Oh, good! Another story about a woman being told what she can and cannot wear at an airport. And better yet — in this instance, the woman being told to cover up was a 15-year-old girl wearing black leggings and a long flannel button up. The nerve of harlots!
For one older male TSA agent at LAX, I'm sure yesterday seemed a day like any other. Wake up, drink some coffee, go to work, shame some ladies. Unfortunately, what he didn't realize was that the girl he would take issue with that morning happened to be the teenage daughter of Mark Frauenfelder, internet darling and founder of BoingBoing.
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.
Frauenfelder's original post includes a photo of his daughter's outfit, which — at its most radical — could be described as conservative. He then rightly adds:
It doesn't matter what she was wearing, though, because it's none of his business to tell girls what they should or should not wear. His creepy thoughts are his own problem, and he shouldn't use his position of authority as an excuse to humiliate a girl and blame her for his sick attitude.
Exactly. The girl could have been wearing a lamé bikini top and a pair of leather bootie shorts and the TSA agent still should have kept his trap shut because it's none of his damn business. That said, it's good that Frauenfelder decided to describe and show what his daughter was wearing, not because she would deserve to get told off had her outfit been more revealing, but because it points out how little it takes for someone to take issue with how a woman presents herself. Step outside in pants and a t-shirt, step outside in a dress or step outside in burka and someone is going to get angry because — for some fucked up and historically validated reason — they think it's up to them to declare what a woman should or should not be wearing.
We've all probably faced that sort of judgement before, but, unfortunately, most of our parents don't run well trafficked websites and are friends with the founder of A Is For. That's not to say it's bad that this girl had lofty allies. That part of it is great, but who knows how many women this TSA agent dickishly shared his unsolicited opinion with before now?
To LAX's credit (for once in that hellport's life), Frauenfelder says that the airport is handling the situation with consideration and compassion. An investigation has been opened, which is definitely a start, but wouldn't it be nice if we could go more than a few months without another one of these stories popping up?