eirias: (Default)
[personal profile] eirias
I am unreasonably bitter about airport security. I don't like being touched by strangers; I'm priggish when someone suggests I might be dishonest; I hate arbitrary and shifting rulesets; and the erosion of civil liberties that the TSA represent to me infuriates me. Consequently, every time I have to go through security, my adrenaline spikes. Best case scenario is that I get through with no additional screening, but I'm still tense and angry ten minutes after I get to my gate. But when TSA decide to touch me or go through my things for whatever reason, I feel this irresistible compulsion to mouth off, just so I feel like I have some sense of agency. This is about as sensible as refusing to give your wallet to a mugger, I know. But wouldn't you, on some level, deeply want to punch the mugger in the schnozz?

Does anybody have any strategies for coping with this? I will say that bromides about how "they're just doing their job" do not impress me; I'm the child of a history buff whose favorite war was WWII, so you can imagine my mental associations with that phrase. Other suggestions, however, are welcome.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 01:29 pm (UTC)
cos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cos
Instead of mouthing off to the TSA people at the time, just remember to call your Representative and both Senators after each trip by plane to urge them to reduce the ridiculousness of airport security. Things like the watch list, the liquids ban, taking off our shoes, etc. don't make us any safer.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 03:28 pm (UTC)
ursula: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ursula
Due to my misspent youth, I generally fantasize about how an evil vampire/werewolf/mage would subvert the security requirements. Would it help to infiltrate a gift shop? How are large quantities of goods screened? Would suborning one TSA agent suffice, or would you need several? Would a vampire be able to find a flight path protected from sun?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eldan.livejournal.com
I don't have anything particularly useful to say on this; just that I experience exactly the same thing. I've calmed down about it, for the utterly depressing reason that it used to be worse - I had a few years of being singled out for "random" special extra screening every single time I flew, so the treatment I get now that that's stopped is still less intrusive and less inconvenient than what I was used to. But the whole charade still winds me up, and I haven't figured out what to do about it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leora.livejournal.com
Ditto, pretty much. But for me, it got better both because my disability aids now look more like what they expect disability aids to look like, and because they've gotten better at training the staff to work with people with disabilities.

Last time I flew, I think they pushed me over to a separate line that had fewer people and they were fairly courteous to me. This helped a bit. It also helped because it's always so damnably annoying trying to regrab my six million separate things (my shoes, my coat, my hat, my pocket items that might have metal like my keys, my pendant magnifier, my cane, my small baggy of liquids likely containing at least a lip balm because airplanes are ~dry~, and my actual carry-on) and somehow carry them to some place where I can put each one back in its proper place. So, having the separate line where people aren't pressuring me to immediately move out of the way of the next person helps a lot.

But I still hate it and am uncomfortable and frustrated at the stupidity. It's the largest part in why I now hate flying. I hate being subjected to security, and I don't trust them to not abuse their powers.

I just try to get it over with as quickly as possible and get far away from the security section as soon as I can. But the atmosphere of security theater makes me uncomfortable in airports and on planes. Distractions during the non-going through security bits and trying to focus on the small improvements helps a little, I think.

Mostly, I just hope enough people will get fed up enough and flying being less appealing will decrease flights enough for it to become politicly worthwhile to change the security.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littlepurple.livejournal.com
i suggest xanax or a pre-travel beer

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-12 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] drspiff.livejournal.com
Sorry if my own attitude about TSA expressed over on my blog reinforces this. I guess all I can suggest is that you try to keep your sense of humor. That's what I try to do. So I don't keep my mouth shut when they poke me or tell my 16 month old daughter to take off her booties.
Oh, and my other suggestion is that when you have the time, take the train instead.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-12 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vfoxy.livejournal.com
hide your dildo in your carry-on luggage. when they ask, they will get embarrassed and let you through with apologies. this has worked for me, albeit accidentally :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-12 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eirias.livejournal.com
I actually thought about flying with a packing pecker in my pants. Like female-to-male trans folk use... I figured, that'd give my next patter-downer a surprise. But then I read a bit about the shit FTMs deal with when traveling and I just felt guilty, like, what kind of person am I if I take someone's identity and use it to freak out some third party? And what kind of consequences would that have for the next transperson to try to fly through that airport?

The dildo in the carry-on is a much better idea. Same discomfort -- essentially, reminding the TSO how prurient and inappropriate their job is -- only without the majority privilege sneaking in.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-14 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knell.livejournal.com
Well, the patdowns are one of the bits of security screening that actually are useful - in most of the world we've been being patted down sometimes while flying for 25 years or more, since it was found (along with metal detector arches) to be found to be an effective way of stopping the kind of hijackings that were popular back then (pull out gun, 'fly this plane to cuba!'). In a way, the US overreacted so much because pre-9/11 its airport security was so lax compared to the rest of the world. Of course, the rest of the world is suffering from that laxity too due to the various demands the US makes when it comes to security screening on airlines wanting to fly into the US from outside.

Shoes off, no liquids, and that kind of asshattery? Sure, it's theatre.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-16 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] your-illfitting.livejournal.com
I think there are two separate approaches here, both valid and not necessarily counter-exclusive. (I think I made up that word.) There is the issue of doing work to educate others (which you are doing here) and whatever sort of political work you can do to work to change laws (probably slowly).

There is, separately, the issue of whether or not it benefits you to be feel angry. Anger, particularly anger for ten minutes after the incident has passed, is a choice. It's a valid choice if you feel that anger serves you (anger serves plenty of purposes or I suspect we'd never experience it at all). If you feel it doesn't serve you, you can choose to meditate, do relaxation exercises, or follow littlepurple's advice above. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-18 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eirias.livejournal.com
These are good suggestions, L.

I'm working on the political arm of things. I'm still thinking about the anger arm. I think your approach is the right one and it's something G keeps trying to tell me. I'm not sure what it is my anger is doing. I think maybe it's the only way I can think of to feel agency. It feels like my two options are rage and despair. It would be nice to find some way of channeling the emotion into something more useful. I don't think I want it to disappear entirely. My religious inclinations, such as they are, aren't "Eastern" enough to feel like accepting injustice is the right path, even though I really can see the wisdom. But sputtering anger also isn't a productive path for those energies to go.

I'll keep thinking about it. Thanks for your thoughts.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-18 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] your-illfitting.livejournal.com
It's interesting because after I wrote this response, I realized how much your "holding onto anger" response might have in common with my "holding onto grief" response post-break-up. It's a way of saying, "I care and so should you." I don't think in my case it serves me well at all, but I understand why it seems important to me (even just subconsciously).

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-18 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] your-illfitting.livejournal.com
Or maybe not even "I care and so should you" but "I care and I'm afraid that if I let this feeling go, I will stop caring and that scares me."

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