eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
eruthros ([personal profile] eruthros) wrote2009-12-30 11:13
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air security and the normal body

A thing that really bothers me about all the recent air security talk is the assumption of certain kinds of "normal" bodies -- air security is merely an inconvenience to everyone, not an impossibility, because all bodies can do the things we ask.

So here are some of the problems with proposed air security rules, some of the people who are left out:

Some of these rules have been enforced, some are enforced at the pilot's discretion, and some seem to have already been rescinded.

1) No ipods or headphones on flights for some random length of time.
People talk about how this is a problem for everyone (adults will get bored, kids will get antsy). But more than getting bored, there are folks who process sensory input differently and find that many people on a plane overwhelming without things like music, or noise-blocking headphones. Or people use music to help with anxiety. Or all sorts of other things.

2) No bathroom in the last hour of a flight.
People have said, this is an inconvenience for everyone, especially for small children. That's true. But it is also a reason for people who have IBS, incontinence, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or take medication that can cause any of those things, not be able to fly at all. (I have seen several comments in the last few days on the basic subject of "do they want me to piss on the seat? To wear a diaper? What?")

3) Greatly restricted carry-on items on a flight.
So you can only take medical devices and life-sustaining items -- well, what's a medical device? What if you're carrying "too much" food, or a pillow and a bunch of blankets to make the airline seat comfortable, or hand lotion, or books to distract you, or fiddly toys, or a stressball, or special headphones -- well, did you get a prescription from a doctor for that? Can you prove it's a medical item? (FWD/forward asked people to list things they use as assistive devices. Conclusion: pretty much anything can be an assistive device. I'm willing to bet that air security won't believe people about most of them.)

4) No access to carry-on in the last hour of the flight.
Here are some things people might suddenly need in the last hour of their flight: meds, distractions, headphones, pillows, blankets, braces, earplugs, eyemasks, jackets, and probably other stuff I can't think of right now but check out the above list of assistive devices. These are necessities. They are possibly sudden, emergency necessities. You can't have them.

5) Hands on your lap during landing.
What if you can't? What if it hurts? If you have a visible disability, you might be able to explain; if you don't, or if you already "look suspicious" for reasons of religion, name, race, gender presentation, who knows.

6) No pillows or blankets or jackets on your lap (so that we can see your hands).
If you use them as sensory tools? Tough. Use blankets because your thermoregulation doesn't maintain your temperature? Tough. Does the standard (cold) temperature of the plane make your joints stiffen? Not our problem. Do you use blankets to feel protected and secure? Oh well.

This isn't the first time this has happened; it happens every time there's a security scare, and suddenly people are being told by airport security that they can't take their meds on the plane, that they can't take the things that make flying bearable, that they can't have a pillow or a blanket.

And it makes me so angry, because it's completely obvious that there are millions of people who can't do the things air security tells us to do, and who are willing to tell TSA so at length. But they're ignored, they're transformed into suspicious bodies because air security defines "normal" bodies.

Innocent people would put their hands on their laps. Why won't you? Come on! Stop wasting everyone's time! Do it already!
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)

[personal profile] holyschist 2010-01-23 05:32 (UTC)(link)
I don't have the problems many other people have, but I do have frequent, without-warning digestive issues and get really cold on airplanes (I usually wear a winter coat the whole time, which is probably Really Suspicious). I'm not sure whether I'm more scared or more angry.

I used to joke about how the only way to "prevent terrorism" would be to ship us sedated, restrained, and naked, and it's looking more and more like the future and less like a joke.