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From the week of October 18, 2001

The Gropes of Wrath

Doing our patriotic bust:I was outraged by the women's mistreatment at DIA security, as reported in Patricia Calhoun's October 11 "Busted!" I wouldn't even want my son to witness a woman being treated with such disrespect -- her boobs squeezed and butt prodded by "security people" as onlookers watch and are amused. Calhoun's lucky that they didn't make her wear a wet T-shirt. After all, this is the crowd that probably keeps Survivor and Big Brother on the air. It seems normal -- and all this in the name of patriotism.

It has begun. Hysteria and fear drive this. It's easy to see why Japanese-Americans were rounded up and tossed into internment camps fifty years ago: It made everyone feel "safe." Just like parading women in front of passengers and workers who watch them being groped. And they all stand by, silent.

Maybe if this is such a "swell" idea, then Mrs. Wellington Webb and Mrs. Bill Owens can demonstrate their patriotism and in front of TV news cameras show all of us how to be patriots as their breasts and butts are squeezed and prodded by the DIA security people to make us all feel safer. Or is this just for the common folk? I believe there are Web sites that make money having two women perform in this way.

It's enough to make me not want to get on an airplane. Maybe we can just leave the business of airplane flyin' and conductin' business to the menfolk -- isn't that how it's done in Afghanistan? Yeah, freedom. Freedom from common sense.

Thank you for alerting the public about this. It's outrageous. I will be notifying my congresspeople about it.

Jane Darling
via the Internet

Bosom buddies:I dunno, Calhoun. You referred to the big bunch of boobs who made or carry out the policy about checking bras and question whether underwires are a significant threat.

Frankly, I'd rather hear you and 49 other women caterwauling about this than have one party slip through with, say, a sharpened coat-hanger wire (a "Brooklyn Bullwhip"). Who'da thunk that a dozen $1.99 box cutters could have caused so much destruction?

The problem is, they are smarter than we are, at least at present, and you cannot know what can be "weaponized" and what can't. Finally, at the end, you make the recommendation that women not wear underwires through the gates. Hooray.

I wonder if maybe you wrote this whole piece just for its punnability, although I will say that your editorial and your comments on Channel 12's Colorado Inside Out will spread awareness about the problem and perhaps save a lot of time and effort as the word gets out. But you didn't have to be so snide about the policy itself and those who carry it out.

Dick Valentine
via the Internet

Frisky business:I just read "Busted!," Patricia Calhoun's interesting piece on DIA's unorthodox security measures. But I have to ask: Is this a recent development? I have gone through security twice at DIA since the terrorist attacks, the last time about two weeks ago, and I was never subjected to a pat-down or even a wand. And, yes, I do wear the offending garment when traveling.

I'm all for tighter security, but it really sounds to me as though someone is abusing his authority. And by the way, isn't this "security" company the very same one that does work at the Newark airport?! Bush made a mistake in not handing over this task to military or other government-regulated forces. Adolescent groping is what we can expect from the twenty-something high-school dropouts charged with America's safety!

Name withheld on request

Waiting in line: I am also a female who owns underwire bras. I would be grateful, not upset, about being searched at the airport. Women have often smuggled illegal items in their bras. I think it is foolish to assume that there aren't any female terrorists who would willingly smuggle a weapon onto a plane by hiding it in their bra. Is Patricia Calhoun really asking DIA to decrease security simply so that women can wear their undergarment of choice?

Think about the important job those security guards have: If even one weapon gets through security and ends up on a plane, they have to answer for it. Let's give them a break and thank them for their diligence.

I find it very upsetting that Calhoun would complain about tight security at an airport at a time when I have loved ones traveling. I, for one, will be the first in line to fly out of DIA after reading her column.

Jennifer Wehde
Casper, Wyoming

Stud missile: This also raises implications for people of both sexes who wear body jewelry in the darnedest places.

David Hakala
Denver


What's in a Name?

The law of the letter:One of the things in Westword I used to find most consistently funny were those fire-breathing letters from readers, the contumacious ones, dripping with sarcasm, overflowing with outrage, towering with superiority, mercilessly excoriating some object of their wrath -- the letters that ended not with a bang, but with the whimper of "Name withheld." Oops! The pit bull turns out to be a pussycat, after all.

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