Those who think men don't have a burden try walking in our shoes from time to time, or apply for a job if you are white and male where affirmative action is in place, or get custody of your kids after marriage ends. There is much more but I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say feminists and their propaganda have worked the public for years creating an image that is largely disrespectful of masculinity. MJM
July 2, 2010 – 9:05 am
Mirko Fischer, 33, and his pregnant wife were on a London to Luxembourg flight in April 2009. Deciding she preferred the window, she exchanged her middle seat with her husband, thus seating him adjacent to a child travelling alone.
A flight attendant, who later claimed ignorance of the fact that Mr. Fischer was with his wife, informed him that he must return to his original seat, as it was BA policy not to allow adult men to sit next to an unaccompanied minor. After some discussion, Mr. Fischer did ultimately return to his seat, unwilling to make a spectacle of himself, but felt “embarrassed, humiliated and angry.”
For its part, BA conceded fault in not realizing Mr. Fischer was with his wife, but defended the general policy. A spokesman said, “We had 75,000 children ﬂy with us last year and it is an issue we take very seriously.”
BA is not the only airline with that policy. It’s a common practice. In a September 2007 post in these pages in which I mused over airline inconsistencies in profiling discrimination — yes to all adult men, no to potential terrorists — I quoted an expert witness in aviation disputes: “You have to make generalizations for the safety of a child.” She cited what is apparently a well-known adage in airline circles: “No regulation in aviation takes effect without somebody’s blood on it.”
The only inference to draw from that statement is that unaccompanied minors have been physically abused on airplanes by adult men in the past, and therefore the policy is well justified. If that is indeed the case, then airlines have opened the door in principle to profiling in general.
Yet strangely, even though there’s “somebody’s blood” – more than 3,000 somebodies to be precise – on the lack of a profile policy monitoring the kind of people most likely to shed more blood, airlines still frisk little old ladies and pointedly ignore the terror profile guy with the one-way ticket and the nervous manner.
In any case, I have to wonder exactly how much “blood” has been shed on airlines by adult men sitting next to children. Does anyone have any actual statistics? Because it occurs to me that even the most committed pedophile would have to be quite a moron to take a chance hitting on a child on an airplane.
After all, men flying alone on airplanes are not exactly drunken bowery bums in sleazy porn theatres with no reputation to protect. The typical “respectable” pervert chooses his victim carefully, with a plan for isolating and controlling his target. He most definitely has an escape plan. Proximity and apparent opportunity alone would hardly be enough of an incentive to overcome the enormous risks attached to airplane overtures.
This isn’t 1954, after all, when any man in a business suit is considered trustworthy. The opposite. No men are “innocent” any more, not even the 99% of decent men to whom it would never occur to be anything but protective to a child alone. All are suspect in society’s eyes, even though something like 20% of sexual abuse is perpetrated on children by women.
Children nowadays are very well trained by their parents and teachers on the subject of “touching” and the need for wariness with strangers. Touching a child inappropriately in a tight little space surrounded by others with no possible escape seems to me the equivalent of groping a kid in a police station. You’d have to be a complete obsessive to take the chance. I suppose some men are – just like some jihadists we could name are obsessive about their desires.
When you think about it, even though Mr Fischer is quite right to label the policy sex discrimination, he was better off having swapped seats with his wife. Such is the fear and hysteria around child abuse, he might have been at greater risk than any fear-hyped child. Imagine if, having dropped his pen, and feeling for it on the floor, he accidentally brushed his fingers against the child’s leg. The kid screams, “Don’t touch me!” Three hundred eyes swivel his way, the cabin crew come rushing over, the pilot alerts the destination security, the poor sap is hauled off the plane protesting his innocence to no avail, and his life is ruined.
The onus should not be on adult men to carry out the responsibility of airline crews. Either airlines should refuse unaccompanied minors or they should take full responsibility for them, if necessary designating a special area beside the cabin personnel.
If their policy remains one of merely minimizing the risk, however, consistency should prevail. If profiling for one child’s security is justifiable, then profiling for the security of a whole airplane of people should be as well. What good would it do a kid to remain ungroped if the whole plane blows up with him in it?