Jan. 31st, 2011

miss_invisible: (c&h: unfair)
I'm taking time out from my usual introspective dealings with mental illness to instead flip out over a different social issue. Today it's the TSA. I had followed the controversy over the new scanners and pat-down procedures at the time, but I didn't engage on the level that perhaps I should have, for a variety of reasons- first among them being my total lack of mental energy when all this was happening.

I'll be flying overseas in about a month and a half. While the trip itself is technically optional (for certain values of that term, anyway), taking another mode of transportation is not. I've heard some express the opinion that people who have a problem with the new security procedures just shouldn't fly, which I frankly think is a specious argument at best. It's not always a matter of just boycotting airplanes in a fit of righteous indignation. For those who can, it's all well and good to choose to do so, but a lot of us simply can't for various logistical or financial reasons. We can't just not take that business trip, can't just not go see our loved ones in other places, can't just let an opportunity go, whatever it may be.* That, then, leaves us with the issue of the screening.

A huge array of problems with it have already been pointed out by better bloggers than I (though I cannot for the life of me find the links I want). It's an invasion of privacy, a violation of the 4th Amendment. The radiation of the machines is potentially unsafe. It's ableist, singling out those who cannot hold the position required for the scanners and those with medical equipment such as prostheses. It's cissexist, putting individuals who don't conform to binary gender in a risky and potentially traumatic situation. Actually, the whole thing is potentially traumatic, when you come right down to it, and rife with opportunities for abuse of an already highly questionable system.

Personally, I'm torn as to what to do when it comes time for me to fly (besides praying to whatever deities may be listening that the government pulls its head out of its ass and changes these rules before then). I'm at a high risk for cancer, so I'm very leery of the radiation dose, especially since I may have to go through it multiple times due to layover locations. On the other hand, my alternative is to essentially molested. What the hell do I do? What do any of us do, besides (as is already happening) making a fuss over the various media at our disposal?

I honestly don't have an answer. I'm just angry and creeped out.


*I know my class privilege is showing here; being able to afford a flight or having a job that requires travel are inherently indicators of it. I'm not really in a position to speak for anyone without that privilege, though, so I'm just acknowledging the gap and leaving it there for now.

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