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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

shout out to alaska rep sharon cissna

i usually don't copy whole blog posts, but i did this time. it's short and worth it.  

Cory Doctorow 

Alaska State Rep Sharon Cissna, a breast cancer survivor who has had a mastectomy, was barred from flying home to Juneau from Seattle by the TSA when she refused to allow a screener to touch the scars from her operation. She drove home instead. Apparently she is always selected for an invasive "hand screening" because the "irregularities" presented by her prosthesis when viewed through the pornoscanner raise the TSA's suspicions. As others have observed, the War on Terror is really a War on the Unusual -- it's the systematic erosion of rights for people with nonstandard appearance, health, itineraries, and beliefs, without regard to whether those "irregularities" are correlated with terrorist activity. It's as though the TSAhas said, "All terrorists are engaged in something unusual, therefore all unusual occurrences should be viewed as potential terrorism." 

"So last night, as more and more TSA, airline, airport and police gathered, I became stronger in remembering to fight the submission to a physical hand exam. I repeatedly said that I would not allow the feeling-up and I would not use the transportation mode that required it."
"For nearly fifty years I've fought for the rights of assault victims, population in which my wonderful Alaska sadly ranks number one, both for men and women who have been abused. The very last thing an assault victim or molested person can deal with is yet more trauma and the groping of strangers, the hands of government 'safety' policy."
"For these people, as well as myself, I refused to submit."


Debra She Who Seeks said...

"A War on the Unusual" -- well put. And hasn't there always been, in one way or another?

Professor Chaos said...

Good on her! Too bad more people aren't in a position to say screw this, I'll just drive!

a rose is a rose said...

one account i read said she took the ferry (this one says she drove)

that aside, to be VIOLATED like that. no, she wasn't hiding explosives in her mastectomy scars