  If you're okay with that, then at least you're being consistent, Hitler.

5) I'll admit though, that if this happened to me and the airline did it discretely and moved me to a nice window seat and gave me free stuff (cookies, beer) I'd probably be happy not to have to sit next to someone else's unaccompanied monsters.  But there's still something disturbing about this natural assumption that strange men are just looking for an excuse to molest random kids.  How is it any different from an assumption that black people are just looking to mug you?


  1. Point 3. 98% of child molesters are men. So while women are just as capable of molesting kids (equality!...?)they are far less likely to. Also, I asked a few people here, where I work (loosely on sex crimes), and notably, one of my male colleagues has trained his four year old that if they are ever separated to give his business card (that he puts in the kid's shoe or pocket whenever they go out) to an adult and have the adult call the number so they can be re-united. His son is to specifically find a female adult to give the card to, however. On the flip side, I'm not sure my husband would feel comfortable helping some poor lost kid without a female or uniformed authority figure around because of possibly being seen as a chimo. This is the same reason he won't go to the community pool without me. So I'm not sure stigmatizing all males is helping anything, it's just making 49% of the population definitely not want to get involved.

    1. "it's just making 49% of the population definitely not want to get involved."

      Not to mention making more work and hassle for the other 51% who now cannot let their husbands/partners/boyfriends et al pick up the kids from school, soccer practice, or sleepover at a friend's place unless they're accompanied by an adult female to keep an eye on them.

      It makes one wonder whether the day is not far off when adult males will not be allowed out on the streets, especially after dark, unless they're accompanied by an adult female to keep an eye on them.

  2. Valnessa--also I understand that the vast majority of child molestations are done by people who the child knows personally rather than total strangers. So if anything the airlines should be making it safer by requiring the kids to sit with people they don't know, rather than family.

  3. Brando- you are absolutely correct! But if you are going to be molested by a stranger it will most probably be a male stranger.

    And Stephen, it might be the way I was raised or the job I have, but it disturbs me when mommy's boyfriend is alone with her kids. So I don't feel badly for mothers who have to pick up their own kids from sleep overs etc., But I get your point, I don't want to be stuck next to someone else's unaccompanied minor just because I'm less likely to molest them. I'm more likely to slap them.