Okay, now everybody just sit back, take a deep breath and have a nice glass of wine. Chill out.
Earlier this week, the proverbial poop hit the fan in the pro-choice community when a young woman named Jodi Jacobson wrote a piece for “RH Reality Check.” The piece was entitled “American Airlines Rejects Female Passenger Because Political Pro-Choice T Shirt is ‘Inappropriate.’”
It seems that Jodi had just attended an abortion rights meeting and, shortly thereafter one of the attendees, a woman referred to only as “O,” informed Jodi that she had been prohibited from getting on an American Airlines flight because she was wearing a pro-choice T shirt. Jodi went immediately to her blog and alerted the troops to this outrage. The facts were clear to Jodi: this woman was tossed off because of “her politically salient pro-choice T-shirt…”
What is going on? You can’t even say you are pro-choice anymore? Isn’t it enough that the Republicans are waging a “war on women” in the Congress and in the state legislatures? Now, we gotta put up with corporate America taking away our civil liberties? Protestors can hold up gory pictures but the airlines can kick someone off a plane because they are pro-choice? Rise up fellow pro-choicers! To arms, to arms!
Oh, by the way, did I mention that the T shirt said: “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d fuck a senator.”
So, this blog went on about how O was held up, the confusion that ensued, how she missed a connecting flight, etc., etc. We even were told about how the woman was allegedly berated publicly – and, if true, there is certainly no excuse for that.
Now, no one can question my pro-choice credentials but I grow weary of my pro-choice friends who, in cases like this, freak out and make an incredibly big assumption that this action on the part of the airlines had to do with abortion rights, protecting a woman’s uterus, free speech, etc. This fake outrage is just starting to wear a little thin. And I say “fake” because, guess what, this was not about the abortion issue. It was about the F word.
You see, it seems that airlines have some rules – and they are there for all to see. If anyone had taken the time to check American Airlines’ website, under their “conditions of carriage,” they would have seen that “American may refuse to transport you, or may remove you from your flight at any point, for one or several reasons…(including)…”if you are clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers.” And, to try to explain what happen, American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith told MSNBC: “The only reason she was asked to cover up her T-shirt was the appearance of the ‘F word’ on the T shirt. The [pro-choice] message is irrelevant to our policy…”
Now, I know we don’t want to believe ole Tim because that would not further our cause. But, c’mon folks, is there any harm in just sitting back and actually trying to sort out the facts before we start causing such a ruckus? I guess the answer is “no” because this ONE blog was immediately “shared” with friggin pro-choice person and organization in the country and the result was predictable. There were immediate calls for boycotting American Airlines and folks were screaming that “O” deserves an apology. Indeed, I have no doubt that “O”, who I am sure could never in her right mind imagine that the F word would attract attention (wink, wink) is consulting with her lawyers this weekend.
It’s no wonder that the vast majority of the American public gets so turned off by the “debate” on abortion.