Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Airlines Decide All Men Are Potential Molesters

Although I was sort of kidding yesterday about making parents nervous by climbing around the playscape at NASA, we do seem to be reaching a point in society where childless men are commonly viewed with hyper-vigilant, preemptive suspicion in areas where children congregate.

Now Salon reports that major airlines like British Airways, Qantas and Air New Zealand have policies that prohibit unaccompanied children from being seated next to male passengers in the name of child welfare (or more likely, litigation concerns). Personally, I'd just as soon not risk being seated next to a fidgeting germ factory on a long-distance flight to Christchurch, but the implication that having a penis somehow renders me unfit to be seated next to a child is sexist and disgusting.

Moreover, any parent who feels placated by such a policy is a moron. The overwhelming majority of sex offenses against children are committed by non-strangers. If an airline doesn't feel it can protect your child from inflight molestation without segregating men from children, you shouldn't be letting your child fly that airline alone in the first place.

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