LAX TSA officer shames my 15-year-old daughter for her outfit

This morning, a TSA officer at LAX humiliated and shamed my 15-year-old daughter. She is traveling with a group of high school students on a college tour and we were not with her when he verbally abused her.

Here's what happened, as my daughter described it in text messages to us: she was at the station where the TSA checks IDs. She said the officer was "glaring" at her and mumbling. She said, "Excuse me?" and he said, "You're only 15, COVER YOURSELF!" in a hostile tone. She said she was shaken up by his abusive manner.

I'm including the above photo of the outfit my daughter was wearing when the TSA officer shamed her. It doesn't matter what she was wearing, though, because it's none of his business to tell girls what they should or should not wear. His creepy thoughts are his own problem, and he shouldn't use his position of authority as an excuse to humiliate a girl and blame her for his sick attitude.

Our friend, Maureen Herman, dropped by our house today and we told her what happened. Maureen is the bass player for Babes in Toyland, the executive Director of Project Noise, and a co-founder of A is For, a women's rights advocacy group. She wrote the following response on Facebook, and it neatly sums up why this TSA officer's behavior is very wrong:

Absolutely inappropriate, harassing, aggressive, creepy, unprofessional, and Taliban-y thing that he did. "Cover up" is a dangerous cultural attitude that fuels more than rude comments. It's the foundation of the oppression of women, rape culture ("she was asking for it"), and the drive for reproductive control of women's bodies.

Hillary Clinton puts it well:

"Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn't matter what country they're in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies.

Yes, it is hard to believe but even here at home we have to stand up for women's rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us because America needs to set an example for the entire world."

Well said, Maureen and Hillary.

My wife and I met with the TSA at LAX and they are opening an investigation. The supervising officer we met with, Officer Murphy, was apologetic, concerned, and professional. He cc'd me on his incident report to his manager and it looks like they are taking this seriously, which is good to know.

I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE: Maureen wrote an excellent post about this on the A is For blog.


      1. Yeah I thought “covering up” was what they hated. Hmm… wear a long skirt and you get harassed. Wear leggings and you get harassed. Seems like there’s something consistent here…

        1. That’s right, cover up so you can walk through the pornoscanner.  Makes perfect sense.  

          (I haven’t been through LAX in years, I don’t think they actually have pornoscanners)

          1. Another good reason not to fly through there!  Although honestly, it’s not the “omg naked” part that bothers me, it’s the way you have to assume a “being arrested” pose in them.

    1.  this is not in reference to the original article author’s daughters pic: I dont enjoy seeing young girls salaciously dressed. It makes me worried for their safety, for their future and for our future when kids are “sexed up”. Maybe this is what the officer saw,I dunno. by the way I dont rilly give a shit but i have to respond to all the taliban comments mate theyre just juvenile.

      1. Bollocks, really? This is EXACTLY what happens in airports in Iran, and other places where women are controlled by a religious patriarchy. When we allow official personnel (the TSA, for example) to treat girls this way, we allow all men to think they can do so also, and they will feel justified because they are ‘worried about their safety, for their future and for our future when kids are sexed up.’ We need to teach men and boys to stop thinking girls are ‘provoking’ their own aggressiveness.

        1.  no. no it isnt. its an example of an authority figure showing concern for a child. it should happen more often. modesty is a good thing. its not iran. yes we need to teach men etc. And in the meantime: Get real. cheers.

          1.  Telling a woman of any age how she should dress, with a heavy dose of slut-shaming thrown in, is not “concern.” It’s evidence of a really insidious sense of entitlement on the part of the person whose unsolicited opinion was voiced. So this young woman didn’t dress how the TSA agent thought was “appropriate.” And this is anyone else’s problem why? He felt the need to tell her how to dress why? It isn’t her job to dress how he wants. Why does he assume it is? If a young man came through wearing a t-shirt and bike shorts, do you think this TSA agent would have felt compelled to shame him and tell him how to dress? Again, this isn’t “concern.” It’s creepy, insulting, intrusive, and totally inappropriate behaviour on the part of the TSA agent. The TSA supervising officer doesn’t seem to take it as concern either. Hint: that’s because it isn’t.

      2. ‘Authority figure acts like overbearing, sexist jerk you young girl’. There. FTFY.

    2.  The boat neck top could have easily been  pulled lower  and perhaps exposing her breast a little, but TSA that is fond of probing young girls and grandmothers , should have no say in how she dressed herself for her trip.

  1. It shows real strength of character that she said something. A lot of people, including most adults, wouldn’t.

      1. Been there… when some one actually is that nasty to you some times you really do find yourself just kind of sitting there like “did I hear that right? Did that just happen?”

      2. I just meant it’s great that she told anyone at all, even as little as texting you, which gets her support network started. A lot of us are so insecure we wouldn’t have made a peep.

          1.  Indeed. She recognized it was both wrong and creepy and told you. That says a lot about her strength and your relationship with her. I’m proud of her for saying something and getting the ball rolling. Believe me, when I was her age I was stunned into silence a few times over stuff like this too.

            I have enormous (natural) boobs, so when I was in high school I was constantly told my shirts were “too tight” or I was “showing too much.” Hello, when you’ve got D-cup boobs ANYTHING you wear is going to show them unless you wear a burlap sack (and maybe even then). Thankfully my mom stood up for me the way you’re standing up for her. It’s shitty that it’s 2013 and young women are still going through this.

          2. People are people, no matter what year it is.
            I was 10.5 when my younger sister was born, and everywhere we went as a family for the next 8 years, people assumed she was my daughter and would curl their lip and shake their head in disgust at me. Not so my parents could see it, or anything, just enough to, you know,  properly shame me. A little head shake, roll of the eyes, and curl of the lip. 

          3. When my daughter was in elementary school a teacher was upset because my daughter had large breasts and the boys were getting excited. 

            My daughter had a shirt on like what this teacher was wearing, yet my daughter was dressed inappropriately and the teacher wasn’t. I asked the teacher if she was upset because my daughter had bigger breasts than she did. 

            I was very upset and told the teacher the problem wasn’t my daughter, it was the boys in the classroom. I refused to make my daughter wear baggy clothing to “protect” the boys.

      3. I’m not known to take a lot of crap. But if someone just barges in my day and insults me totally out of the blue, I can’t just turn from ‘lalala, I’m casually walking around‘ to ‘fuck you and that goat you’re riding‘ on a dime (unfortunately the resulting esprit d’escalier is irritating). It takes a while for the mood to adjust. I think that’s a pretty normal reaction towards something that brash and uncalled for.

        1. Someday I’m going to work “L’Esprit D’Escaler” into my family coat of arms. Or maybe I’ll just tattoo it on myself, since I have no offspring.

        2. On the one hand that’s true, on the other hand ‘fuck you and that goat you’re riding’ is a pretty damn fine fall-back to have on standby.

          1. I keep a hard-boiled Jersey attitude packed in my fucking wallet for dealing with fucks like this.

            It’s an act I put on, took a while to be able to switch the flip just like that, but it comes quick when I call it.

            It surprises the living becheeses out of my target.  After a few miscalcs and over-reactions, I learned to sap the emotion from the moment and concentrate on dismaying the mark.

      4. There’s nothing to be gained by directly engaging people who do things like this.  I don’t think there’s anything she could have said to him that would have changed his behavior.

        Telling someone else, though, can have an effect.  That’s what she did.

        1.  Sadly, the only effect likely to occur is the guy will be “counseled” with perhaps a verbal reprimand which vanishes out of his record after two years.

          He *might* have to attend a four hour “sensitivity” class (while being paid) at the high end of the punishment range.

      5. The fact that she told you is an indication of the trust that you both have. Congratulations for how much you’re sticking up for her; this is the kind of parenting that I know a lot of people would really have appreciated growing up.
        You sound like you two have a really good relationship.

      6. Right. That’s a very human thing to do. When threatened, the brain downshifts into a lower gear. That usually means action, not talk. In order for her to have verbally objected to him, she would have had to be trained. I know of nobody offering such training, so you should expect that nobody has gotten it.


        Then again, you don’t want to “give lip” to the man, so probably the only helpful thing should could have done was to repeat what the man said (loudly) and then firmly said “I wore this so you could grope me more easily, sir! Isn’t that what you plan to do in a few moments?”

  2. “He cc’d me on his incident report to his manager and it looks like they are taking this seriously, which is good to know.

    I’ll keep you posted.”

    Better stock on some breath to hold.

  3. I’m sorry, but what else is the point of the TSA?

    It’s a shame any of us have to go through it, including the officers who aren’t mouthbreathers.

  4. I would have thought the TSA officer would have been more concerned with the missing portion of her head.

  5. I’m sure if she was a dude dressed like that, the officer wouldn’t have said anything. The guy sounds like a creeper who wanted to take attention away from that fact by shaming your daughter. He should be fired or at least investigated and given non-paid leave. 

  6. That’s awful, Mark. I’m glad you and your family are fighting back on this both within the system and publicly.

  7. On the upside, this says a lot about the caliber of people the TSA is able to hire. Sounds like a downward slope to me.

  8. I’ll make sure I leave my baggy check shirts in with my sequined pasties next time I’m flying in to LAX


    1. There is a young female exhibitionist who went through “security” in a see-through shirt underneath a jacket. When asked to remove the jacket, she happily complied, and was promptly asked to put it back on again. :-) Yay her!

      1. I remember a porn star that did that and filmed it (don’t remember her name), she got whisked through that security line pretty damn quick

  9. And, why do we even HAVE a TSA again?  What is it that they do?  Oh yeah, some kind of theater or something.  

    1. Theater of Absurdist Security… but they use the French form of the acronym for the benefit of  those who don’t speak Amurcan.

      1. i don’t think “absurdist” means what you think it means. you mean to say “theater of the absurd” or one of the various names this idea (which i fucking love) goes by. sorry, very very strong pet peeve of mine. i’m an absurdist.

  10. And the obligatory… “Christ, what an asshole”.  This creep should be at some fast food joint (behind a secure window), saying, “you want fries with that”.  

        1. As someone who is a half decent human being who happens to work in fast food I don’t appreciate people taking your attitude(and many do)

          1. Thanks for the apology. I often make comments like this and then realize I shouldn’t have!

          2. No harm I suppose, and back at you, you aren’t the asshole I was looking for! And now away I go

          3. I want to like you into the stratosphere.  Well said, clear, eloquent, brief, and non-aggressive.

        2. Because you are (I hope unintentionally) making sweeping and disparaging remarks about people who work in the fast food industry by insinuating that it is where creeps belong.

      1. I’m sorry, but since this is your first post, standard operating procedure requires that we passive-aggressively point this out, implying without saying that you are astroturfing, while ignoring the substance of you comment. Thank you for making it easier by commenting without substance. Don’t take it personally. Five or six more comments and you’ll graduate to real person. Good luck!

        1. The thing about first non-astroturfing posts at BB is they tend to be strongly emotive – a response to something that raised the indignance level high enough to motivate the creation of a profile.

          They are wondrous things.

  11. This is likely to happen a lot. A uniform. A douchebag who has made lots of mistakes to end up in it, finally gets a modicum of power.

    But on the other hand she really was asking for it.

    I mean… not wearing a headscarf while in public? Whats the world coming to.

      1. I rather suspect were she wearinga  burqa she would, in horrid irony, have been requested to undress.

  12. Ugh.  So sorry to hear this.  I’m glad you followed up BOTH by publicizing it and by filing a complaint.

  13. I’m going to take just a moment to give him a tiny bit of benefit of the doubt: He may not have been glaring but trying hard not to ogle — a bare midriff is eye-catching, which is why it’s a popular fashion, after all — and, embarassed/defensive about having been caught staring at a teenager, have tried to make it sound concerned/parental but failed miserably. If so, he’d have done better to admit she was eye-catching; that’d probably earn him an “ew, gross”, but it would be an admission that the problem, if there was one, was his. Please note that I’m NOT saying your daughter’s description of the incident is wrong, just that he may not have intended to be as rude as he was.

    Having said that: Yes, he deserves to get dinged for the comment. It’s not his responsibility or his place to comment upon passengers’ choice of garb until and unless it represents a security threat.

    And, yes, the TSA does tend to attract a certain kind of officious petty-tyrant personality, by the very nature of its overexcited and -excitable mission. That’s what we get for letting the Homeland Security Theater Agency get established in the first place…

    1.  No.  There is no excuse for his behavior. And I’ll say the same if had been a female agent saying the same thing.  These TSA people are supposed to be focusing on bombs, weapons (bottles of liquid, I guess), shoes, etc.  NOT on  peoples fashion choices.  Of course they are free to notice such things. But they have no place commenting on them. 

      How many times has this happened already, just without the dad being a writer on a highly-read blog.  Makes me sick.

    2.  No. He sexualized a child, to her face, while he was in a position of authority over her. The only correct comment on her outfit was no comment at all. It’s not simply rude, it’s sexual harassment.

    3. Any assessment of a young woman’s body (unless she is wounded and bleeding) or the appropriateness of her attire (unless it is on fire) from a stranger, ESPECIALLY an adult male, ESPECIALLY an adult male in a position of power, is completely uncalled for. Immediately she stops being a person and starts being a thing, adorned for public display, open for judging. I remember being a teen girl and how much I hated comments like that. They were never looking at my face. 

      1. It’s uncalled for from any adult about any young woman or man other than their own children, full stop, end of discussion. It doesn’t make it any less not okay if it’s an adult female and/or a young man.

        The only exception is a school or other institution into whose care the parent has entrusted the child. And even then, comments should be limited to enforcing officially posted dress codes, not the employee’s personal opinions.

      2. Just for the sake of argument, does “it doesn’t matter what she was wearing” extend to if she’d been wearing a thong bikini or sheer lingerie? 

        In that hypothetical situation, I would guess it’s the flight crew’s job to enforce a dress code, not the TSA’s, but if the agent had simply said something like “They’re not going to let you on the plane dressed like that” instead of being a creep about it, would it still be inappropriate?

        (Personally I wish they’d bar people wearing flip-flops and jorts. Sure, dress comfortably for a long trip in a confined space, but you’re crammed into that confined space with other people, not sitting alone on your sofa eating Cheetos and watching TV.)

        1. In your hypothetical, the agent wouldn’t necessarily be commenting on the appropriateness of the attire, which is what Velocirapt42 is talking about, but on its compatibility with whatever other authority’s policy. (Though if they used the phrase “dressed like that”, they might be tipping their hand on their personal opinion.) (Also… TIL that people have a nickname for and strong feelings regarding blue-jean shorts.)

        2.  Meh. you are going to be forced to sit in a chair, eating snacks & watching TV though. Comfy pants sounds like a plan.

          1. Comfy is not at issue. Mark’s daughter was obviously dressed in a normal way and the TSA asshole’s response was wildly inappropriate. I’m just trying to tease out where whatever line of appropriateness is drawn. 

            If I tried to board a plane wearing a Borat mankini, I’d expect to be denied for hygienic reasons at least.

            Sort of on-topic-ish: The first time I went to Atlantic City, with some friends, we dressed up according to what we thought would be normative for casino dress, e.g. nice suits, cufflinks, slinky cocktail dresses, etc. James Bond playing baccarat, that sort of thing. We were horrified to find the place full of sweatpants and Pokemon t-shirts. Serious disillusionment.

            I guess my point is (and this is not at all germane to Mark’s post, I’m just going off on a tangent here) that dressing like a slob in inescapable contexts betrays a degree of disrespect to the strangers around you. We don’t want to have to look at your gnarly feet for five hours in coach. Wearing flip-flops on an airplane is like farting in a crowded elevator. Cut it out.  

          2. Wearing flip-flops on an airplane is like farting in a crowded elevator. Cut it out. 

            I don’t wear anything on my feet during the summer except flip flops.  I fart when I have to.  Deal with it. 

            Just be glad you weren’t born before the mid-20th century when everything smelled like shit all the time.

    4. Altogether possible, entirely speculative, and totally immaterial to his misconduct. Why he did it makes no difference. If he’s incapable of comporting himself with the maturity of an adult around children, he should find employment in a job (I refuse to call TSA screeners professionals) that doesn’t require him to interact with other people’s children. Glaring and mumbling at them is not adult behavior, let alone using his position as a soapbox to either express his opinions about teen fashion or, as you suggest, redirect his shame over his own conflicted thoughts. He can deal with his own problems on his own time.

      1. Quite.  A professional does not have a liaison between seeing and reacting.  A professional simply does their job, and nothing else gets involved.  If there is nothing to be noted and reacted to, then a procedure and manner of professional conduct sparks off.

        This Murphy was out of order.

        1. Just for clarity’s sake, Murphy is the supervisor who seems to be taking the matter seriously and investigating his subordinate’s conduct. If there can be said to be any professionals among the TSA, they are people like Murphy.

    5. Eye-catching? Really? My eye had kind of a hard time catching her 1.25″ of midriff, or vice verse, straight as a 15-year-old stick though may be. Can it be that as I shuffle into my 40th anniversary, even my creepiest bits are beginning to slouch? Or could it be, as my therapist assures me, that even your garden-variety of weird, mal-adjusted grownup doesn’t even look at children that way?

      I think this answers something I’ve been wondering about. It seems to me that kiddie-diddlers in this age of scandal are the least likely to be weird old men giving away candy to the little ones (which I could even see myself doing, given a couple more decades of age and loss of touch with reality). Since they know the public is entirely too hip to that image, they must go to all ends to avoid it. Preferring, I might guess, to be the kind of nondescript thick-necked louts whom you always see shouting at strangers about Jesus. Where better to seek cover and sanctuary? The hiring practices of the TSA just might indeed provide the missing piece of that puzzle.Since the circus-tent revival days of yore when it was seen as the god-given right of random churls empowered by petty privilege to bark lascivious nonsense at other people’s children, I would hesitate to say that we have degenerated or gone astray as a society. Rather, the derelict oversight of some minimally-compensated public officers aside, I might even venture that we’ve come a long way, baby.

    6.  I really hate this attitude of “she was asking for it”.  Maybe you should try reading this (I do not personally know the author): .  You seem to be justifying his behavior with the exact excuses mentioned …

      She was in public.
      It was so tempting.
      He just couldn’t control himself.
      His desire was understandable.

      And not that it matters, but she is not wearing a “midriff” top … it looks more like she reached for something and her shirt slid slightly up her stomach.

    7.  I think in a horrible job market where the only new jobs are McJobs it attracts anyone and everyone trying to keep from ending up on the street. In other words ‘all kinds’ good and bad.

  14. Your daughter actually looks like a stylish young woman, and his was none of his bees nor his job to make a judgement about the outfit. Very annoying and upsetting.

    1.  I don’t know anything about “style” but she’s more modestly dressed than 75% of the girls her age I see walking around the Midwest–no undergarments showing, breasts aren’t falling out, labial piercings not visible through Spandex, presumably nothing written on her behind. I find her look a refreshing change of pace.

  15. New procedure: look up scandalous teen’s name to see if her parent is an Internet celebrity BEFORE making inappropriate comments.  Also, isn’t this the same TSA that wants to grope us and see us nekkid? Pick one, guys.

    1. Girls, cover up. You’re leaving nothing to the imagination. And of course by “imagination”, I mean “pornoscanner”.

  16. What a grade-A asshole.  This is a blatant case of the TSA guy feeling “affected” by her, and then assigning his creepy, disgusting thoughts on the subject of his feelings, rather than taking accountability for being a pervert.  

    I am so sorry this happened to her.  A girl should be able to get on a plane without authority figures objectifying her.  

    1. I agree, except for your second sentence. I don’t think we can be confident about what was going on inside his head. Personally, I suspect that what separates people who seek to control women’s bodies from those who don’t has more to do with ideology and values than with who they find attractive.

      1. Respectfully, if they don’t find it attractive…why the need to control it, then? It bothers them for a reason…just an observation.

        1. I don’t know. Even Hillary Clinton finds it mysterious, and I expect she’s thought about it a lot more than I have. But imagine the following two people, and let’s say they’re both women (to take the personal-experience factor out of the equation). One is a hard-right Republican who’s straight, the other is lesbian but of unknown political persuasion. If you believe that wanting to control women is more about attraction than ideology, would you expect the lesbian to be more likely than the Republican to act like this TSA agent?

        2. Social conditioning? Total deficit of self-awareness? Misdirected self-loathing? Since there are also women who play decency-police with other people’s kids, I doubt attraction is the critical factor.

          In fact, while I’m not comparing my situation to Mark’s daughter’s, I, as a teenager, experienced multiple occasions where women quite literally screamed at me for what I wore, and I feel fairly confident they were not doing so out of any sense of attraction. Some assholes just don’t know when to mind their own goddamn business.

          One of them had the cowardice to shout from their car before driving off. On the plus side, on one occasion, I used the opportunity to exercise my creative swearing skills :) But that individual was not in a position to make me miss my flight. Mark’s daughter fought smart.

        3. Probably because they have been raised in a society that consistently tells them that what women (or other women) look like is FOR them, and they’ve never thought about that much (or once). Hence objectification gets you all the same things: “she’s too fat to get raped” “well if her skirt wasn’t so short” “you should cover up! Your belly/ankle/left eye is showing!” and all manner of commentary on women’s bodies. Because the whole thing is up for grabs as a matter of consensus, everyone gets to have a say. That’s objectification for you. And you don’t even have to want to have sex with her either. You can, in fact, by discussing why you would NEVER actually achieve the same thing… just by assuming it’s your choice and your choice alone that matters. You don’t even have to be a man to do this.

          So it can be out of genuine “concern” for girls who are dressed in a way you think is immoral (because you understand yourself to be entitled to control those girls because the last person to be assumed in control of that woman’s body is the woman who *is* that body). If you happened to grow up on this planet while being a bit short on introspection, then instead of thinking people should leave girls alone, of course you’d project that responsibility for (absolutely any and everything that could ever happen in any imaginable situation) onto the girl and remind her of her duty to uphold all of the the laws of multiple universes at all times! Who wouldn’t?

  17. Aside from the obvious “I thought you were the bomb police, not the fashion police”, am I the only one who wears the least amount of clothing socially acceptable to the airport? I feel like the airport should be a fashion free pass. You have to take off your shoes and outer layer to get to a second location where most of you are going to be sleeping anyway. If you’re not wearing the closest thing to socially acceptable pajamas, what’s wrong with you. I’m in leggings, a hoodie, and flip flops. So, basically, that exact outfit. The only difference is I am 25 and not 15 so I guess I get to wear whatever the fuck I want now. 

    1. I used to fly internationally pretty much every month (I miss that by the way). However, I only once had any kind of issue due most likely to how I look. I’m also one of those hold-outs who still dresses exactly the way they would to show up somewhere after flying– so, business suits or what I’d wear to dinner or breakfast once I’ve landed, etc. I think on vacation maybe, I wore some tights that had a sort of pattern that probably looked like I had tattoos on my lower legs under my boots. Of course I took the boots off (wearing the boots on the plane is not as stupid as it sounds, it spares having them take up space in the luggage).  But that one time, of all, I was flagged for a pat down. Once I got there they seemed suddenly less interested in me. I figured it was honestly because they thought I had a lot of tattoos on my leg, as I had gone through this airport probably ten times in the last year without incident. So it occurred to me that if I were exactly as I am (a middle aged businesswoman) but with leg tattoos, then I suddenly become suspicious. 

      Fashion police indeed.

    2. If I’m going to be jammed in a confined space next to some guy who can’t control his elbows for several hours, I am damn well going to wear my yoga pants and be comfy.

  18. Great, now every time I encounter an Officer Murphy, my memory will snap back to reading about this terrible event and I’ll subconsciously dis him. This guy has not only hurt you, your daughter, and women’s rights, but officers named Murphy everywhere. 

    1. Murphy is the good guy here – the TSA supervisor who told me he is deeply sorry one of his agents did this.

  19. Please stop calling TSA screeners “officers.” It’s really insulting to actual police.

    1. Very true. Real police would of thrown her ass to the ground, put some weed on her and made her watch as they shot a litter of feral kittens.

    2. Its really sad that we’re subjected to scrutiny by mouth-breathers, troglodytes and semi-simians as we go through the security theater, but what do want for minimum wage?

      But since its theater, why not take on a part and play it for all its worth.Next time you go through just keep dropping names of famous people (living preferably,) making loud conversation on an iPhone (it doesn’t have to even be working,) about how [insert name of model] came on to you at [insert name of bar] and laughing while sipping something that looks like champagne (but is actually real ginger ale) from an expensive, authentic looking plastic champagne flute.

      When its your turn, play serious, but look like you’re playing at playing serious, and be cooperative, look like you’re having a fabulous time and can be counted on to continue having a fabulous time, drain the champagne flute, belch loudly, smile demurely, toss the flute into the nearest waste receptacle, and when its all over say that you’d heard there was no tipping here, unlike [insert name of resort].

      And walk off to your plane knowing that you are leaving a TSA screener feeling slightly abused but not knowing what he can do about it.

      With any luck the guy will quit his job saying “Fuck this shee-it. They’se having fun and I’se stuck in [name of city]”

      1. mouth-breathers, troglodytes and semi-simians as we go through the security theater, but what do want for minimum wage?

        First I just thought: Christ what a classist a-hole.

        Then I read this and see it’s a bit beyond that…

        With any luck the guy will quit his job saying “Fuck this shee-it. They’se having fun and I’se stuck in [name of city]”


        And walk off to your plane knowing that you are leaving a TSA screener feeling slightly abused but not knowing what he can do about it.

        Big man.

    3. Calling the TSA worse than police?  That is a pretty low blow.  It is hard to say.  I feel like when the police abuse power, it can be far nastier.   Further, TSA agents can actually be fired when they violate their own stupid protocol.  The TSA agent in this case might actually get fired.  A police officer can go spray mace in the face of a peaceful hippy and all the people in the area for s hits and giggles and still keep his job.  I am pretty sure the TSA would fire someone for that level of abuse without a second thought.  In the defense of police, they actually do serve a worthwhile function on society, while the TSA are completely fucking useless and defend against a threat that ranks well below death by falling over or death by slipping in the bathtub.

      The TSA is more generally completely useless, but held to more account when they violate their own bullshit rules.  While the police have an actual function that they serve, but are able to abuse their power and authority with far more impunity, and when they abuse that power do far more damage.

      I think it is a wash.  They both kind of suck.

      1. They actually are officially called officers and they really do now wear badges. It is so insulting to people who have completed a federal police academy – which is a lot more involved than the 80 hours of training these people get.

        There was a proposed law, the STRIP act, to “strip” these “officers” of the title and badge: but it did not pass. Too bad, now they can parade their badges around and harass teenagers.

        However you may feel about cops, a real cop might actually have some training to deal with someone who showed up at the airport with a loaded weapon intent on doing harm, whereas, these screeners are worse than useless. What, exactly, do we think one of these so called officers might do should someone try to do explode a bomb at this choke point they have created in the airport with sometimes hundreds of people lined up right behind the person going through security?

        1. Are you one of the people insulted so?

          Because I’m a huge fan of letting the offended speak for themselves.

  20. Did they pat down her long hair? I get that every time I fly (thick, waist length hair patted down because I might be smuggling something). Which is one reason I don’t fly very often.

    1. I’ve always maintained that discouraging air traffic is cheaper than investing in a whole new system for managing it.

  21. Mark, your daughter did exactly the right thing. You don’t confront and cause a scene. Document it and contact the supervisor. She showed more professionalism than the person who confronted her. Call it Tin Badge syndrome.

    1. I’m never sure if that’s actually good advice. On the one hand, you don’t want to escalate. On the other hand, his behavior being “unacceptable” by definition means that she shouldn’t have to, y’know, accept it.

      1. Some of us always want to escalate. If you don’t escalate, the problem just gets worse.

      2. The problem with airport security is that when you run into them you usually have a flight to catch and they have the power to make you miss it if they choose to do so.
        I.m.o that´s one of the main reasons people don´t give them more shit, they just want to be done with the whole charade and get on their plane.
        If on the other hand, say, a mall cop were to mess with them when they´re out shopping, they would be more likely to argue with them and make their day uncomfortable.

      3. … and the procedures for redress are more ineffectual the further from an informed populace you go.

        Sometimes this kind of thing comes down to giving the perp a damn uneasy feeling about pursuing their course.

  22. Mark is one of the few people who can actually give the phrase “Taking this seriously” informational content.

  23. Who is the dumb trainer that left out this slide from the PP at orientation:

     “Remember, focus on:Bombs, not boobsBombs, not boobsBombs, not boobs” 

  24. I am going to need more pics of your daughter to determine if what my agent did was wrong.  Without the flannel shirt would be good.  Also some from behind.

  25. We will need more pics to make a determination in this case.  Please post pics of your daughter from all angles and without the flannel shirt.

    Thank You
    Transportation Security Administration

    1. I realize you’re making a funny, but it’s a little too close to reality to not be actually gross.

  26. US border guard in upstate NY once asked if I was married and when I said no, asked me why not — a truly shitty moment. Thank you for making feel lousy about it, you old bastard.

  27. That’s absolutely nothing compared to what a lot of girls wear.  She’s actually dressed like a human being, rather then a barbie doll.

    Oh, that’s the problem!, independant thought!

    1. Maybe you think you’re helping, but you’re not.

      You’re implying that girls/women should adhere to a dress code which you have defined, and which you acknowledge a lot of them don’t want to follow.

      Assuring us that this specific person was actually following the dress code, and therefore “not guilty” doesn’t make anyone freer.

      1. I didn’t see any reference to a dress code. Sean mentioned, “what a lot of girls wear,” and “like a human being, rather than a Barbie doll.” Pointing out that someone is entirely within cultural norms is hardly implying that they should adhere to a dress code. Please try not to put words in people’s mouths. It’s not helping.

  28. Although he didn’t realize it, the officer was by far making a bigger comment about himself than about your daughter.  If he ever understands that, he will have evolved.

  29. i didn’t even know babes in toyland were still together! fuckin loved them in middle school, loved all that riot grrl shit. it’s making a comeback too! chicago has the bloody rag collective, which sets up shows for and supports wimmin and trans musicians, especially touring bands. but they’ve also done a few small-ish local fests that have really helped to empower a lot of people and build a space and a culture for that shit.

  30. I would tell my daughter “Next time, get the guy’s name, and we’ll file a complaint”. Launching my indignation into the blogosphere is not going to teach her practical skills for dealing with people.

    That stuff about being “Taliban-y” and the “rape culture” is just overboard.

    1. No, it’s not overboard.  It’s an intricate, linked network of responses and intentions.  If you layer them, letting the “mild” stuff pass means the harder stuff eventually strolls in smoking and casual, appearing all-ok like, y’know, just showing up.

      It’s a cascade, a river, a flow.  You block it at source, and make sure everyone knows if they go downstream, they’re in for a bad time.

      1. You are absolutely correct. Lets put this guy on the sex offender list, terrorist list, ban him from schools, make him wear a red “P” and interrogate his family. This man that said a dumb thing must be removed from society and pay for his sins and ignorance with his blood.

        This isn’t a free society where folks can make mistakes and learn from it. We must amass lists of people that might be raging fem haters, light our torches, and put them fast against the wall.

        We must drone missile this piece of trash, and anyone that may be standing near him.

        If we take him alive, the hardened criminals of lesser offenses will know what to do with him in prison. 

        1. My senior year in college I lived a 20 minute walk from school. Since I had no car, I walked or biked it every day. Every single day I was wolf whistled at. At first, I gave the offender the finger. Maybe I was even a little flattered. Then it became not flattering but more like constant, ongoing harassment. Then I just preferred not to give the asshole the time of day and let it go, walking on with eyes downcast. 

          One day, long after I’d gotten used to the continual abuse, I was walking to school with a male classmate. Once again I was subjected to a wolf whistle. My friend became angry, threatening to hurt the guy, and I was reminded again of just how offensive the ongoing demeaning behavior was, how powerless I was to address it, and shocked at how used to it I had become.

          Many years later I told my father that I’d been wolf whistled at every day and he simply did not believe me. I suppose  men really think that it is flattering, that I was kind of pretending to be offended and bringing up how much men were attracted to me all at once.

          I know men cannot really experience what it is like to be a woman and feel on display. Frankly, now as a middle aged lady with a bit of chub, I am very happy to not incite these reactions anymore.

          1. The first time a man pinched my ass (and tried to finger me) I was 8 years old. I didn’t tell anyone… because it was just normal and I thought it was probably my fault. Sorry people, but if you get to live in a world where that doesn’t feel normal at 8… lucky you.

            As an older woman, I have a similar experience. Relief. It’s like I get to just be a person finally. 

            Society seems to think I’m like a carton of rotten milk, but honestly… it’s nice to be able to, like, walk the dog without it being considered foreplay with strangers.

          2. That’s my story, except I was 9, and it happened in front of my teacher who put her head down when I looked to her for help. And I am not at the carton of rotten milk stage yet and that really sucks.

            vonbobo, your indignation is seriously misplaced. Maybe that TSA dude is or isn’t a criminal, but his comment – and yours – does not exist in a vacuum. What is wrong with calling attention to that?

        2.  I didn’t say we would stuff dynamite sticks up his ass and light them – I sketched out how as cultural “permissions” develop, you will find a percentage of people willing to take things to the next, possibly abhorrent, level.

          He didn’t say “a dumb thing”.  He saw a girl dressed otherwise than a puritan, and responded to her look.  He didn’t respond to her intellect, luggage, gait, gaze, path – he responded to her look.

          Why?  Why is it that that drew his focus and prompted him, willingly or not, to speak, and to say such a ridiculous thing?

          This was, as you say, “a dumb thing” only insofar as that was the dumbest thing to do.

          I’m father to two lovely girls, and in a free society, if someone made such a comment, I’d have their nuts for breakfast.  Why in fuck’s name was he looking?  What is he, the puritan police?

          1. The behavior was inappropriate, hurtful, and requires amends.
            But as a society, I’m also demanding that we keep some level of civility, or else we risk becoming the villains ourselves. What this guy did, does he deserve to potentially have his life ruined by vigilante cyber bullying?

            “I’d have their nuts for breakfast”
            So violence resolving conflicts.. that’s the world you want your daughters to grow up in? THAT is the Taliban-esque reaction.


          This isn’t a free society where folks can make mistakes and learn from it.

          How the fuck is he going to learn from his mistakes if no one tells him it’s wrong?

          Also, telling someone they are in the wrong is now equivalent to “boiling” them?  WTF?

          1. The guy should get reprimanded and if there have been other complaints about him he should lose his job.  However to say his comments are indicative of the “rape culture” I think actually diminishes rape.  Rape is a horrible thing and when you start trying to tie it to every jackass that says a stupid thing all you do is make people stop listening to you when you talk about rape.

          2. “rape culture” =/= “rape”

            This isn’t too hard.  They’re distinct terms.  “Rape” is a type of rape and “rape culture” is a type of culture.

            And no, it doesn’t “diminish” rape. It points out the aspects of our culture that encourage and empower rapists while silencing their victims.

          3. …it does, as I just said. Trouble reading people who disagree with you? Here it is again:

            And no, it doesn’t “diminish” rape. It points out the aspects of our culture that encourage and empower rapists while silencing their victims. Like the suggestion that if a woman is dressed the wrong way she was “asking for it.”

          4. Nope, I just have problems with people who stealth edit their comments then pretend like they said something different.

          5.  I “stealth edited” to make my statement clearer.  I didn’t edit anything out, I just added to it because I figured you wouldn’t be bright enough to fill in the details yourself.

  31. “Well excuse me sir, but I think that I am far more offended by your exposed penis. What? What do you not understand? Why, right there, between your eyes and your mouth! What? That’s your… That’s your nose? Oh my god, I am so sorry. You poor… I just… Oh my god. I am so sorry. DICKNOSE. Ahahahahahahahahahahaaa….”

    (Please stay tuned for more Drunken Comeback Theater. Actually don’t, if you know what’s good for you.)

  32. gosh.. sorry to hear this. :(

    I’ve been yelled by an officer at Singapore Budget Airport too for taking picture outside toilet :( I totally have no idea we are not allowed to take picha there and I was yelled as if i’m a terrorist. That was how horror my first experience to Singapore. :(

  33. Your daughter looks appropriately dressed – I don’t get it.  Good for her for telling you and getting it on record.

    It’s not ok to be rude and abusive to others.  .  

  34. you have raised her right and taught her well.     TSA needs to stop with all the porno scanning and security theater,  it’s getting ’em too feisty about fully clothed young ladies as well.      ridiculous!       Viva S!      

  35. How is this at all news worthy? Why is this on the front page of Boing Boing? Yeah, maybe it was a bit rude, but it’s hardly a comment worth losing your minds over. Or what is the actual outrage here? Is it because of the deep seated hatred of the TSA? The occurrence alone is hardly worth reporting. The hyperbole from Maureen Herman sounds like a whiny, uneducated child. It’s Taliban-y? It’s the foundation of oppression of women and rape? Really? This comment is no different to a man, or woman, telling kids to pull up their sagging pants. It’s not creepy. The only thing I can agree to is it is unprofessional. It is not the TSA’s prerogative to dictate what people wear (for the most part) at the airport.

  36. “This comment is no different to a man telling kids to pull up their sagging pants” is a comment that could only have been made by a man.  That is, someone who’s never had to deal with being constantly sexualised against his will.  Telling someone their clothes are slipping is not the same as telling them what clothes to wear in the first place.

    It is different, it is sexual harassment, it is terrifying and creepy, and you think otherwise only because this crap has never happened to you, and never will.

    As for “why is it news worthy” – because it happened in Mark’s life, and it’s his blog.  If you’re not interested in hearing about Mark, Cory and Xeni’s lives, you’re in the wrong place.

    1. “As for “why is it news worthy” – because it happened in Mark’s life, and it’s his blog.  If you’re not interested in hearing about Mark, Cory and Xeni’s lives, you’re in the wrong place.”

      I think your right.  Time to remove this bookmark.  I’ve seen way to many journalistic mistakes and personal agendas lately.  GG BoingBoing!

    2. The answer is in the question “or what” here. Pull up my pants or what? What… you’re gonna chase me? 

      With the girl it’s not this way. “Cover up” Or what? “If I don’t rape you some one will and it will be your fault… ”

      So real a threat it doesn’t even have to be said to be understood.

      1. “Cover up, or I won’t let you on this plane, and your several hundred dollars of ticket will be wasted, and you’ll have to spend the night in a n airport, dressed like that, with people like me watching you.”
        That was the implicit threat, and it only gets creepier from there.

    3. It is also inappropriate to criticize someone for having saggy pants.

      Sagging is a black ghetto fashion.  Yes, it’s been adopted by suburban white boys, but the style is unquestionably associated with poor black youth culture, and that’s the reason it’s given so much attention, and why so many people feel justified in judging it.

      Telling someone to pull up their pants is race-policing the same way that telling someone to cover up is sex-policing. It is saying “You look black to me, and that’s unacceptable.”

  37. First, terrible ordeal for your daughter to have to be go through. However, what if this had happened at the grocery store? Would the headline read “Kroger cashier shames my daughter, rings her up anyway …”?

  38. Watching from abroad (I currently live  in Italy), the USoA are eerily starting to sound like a dictatorship. I truly hope I’m getting the wrong impression.

    1. Not a dictatorship, but they do love their authoritarians and rules.  As a German, I find that oddly amusing. 

      1. “The problem after a war is with the victor. He
        thinks he has just proved that war and violence pay. Who will now teach him a lesson?”– A. J. Muste

        Also, this Gallup poll from two years ago found that the only major social institutions a majority of people in the US expressed confidence in were the military (78%), small business (64%), and the police (56%). So, yeah, it looks a lot like if things get slightly worse in the US, a military dictatorship is a likely outcome.

      2. Hah. You need to stop reading our newspapers. Scratch the surface and you’ll find that a lot of us hate it. I mean REALLY fed up with the miasma of draconian laws, excessive penalties, and the flood of rules and regulations that clearly contravene the fundamentals of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights … you know, those documents that the law n’ order pinheads yowl about all the time.

        And you Europeans say that we Yanks don’t appreciate irony….

        1. Not enough of us hate it. Apparently. But those of us who do, we *really* do hate it.

    2. Any help would be appreciated. Our leaders do not have our best interest in mind.
      Since the federal government can deficit spend a significant amount of the federal budget, they are no longer answerable to the taxpayer, the collective that used to fund ALL government operations. 

      So sure, we can deficit spend all day, but we have to understand the consequences.

    3. I’m trying to imagine what a guy like Berlusconi would be like with the power of the U.S. presidency in his hands…

      1. I don’t even wan to to imagine such a scenario: in 20 plus years Berlusconi managed to destroy an already corrupt and totally ridiculous political class. It’s going to take more than a generation of politicians to get Italy back to something resembling a democracy 

  39. Well, its all been said. I’ll just add that the TSA agent spectacularly failed the “control thyself” mandate every healthy hetero adult male deals with internally when in the presence of young women.  We guys seldom talk about it, but it’s a discipline required of decent men everywhere. Alas, far too many can’t handle the pressure.  They should not have jobs that routinely put them in such situations. 

    1. I walked past a local gig recently (not sure who’s) with hundreds of genuinely scantily clad young ladies (under 18). I honestly didn’t know where to look, it was a little obscene.

      1. There are plenty of men who do not even attempt it. When I worked in television production, I worked as a technical adviser on a teen dance show. The cameramen were catching all kinds of inappropriate body shots of the 14, 15 year old girls when we were not taping their cameras. Either the cameramen forget that there was a woman in the control room watching every camera shot whether it was recorded or not or did not give a shit. It was as if I were in their eyes for that one afternoon. Yes, these young girls were on a dance show, dressed in tight dresses and wanting to be seen, but I think if they had seen what I had seen, how these 30 year old men were zooming in and panning up and down their midsections, they would have been as disturbed as I was. It is one thing to want to be pretty, it is another thing to be preyed upon. I think most girls that age really have no idea exactly how men look at them, and once they did figure it out, have no idea how to address it. At least Cory’s daughter is getting this discussion going. Kudos to her.

  40. When that TSA agent finds out it was BB offspring he was inappropriate towards… man I’d love to see that face of realisation.

    Also… christ, what an asshole!

  41. My first reaction was, it’s a shame that happened to your daughter, but is it really worth a post on boing boing? It just seems too insignificant.

    But after thinking a moment, I changed my mind. What makes this important is not that a creep acted creepy, but that the creep is a TSA employee. If your daughter stood up for herself on the spot, there is a decent chance she’s not making her flight and her trip is ruined (and the significant expense lost). So there are very real risks to anyone insisting on being treated with respect.

    That’s the system we’ve created–people are coerced into sheep-like behavior with heavy consequences for the slightest misbehaviour, but then the job (and the power) of shepard is handed over to petty tyrants on power trips who have done nothing to show they can be responsible with that power. This screener did far more than disrespect your daughter, this was a reminder to her and to everyone around her of the capricious dehumanization of air travel.

    1. “It just seems too insignificant.”

      I think that is sadder than the state of air travel. That a 15 year old girl (that’s half the people in the world, by the way, at some point in their life) can not be reasonably expected to go through any part of her day without being sexually harassed… 

      yeah… that’s worse than the state of air travel.

  42. It sounds like the author of this article is merely blowing this whole thing out of proportion.  I have a 14 yr old daughter, and she has many friends.  It’s my experience that most of what she say’s that happens is highly dramatized.  The same probably happened here.  Secondly, if I let my daughter go out dressed like this little girl did I’d be ashamed of having failed as a parent.  Not because she choose to dress this way but because I felt she was entitled to dress this way.  She’s 15, she has no rights as an adult.  If the TSA agent felt she was dressed offensively he was more than in his legal right to say so.  Hell, the author would feel it in her legal right to report someone being sexually offensive to her, how does this poor guy being forced to stare at a set of 15 yr old tits and probably a camel toe (hard to tell from the picture but I know what a 15 yr old would choose given the choice) not qualify as sexually offensive?

    It’s a country of freedom of expression, but like many great people have said, it comes at a price.  If you want to curse left and right, do so however others are welcome to express the same to you.  Dress like a slut however know that others may shun you for it.

    This author may feel the need to scream how entitled his 15 yr old daughter is from this mountain.  But all I see is him advertising rape bait across the internet.  “Look at my daughter, look how she dresses like she’s going on Jerry Springer, look at her say ‘I do what I want’ just like Eric Cartman, isn’t that cute!!!!”.  Get off your high horse sir.

  43. Right, as well all know 15 year olds obviously are well versed in the world.  So she clearly could not have mistaken the context of the comment and whether or not how “abusive” his tone was, and then the rest of you schmucks blow it out of proportion.

    Also, tweenies are well known to be the most trustworthy people around.  No way could she have possibly changed the facts, like maybe she didn’t have that button down shirt on at the time? Or maybe she took offense to a sincere comment about modesty.But all of you know that the internet doesn’t lie and doesn’t leave out some details.  And yes, yoga pants and skin tone blouse on a 15 year old could be a bit much.  Shes 15!!!!  And don’t tell us the rest of the women out there don’t wear yoga pants to show off their assets.  No way, all those people are doing it just for comfort.There is something to be said about teaching children modesty, just like you don’t want some obese person with their crack sticking out in front of your face…there’s a time and a place and you morons comparing this to shariah law for birkas and what not are the problem with this world today. One little thing happens and then it’s the end of the world to you people.Boing Boing is off my list permanently now. Later fools.

  44. I agree with everyone here and that what was done to Mark’s daughter was terrible. But am I wrong to tell my staff of young ladies that they can’t wear leggings (or tights!) as pants? That is, if they wear a tank top, they must pair it with a skirt, shorts or pants and not leggings (or jeggings) alone? That any outfit showing camel toe was a fashion-no? This is a serious question as I’m 50 and don’t want to come across as a crotchety olde out-of-touch boss! We work in a high end urban optical. Maybe their outfits help sell the products….:)

    1. “my staff ”

      You set the dress code for your staff. If the dress code is suits and ties then the women, young or otherwise, dress as such. But I suggest not ever suggesting their outfits sell the products to their face because that’s almost as unprofessional as camel toe… unless the high end optical is also called Hooters. 

    2. “You’re only 15, you ought to cover up” is miles away from “Please follow the universal dress code written here in this document”. 

    3. The entire USofA is fashion disabled. People wearing flip-flops to restaurants, or even walking barefoot in hotels. I wish I could flip a switch and vaporize all t-shirts with lettering and graphics, same with blue jeans that need to be laundered. One nation under flannel.

    1. You must not be aware that ads are placed automatically. Mark has no control over what appears on the site. Some computer algorithm has decided that BB readers are likely to be AA wearers, so we get ads. I’m using an Adblock plugin, so I don’t have to look at hardly any.

  45. He shouldn’t have said anything about it at work, but you can support modesty without having “creepy thoughts”. People wear clothes for a reason, and I hardly think having an opinion on what is appropriate constitutes a sick attitude.

    1. You can have any opinion you want! You just keep it to yourself. It’s a valuable skill, and I’m sure has saved me from about five thousand punches in the face. 

    2. The sick attitude is the one that assumes it is the TSA agent’s place to lecture a young woman on what she should wear. It’s none of his fucking business, and he should have kept his mouth shut. The TSA itself is an obscenity, so the agent is hardly in any place of moral authority in any case. 

    1. Like Wil Wheaton, I prefer to fly through Burbank even if I have to go at 4am.  Which is probably how I ended up on a flight with him several months ago.

  46. This is basically what the Iranian Guard does.  They’re thugs with badges and guns, acting as morality police.   If we let this country slide into authoritarianism we’ll have only ourselves to blame.

  47. Last month I was at a leatherworkers show in Sheridan, WY.  Somewhere in the course of morning conversation around the breakfast table at the B&B we were staying at, I was informed by one of the male guests that my being a woman who liked to drink Scotch was ‘unusual’.  What he said was, ‘Most women don’t like to drink Scotch.’  That was strike three in the vibe I was getting off this guy.  I’m a 55-year-old, six-foot woman at a leatherworkers show, who likes to drink Scotch, and the guy has consciously or unconsciously decided there must be something weird about me because he’s ‘uncomfortable’ with these facts.  If I wanted to get a further sense of what he thought was an appropriate appearance and demeanor for women, all I had to do was shift my eyes left to his petite wife sitting next to him.  A conversation with his wife the following morning, her with her crocheting and me with my knitting, sitting and drinking coffee before breakfast, would further congeal my impression of the sharp demarcation of gender roles between that couple. 

    Women, from onset of boobs forward (and for some very pretty girls, even earlier), always have and probably always will have to deal with inappropriate comments from men, whether offered directly or indirectly.  I think it’s fortunate that this comment came from someone in a position of authority.  Trust and respect should be earned and all people in positions of power should be held in suspicious regard until they’ve earned that respect.  People in positions of power are only human, and just because they have power doesn’t mean they know how to handle it well.  So the TSA agent may actually have done Daughter-of-Mark a favor, a little life lesson that did her no real harm, in that sometimes authority figures are real jerks.  Noted for the next time.

    As for appropriate dress on a plane, I tend to take my cues from the flight attendants.  Closed, lace-up shoes, slacks that are neither loose nor form fitting, long sleeved top buttoned or a pullover.  No dangly jewelry, hair short or if long, secured.  If the plane goes down and assuming it hasn’t broken up, isn’t a flaming fireball, and I haven’t had my brains bashed out by luggage from the overhead bins, I’d like to be prepared to exit the plane as quickly as possible, and dress for that event.  Seeing a woman in the security lines wearing 4-inch heels? – yeesh.   

    1. I always think of the soccer team in The Andes when I see people flying in flip flops and shorts because it happens to be 70 in Cali or whatever warmer part of the U.S. they’re flying out of. You can always dress down if you need to. I also bring a few energy bars with me for good measure…..

  48. Sitting at my breakfast with tears in my eyes; sadly, not at what happened to your daughter, because I was a young woman myself once and I know how normal that treatment is. The thing that shocked me hard enough to cry was the ferocity, clarity, and immediacy of your support for your daughter, straight to the TSA before she even got home. Thank you, thank you, thank you. A woman who is that trusted, that supported, that is a woman who will grow up to believe in herself and do great things. Rock on, sir.

  49. “His creepy thoughts are his own problem, and he shouldn’t use his position of authority as an excuse to humiliate a girl and blame her for his sick attitude.”

    Yeah he should, that’s why the TSA hired him. Remember the TSA ad, they want you to act “imperiously”

    But what they don’t say in the ad is that they also want the
    perverts, ex-cons, thieves, sadists, con artists, you name it in their
    ranks. The new Brownshirts are the Blueshirts


  50. Mark, from the images, I see your daughter was dressed in a manner that in the western world has been perfectly normal for a teenager over the past decade and a half or so, and she doesn’t look like she poses any threat to security, be it with regards to that outfit or otherwise.

    There are many conservative countries out there where one shouldn’t be sporting a bare midriff, but with regards to USA, I’ve only heard about restrictions on this in certain schools, not when out and about in general public.

    I’d like to hear the relevant TSA agent’s excuse for the behaviour, so please keep us posted. :)

  51. extremist?  a bit over the top I would say.  jerk off, twit, a-hole sure.  there are tsa agents male and female who have no business in the job.

    I was with you until you brought the extremist liar and bad human being hillary clinton into the piece.  lost a lot of credibility there.

    1. I share your low opinion of Hillary, but when she says something that is actually right, don’t reject the message because of who said it.

  52. I’ve said it before and it’s never popular, but if you Usians would boycott air travel, the TSA would be gone in under 2 weeks. Isn’t 2 weeks of non-flying worth it?  I’ve managed to go 20 years without stepping onto an airplane, so I imagine it’s doable.

    1. But then they’d just make the train unridable,  imagration checkpoints within 100 miles of the coast or international airports, etc. 

      Nice idea though.

  53. So some guy dressed up like a first officer in an airport is complaining about inappropriate dress, why does this remind me of Gilbert and Sullivan ?

    Really, epaulets make some people act like idiots

    You know, a Gilbert and Sullivan mashup set in an airport seems like a good idea

  54. We were promised, with the advent of the TSA, that the “lack of professionalism” of private contractors, which varied from airport to airport, would end.  I know she’s not an adult, but I wish she’d have gotten his badge number and name to shame HIM.  Idiot –

  55. It’s having kids that made that switch functional for me.  Something about lack of sleep for insanely long periods of time leaves you with zero fucks to give and a fuse that’s maybe half a centimeter long.  

  56. This is more of an aside, I realize, to the very significant issue that Mark has done such a good job in raising…. but I’m very curious as to wtf this guys problem is.  What I mean is that I’d wager, being that this was LAX, he’d of seen at least another 50 young women in much much much much less modest clothing in just the next 15 minutes.  So, did something about Mark’s daughter trigger something (suggesting the creepiness of the individual) or does this indicate that this bozo may well be making comments like this all day long?

  57. Have you considered that your daughter should, I don’t know, dress like less of a whore when in public? 

  58. Much ado about nothing the mother should thank the TSA agent for getting the girl to cover up her see through braless t shirt. I don’t even like the TSA, but the hoopla over this nonissues is even worse. Chances are if her flannel shirt was pulled back and a picture taken of her with just the t shirt it would probably qualify as kiddie porn.

  59. The TSA officer, Maureen Herman, and Hillary  Clinton are all three full of $hit! What happened to this girl is wrong, wrong, wrong,  but all the Social Marxism isn’t going to help.

  60. The hell with the TSA doing and saying ANYTHING.

    But based on the picture above, if you let your 15 year old daughter walk around in public in tights showing camel-toe, you have failed as a father.

  61. For this TSA agent’s information, she was covered up! That, however, is besides the point as the author of this post put it.

    What we really need to do is to repeal all laws that ban public nudity. Such laws are being used as a crutch to shame women and girls. YES, EVERY LAST ONE.

    Public decency laws are no different than the Muslim sharia laws.

    Rather than just condemn the behavior, we need to go all out and publicly campaign to repeal ALL nudity bans on this soil — put the repeals on the ballots if needed — or pledge to only support politicians who would undo bans on public nudity.

    “Cover up” is in the laws of this land and such laws need to be removed from the books.

  62. My first thought was that the TSA officer must have confused a skin colored shirt with bare skin.  No other explanation I can come up with makes any sense.  If he really thought her actual outfit was in some way inadequate, then it seems that he would necessarily be upset hundreds of times per day – that outfit seems well within the local norms

  63. Maybe this what we can all come to expect from every bloated government entity that has pre-employment screening processes that are more concerned with meeting diversity driven quotas than the actual qualifications of the individuals applying for the positions

  64. I’m USUALLY proud to say I spent 7 1/2 years as a Federal LEO (NO, not TSA!) but when THIS kind of BS hits the news, I cringe – right before I get ballistic about the anal orifice that makes every intelligent Security Officer in the WORLD look stupid!I sincerely hope you and your daughter push this case all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to get THAT ignorant, uncouth LOUT fired WITH PREJUDICE, and with loss of benefits and retirement, for CUBO, and for conduct detrimental to the service (or whatever the TSA would have as an equivalent charge).
    TSA has enough problems with their public image (what’s LEFT of it); they don’t need idiots like this one in their uniform.

  65. Those guys are creepy and rude.  Here in Columbus Ohio, I was traveling with my Uruguay passport, and one of this TSA guys told me “what is this?, is Uruguay even a country?, you cannot travel with this passport, you need to get a real one”. Obviously he was just being an asshole as he let me pass the checkpoint, but this was really disrespectful.

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