Daily Archives: May 6, 2008

Hands Off!

I went for a movie with my parents on the weekend. As we walked in through the glass door, the security guard punched our tickets, gave me a perfunctory look-over and then proceeded to pat my dad down.

Now I ask you: who’s more likely to be carrying a bomb/explosive device/weapon? A twenty-something carrying a HUUGE tote-bag or a fifty-plus empty-handed man? But they assume I can do no harm, on account of my gender. I walk into malls, department stores, movie theatres and offices unaccosted while my male companions endure being patted down and having a cold, metallic beeper passed over them.

A few years back, on a visit to a museum that was displaying the royal jewels of some Maharaja, I was relieved of my backpack since it contained a walkman (with batteries) and a camera. Fair enough, I said, if not a little huffily over having to carry my wallet in my hand. And then a line snaked up towards the security guards who meticulously prodded every entrant over. I threw a fit…and a tantrum.

But it’s a woman security guard who’ll check you! What’s the fuss?

My friends wondered.

It’s a violation of my being! Why should I allow it? If that Maharaja thinks I’ve got a camera or a bomb hidden inside my stomach, when I go to see his crown…hmph!

Needless to say everyone assumed I was just having a temper fit as usual and left me in peace. I can still have my tempers, fits, tantrums to express my outrage over a stranger wanting to poke and prod me. But, I wonder, do the men have the same right? I understand the need for security but there’s no denying that what passes for security in most places is nothing more than a mandatory job to be performed or overwhelming paranoia. In which case my question becomes – are women automatically more trustworthy just because they’re women?

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