Recently, a breast cancer survivor on her way to work was "patted down" at airport security and publicly stripped of her dignity as the security officer asked her to display her prosthetic breast. The TSA's new procedures can be more than thorough as the now more stringent guidelines demand that passengers either submit to a full-body scan or a full-body search, neither of which holds much appeal. For cancer survivors, the full-body scan is not recommended due to radiation concerns. When Cathy Bossi, a flight attendant for U.S. Airways was asked to "show" her prosthetic to the agent, she was so overwhelmed and shocked she was unable to remember to take the agent's name. She later reported the incident at the desk area.
Cathy is not alone. Many women have undergone similar humiliations as a result of their prosthesis setting off alarms or needing further "inspection."
For those with artificial limbs, pacemakers, hip replacements and other situations in which getting the "scan" is not medically reasonable, being forced to be handled and patted at the airport is akin to sanctioned sexual harassment. Aren't there other, more appropriate ways in which to handle security that don't involve violating personal boundaries and humiliating people, often in public? In the name of a free country, we seem to be walking a mighty fine line.
Aimee Boyle lives in CT with her lovely family and animals who drive her a bit batty. She is a regular contributor to EmpowHER.