Airlines ban men from sitting next to kids

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by rawbone8, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. rawbone8

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    from salon.com/broadsheet

    Airlines ban men from sitting next to kids


    A reader alerted us to a story we missed while stuffing our faces on Turkey Day: There's a growing storm surrounding British Airways' policy against seating children next to male strangers, even when the child's parents are on the same flight. The policy's impetus? The perceived threat of a man sexually abusing a child.

    Just recently, a nine-year-old girl on a British Airways flight was moved from her seat next to a 76-year-old man and his wife. The male passenger, Michael Kemp, was first asked to switch seats with his wife, but his wife refused because of a bad leg that required the added space of an aisle seat. The stewardess ultimately refused to seat the girl next to Kemp or between the pair, because doing so would violate British Airways' "child-welfare regulations." Once the flap was publicized, an airline spokesperson said, "We apologise if Mr. Kemp was offended by our request, but we have to balance the needs of the child with those of the adult."

    In 2001, conservative site Townhall raised the alarm about British Airways' troublesome policy when a man sitting next to two teenagers was reportedly asked to change seats. At the time a spokesperson said the policy was introduced in response to "a fear of sexual assaults." Both Air New Zealand and Qantas, an Australian airline, have adopted a similar policy banning children from sitting next to male strangers.

    Let's take a step back to survey this misguided tactic. The logic of these airlines' policy rests on the greater occurrence of child sex abuse by men. Men do account for 86 percent of sexual abuse cases reported against boys and 94 percent of cases reported against girls, according to the U.S. National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But if those statistics were the basis of public policy, we couldn't have classrooms, sports teams, day care centers or summer camps led by men. The memo delivered to children by BA's policy is: Men are scary and not to be trusted. As Wendy McElroy reasoned on libertarian feminist site iFeminists, "[Kids] may hesitate to approach a policeman or fireman who are, after all, still men...And how is that message being heard by the boys who will grow into men?" Not to mention that preventing kids from being seated next to strangers probably isn't the best way to prevent sexual assault; a mere 10 percent of child sex-abuse cases are perpetrated by strangers.

    Most basically, the policy is irrational and hysterical; worse yet, it's sexist. As McElroy writes: "One thing is clear: some airlines are going to treat your father, husband and son as sex offenders simply because they are male."

    -- Tracy Clark-Flory



    OMG I have a penis! Must refrain...:mad:
     
  2. Lordpendragon

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    First - I don't want to be anywhere near your snotty kids when I fly - sorry I pay a lot of money and I don't want to hear all the crying, having some little shit kicking the back of my seat etc etc

    Secondly - statistics - what percentage of men are sexual abusers of children? - this is far more important that the percentage of cases caused by men. I imagine it is very low indeed.

    So as a very high percentage of robberies in London are perpetrated by minorities, does this mean that I can refuse to sit next to a minority?

    This scare shit pisses me off - we had it in the Uk a number of years ago - a running kid fell over in the street by me once and I started to help her up, but her mother came charging up screaming at me not to touch her - fucking hell - I gave the woman my harshest Paddington Bear stare.
     
  3. DC_DEEP

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    Oh, the logic is just so incredibly delicious.

    Point number one: if the plane is so crowded that the child is nowhere near her parents, how likely is it that a man is going to be sexually molesting her while (literally) bumping elbows with another passenger? The person in the next seat wouldn't put a stop to any impropriety?

    Point number two: if the plane is NOT crowded, wouldn't the flight attendant make sure the child is seated with her parents? If she's an unaccompanied minor, she would be placed next to the galley during an uncrowded flight.

    Point number three: what a grand thing to be teaching a young, developing mind - no male, other than the father, can be trusted, under any circumstances, in any situation, for any reason.

    Point number four: what the author of the article said. All children, whatever the risks and tradeoffs and consequences, must be isolated from all males. No classroom, no concerts, no amusement parks, no place where the child may have any contact at all with any person who has a Y chromosome.
     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    Sweetheart, you know full well why... it's because the ones making those sorts of decisions are definitive proof of The Peter Principle: they have risen, in their organization, to the highest level of their incompetence (or in cases like this, the highest level of their stupidity.)
     
  5. dong20

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    The logic is of course complete bollocks, but the end result is sublime. Having spent more than one sleepless overnight to or from Joburg with someones badly trained sprogletts causing mayhem all around I'm all for a policy of having kids travel with parents or together. Though of course we all know kids should be in the hold. :tongue:

    Actually I think it should be struck down being based on Napoleonic code. BA is a UK airline and thus mostly bound by UK law it will be seen as an tacit implication>accusation>conviction that all men are latent (or actual) paedophiles without evidence and/or an offence being committed, thus it's a breach of the European convention right to a fair trial never mind grounds for a punt under the 1996 Defamation Act and/or Article 10 of the Convention. It may also be seen as sexual discrimination, which it is, though of course women never abuse children, well only 6-14% of them anyway depending on gender preference.

    Perhaps it's partly in response to the cross wearing saga, the Lord giveth.....:rolleyes:
     
  6. DC_DEEP

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    Well, I'm just curious. If a flight is very full, would they actually deny boarding to a passenger just to comply with such a stupid law?

    I can just hear them calling over the intercom for volunteers in the gate area: "Any women out here willing to take a man's confirmed boarding pass so we don't have to put a child next to him?"
     
  7. dong20

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    It's not a law it's an airline policy....so far.

    I knew I should have been a Lawyer!!! One could wear a Niqab and try and blag your way on. It's not like the idea's without precedent.:smile:
     
  8. dong20

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    Indeed and they do try and do that, not as hard as they could sometimes maybe.

    Minors travelling alone are in the care of the airline (which no doubt is why the hate to do it and often charge), so I ask does that also mean male cabin crew cannot involve themselves in that responsibility also?
     
  9. dong20

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    Based on the "We vet all our staff carefully etc etc" line of course. But the problem with that logic being most sex offenders don't tick that box on their application form. I hope someone sues their asses all the way to Brussels.
     
  10. swordfishME

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  11. dong20

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    Of course. But it would appear logic based on a reasonable assessment of the likelihood of a random unknown paedophile being seated next to a random vulnerable child on a random flight....etc plays little or no part in the formulation of BA policy making. This policy is much simpler; you're male so therefore gulity, there's no need for a tedious, expensive, fraud and error prone check. No, BA saves us Y's lots of time, I don't know why they didn't do it years ago.:rolleyes:

    I'm all for the protection of children, indeed anyone vulnerable even when such protections impose reasonable restrictions on my own 'liberties'. The key word here being reasonable. Assigning my seat, for example, based solely on my gender and thus by implication my inherent proclivity for child molestation is not, in my view reasonable.
     
  12. B_horribleperson

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    why isnt the child sitting next to its parent???????
     
  13. dong20

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    Normally they would but sometimes children travel alone or fully booked flights can split up families, I've seen it happen many times. Often children like to be left to their own devices, especially older ones and, I suspect almost as often Parents like to have some peace.:rolleyes:
     
  14. dong20

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    Or have kids only flights....aaaaaaghhh :eek: With a women only crew of course. But then, what about the older male children.......:rolleyes:
     
  15. dong20

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    That works, so long as you also kill a random 15% of women, or, to be safe, say 20%.
     
  16. DC_DEEP

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    I'm glad you caught my facetious, ironic statement, Jeffery. Yes, children are much more likely to be abused by a family member than by a stranger... and I may be wrong about this, but I seriously doubt that any stranger is going to be molesting a child on a crowded airplane.
     
  17. losangelestim

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    i don't think kids should be allowed to fly at all except for special kiddie charter flights, and you should be able to smoke on those.
     
  18. jfrsndvs

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    I am one of those who doesn't got offended very easy, but this does infact I find very offensive, I also don't normally believe in most lawsuits, but, in this case, I sure as hell do, I would love it if someone does sue the hell out of British Airways for thier stupid ass policy.

    there is one rule that I have always been in favor of, and that is no child should fly alone! if a child boards a plane, then that child should have a parent right there with them, no ands ifs or buts about it, I bet they never heard of the fact that there are women who have been known to abduct children, just as there are some men who would do the same.

    I have some friends who in the past have asked me to watch their kids while they go out, I refused each and every time, they automatically jump to the comclusion that I didn't like their kids or any kids, and I had to explain my side of why I would not do any baby sitting, it's not that I don't like kids, I love kids (as long as they are not little brats), but since I am a male, there are always people who will jump to some conclusion that I would be molesting their kids, I am just protecting myself, I won't let a child in my house unless there is a parent right there with them, at Holloween, I don't even pass out candy because I don't want some paranoid parent accusing me of trying to do something with their kid.
     
  19. SpeedoGuy

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    Does this also mean that women are banned from candy stores and chocolate boutiques? None of them can be trusted near a sample plate of bon bons. :smile:

    And I hope no one believes the airlines are enacting these regulations to protect children. The airlines are enacting these regulations to protect airlines. From lawsuits.
     
  20. rob_just_rob

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    The last thing I want on a flight of any duration is to be seated next to some fidgeting/yammering kid. I smell a reverse psychology ploy.

    Now if we can just find a way to keep them out of the seats immediately behind male passengers, we're set.
     
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