Victoria’s Security Secret?

artsomerville.org

artsomerville.org

Not long after 9-11 I flew to Hawaii in a trench coat. Underneath I wore a skimpy sheer camisole (no bra) and long pants. I was asked to remove my coat to go through security. I started to slip my coat off my shoulders, and the security guy blushed and waved me through. On the plane, the passenger sitting next to me kept insisting I share her sandwich with her. She reached into her purse and casually pulled out a standard kitchen knife. Then she cut her sandwich in half while I braced myself for the SWAT team that didn’t show up. The rest of the flight was without incident. Once in Hawaii, I waited several hours for my luggage to show up.

The Atlantic Monthly, November 2008

This month’s issue features Hanna Rosin on the question of whether children should have sex changes.  Not all children, just the ones who seem interested.  As she interviews parents, children, and professionals on all sides of the question, she finds some unexpected attitudes and difficulties. 

Jeffrey Goldberg writes of his attempts to attract the attention of airport security screening personnel by posing as a potential terrorist.  Carrying weapons, using a fake boarding pass, failing to produce identiciation, and wearing a T-Shirt emblazoned with the words “Osama bin Laden Hero of Islam” Goldberg got— on the plane!  No problem whatsoever.  He quotes aviation security expert Bruce Schneier‘s characterization of the TSA screening process as “security theater” and of the long lines it creates as ripe targets for suicide bombers.