Monday, November 15, 2010

A Call To My Sisters | Fly With Dignity Is A Feminist Issue

I became attached to the issue about AIT scanners because I am a woman, a mother, a feminist and an African American. Most of the discussions I see online seem to revolve around men who are worried about other men touching their “junk.”

I will agree, this is a broad and sweeping generalization. Many men are discussing the violation of their 4th amendment rights. Many are addressing the legitimate scientific concerns about the health risks posed by continued exposure to radiation. And I applaud these gentlemen.
In relation to action statements, this is where the discussion devolves into a circle jerk. The men are all discussing wearing kilts “commando” style or getting boners, or making orgasmic noises when they get pulled aside to have an intrusive body search. It seems like a big game of “My junk is bigger than your junk and so I can bully you.

Sadly, I am not seeing as many women speaking up about this issue. Nor, do I hear many of my sisters getting out there to protest this by choosing to “Opt Out” on November 24th. The few women speaking up (as usual) are not getting the same media attention as White men who dare people to “touch my junk.” Of course, statistically, 1 in 6 women have been sexually assaulted. We are fully aware that society expects us to let “our junk” be handled, abused, and violated at anytime it is deemed necessary for the greater good.

It hasn’t been that long since women have even begun to believe that we can be protected by half of the civil liberties that White males grow up believing is their God-given right. It has only been 90 years since women gained the vote (even less for Black women.) It has been almost 40 years since what a rape victim was wearing became inadmisseble in court. We’ve barely won the right to wear whatever clothing we want and not expect to get raped. It has only been approximately 37 years since Roe V Wade. Yet, every year, women have to campaign for the right to make choices about when we choose to bear children. We’ve barely won the battle against domestic violence. Women still don’t feel as if the same rights and privileges which extend to White males apply to them. We have had to fight every step of the way.

Forgive me if I don’t have all the timelines in order - but - I’m old enough to remember when many of these rights were extended to us in my lifetime. And I remember either my mother or some college professor or some cool activist talking to me about these “great victories.” What I am trying to say is, the majority of our civil liberties as women are barely as old as I am. And I hold them precious.

So this is a call to my sisters. Our great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers and even ourselves have faced every threat, inconvienence and even death to have a few simple things we take for granted. This is a call to every woman to remind the world that we fought hard and long to simply obtain the right to:
walk down the street unescorted,
wear make-up;
smoke or drink in public;
expect not to be raped or molested;
expect for our bosses or co-workers to not touch us or speak with us inappropriately;
expect not to be beaten by a spouse and have legal recourse;
choose when to bear children;
and vote for people who will not try to steal these victories from us.

We, as women, have more at stake. We have barely claimed our bodies. And we are under attack again. This is our issue. No on should ever touch our bodies if we do not consent. Ever. And we must never let them touch our children's bodies without their consent. (As is what happened to a three year old girl here.) And furthermore, I don't want this spoof cover of a pretend book to ever be needed in my home.

I also don't want my son sitting in therapy with one of these dolls and the therapist saying, "Show me where the TSA agent touched you." (The quote is by some random reddit poster.)

November 17th will have a Senate TSA Oversight Hearing. Here is a link to an article which posts all the numbers and names. Call and write!

Please - join in the discussion! Thanks!


Ben Barishman said...

"We, as women, have more at stake"
No you don't. We are all human beings, and we all have a right to our bodies. The fact that you have a vagina does not make your body any more holy than mine, and in fact both men AND women have everything to lose as far as privacy goes on this issue.
"The few women speaking up (as usual) are not getting the same media attention as White men who dare people to “touch my junk.”"
Do you know of anyone who is a white male other than the one specific case? And did he get attention because he was a white male, or did he get attention because he was the first to record his rebellion, and ALSO the first to be potentially sued by the TSA? The only person I have heard focus on this man's race is you.
"In relation to action statements, this is where the discussion devolves into a circle jerk. The men are all discussing wearing kilts “commando” style or getting boners, or making orgasmic noises when they get pulled aside to have an intrusive body search."
What part of making orgasmic noises is specific only to males? What part of wearing a skirt without underwear is specific only to males? The only male specific action even mentioned is getting a boner and, ladies, if it's sexist that I can get a boner and you can't, you have my deepest apologies. Feel free to use these very same tactics yourself.

The more people that protest the TSA the better. Using divisive rhetoric and trying to make it out to be any one section of society's issue moreso than another's is wrong and foolish. This is EVERYONE's battle, not men's, not women's, not whites' or blacks' or any subsection of American Society. Every single American Citizen is on the same side in this. Stop trying to pull us apart.

Max Trombly said...


I am responsible for shooting the "blue glove" photos in direct response to what I feel is a massive assault on the bodies of female citizens.

I am glad to see it on your blog.. and am not asking you for anything other than sharing my appreciation that you are pushing the female side of this. More women need to stand up to this physical offense.

Christina Springer said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Max! Your image is what generated this post. I am so grateful for your insightful eye and beautiful work. And thank you for allowing me to use it. What you did with your camera, staging and editing gave me some words. (As a semi-retired text-artist, that means more than you could ever know.) If I was anywhere near you, I would gladly volunteer to be one of your models in this campaign. (Then again, I'm a middle-aged, AF-AM, SAHM - and this image you have produced is so much more evocative.)

DingBat said...

I agree with a lot of what Ben said, but I don't think Christina is trying to pull people apart on the issue, but rather inspire females in particular to stand up against it.
Being a woman, I get how it could be perceived as females having more at stake... we are generally taught at a very young age that our bodies are to be guarded, and if you let anyone feel you up -well we all know that girl... she's the floosy!. Can you imagine how many moral codes will be broken for people across the nation if you just let any stranger in uniform cup your breasts? And for how long?
As for the other stuff, Ben... like I said, I agree with a majority of it... women could just as well moan and act out and maybe they should, but with that comes the back lash of tarnishing a modest reputation. That grand old Double standard rears its ugly head again. AS for myself, I don't give a damn about what people think, I will be obnoxious until the end of time, but I can understand why most women would not dare think about it.
Sadly, my erection will never be as big as yours unless I magically morphed into China. Now that would be fun, oh the things I would do with my mini penis-like clitoris, but I digress. I don't know about your anatomy, and without getting too vulgar, my muff is magical, when I stand with my legs apart, other things open up. Taking that into consideration and wildly assuming that most muffs do so...
Could you imagine the radical young woman who wears a skirt and no panties with legs wide spread, getting frisked and a TSA agent accidentally slipping? OMG I think there is something a little more serious about being penetrated versus being brushed against. Just my opinion.

Good read, thanks Christina.

Anonymous said...

Oh My WORD, Dingbat! I'm heading up to bed, brush my computer, stop and shiver, OH MY WORD!

You read it right, I'm not trying to make this a bi-gender issue. I just want the women to step up and represent. But, with the likes of you it seems as if we have "Isis/WonderWoman/SuperGirl/Electra" in one package named DingBat. Thank you so much for stopping by!

You had many more insightful things to say. So, I must say adieu and sweet sleep.