The problem with polls...

I am still on the topic of the new TSA security procedures. One of the things I keep hearing mentioned is this poll that said 4 out of 5 Americans are in favor of using the full body scanners at airports. What I kept wondering was, who did they ask? Did they ask people who actually fly, or who are going to in the near future?

Not surprisingly, the answer is "no". I tracked down the actual poll, which was conducted by CBS News. According to the poll, which is shown below, "This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,137 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone November 7-10, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones."

Nothing in the published part of this poll had anything to do with whether or not these people do or will fly. So, while they may have said they were for it, they didn't say whether they would submit to it themselves.

Another thing lacking from the CBS poll was whether people would approve of invasive, full-body searches that include feeling the crotch, buttocks and breasts. From what I'm hearing, most people who actually have to go through this process are NOT in favor of it.



Fear of Flying

This new security process is making me terrified to fly, but I really have no viable options. My elderly parents live 3000 miles away, and that is too far, and too expensive, to take a train.

Some people have implied that we shouldn't complain, because this was publicized beforehand. I don't know when or how the "enhanced pat-down" was publicized, but I just heard about it in the past few days. I'm flying within a week, and it's too late to change those plans.

Others have also implied that the search isn't that invasive, or isn't any different than what was performed before. From everything I've read and seen in the news, that is also not correct. I've had a pat-down before, but no one has previously touched my genitals, or ran their hand between my buttocks or under my breasts. I just don't think I can take that. Being an older, overweight woman, I have a lot of folds & crevices that might make TSA feel they need to inspect me more thoroughly.

I am also an abuse survivor, and disabled. I cannot stand to be touched - not just because of the abuse, but also because of nerve damage and pain from multiple surgeries. I have not had anyone touch me in the areas being described in over 11 years, and no, I'm not looking forward to it.

One of my fears is that I will not be able to stand up in the body scanner, and therefore be forced to submit to the pat-down. I have to use a rolling walker to get through the airport, but of course I have to go through security without it, or my cane. I also wear pads for bladder control problems, and I'm afraid that I'll be subject to the pat-down for that, too.

Altogether, I've already started having nightmares and losing sleep over this. Traveling is difficult enough with my other disabilities, without being subjected to emotional trauma and humiliation on top of it.

I just don't understand how people can say that the wars we're fighting are to ensure our freedom, when it's obvious that our freedom is being rescinded. If we're doing this to fight terrorism, why do I feel like I am being terrorized?

I'd like to encourage anyone else who's concerned about this to check out the site Fly With Dignity.

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