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Workplace Discrimination Issues Related to Pat-Downs

Workplace Discrimination Issues Related to Pat-Downs

Old Mar 12, 14, 2:03 pm
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Workplace Discrimination Issues Related to Pat-Downs

I just read that female TSOs feel that they are being discriminated against because they have to do more pat-downs than male TSOs, which they believe hurts their ability to be promoted.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...-leads-workpl/

Of course, this could be resolved by removing most of the body scanners, which would result in far fewer pat-downs being conducted.

Do females opt-out more than males? Or are they chosen for pat-downs more often?
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Old Mar 12, 14, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by guflyer View Post
Do females opt-out more than males? Or are they chosen for pat-downs more often?
I don't know the answers to those questions. But note that the article states that only one-third of TSOs are female. Even if male and female passengers are chosen for pat-downs at equal rates, the inequity in the gender makeup of the TSA means that female TSOs would perform more pat-downs than male TSOs.
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Old Mar 12, 14, 9:00 pm
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Interesting that TSA prefers to have women do the hands on work with children.

Just how many children are getting groped? Why should a little boy (or an 11-year-old boy) feel more comfortable getting groped by a woman?

I can understand why women get groped more frequently than men - TSA's well known hangup, sorry, inability to get a clear scan on mastectomy patients, bras, and sanitary products. But I can't think of any reason why more young girls (particularly pre-puberty) would require a grope more often than young boys.

It just contributes to a management structure that is disproportionately male.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 11:50 am
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Here again is mention of the TSA policy that opposite-sex patdowns are not allowed. If the patdowns are not akin to sexual assaults, why are opposite-sex patdowns problematic?
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Old Mar 13, 14, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Schmurrr View Post
Here again is mention of the TSA policy that opposite-sex patdowns are not allowed. If the patdowns are not akin to sexual assaults, why are opposite-sex patdowns problematic?
Don't forget, a TSO from SAT posted here that opposite sex gropes are allowed in certain instances. When, exactly, is SSI.

Perhaps she just meant TSA prefers to have female TSOs grope underage boys as well as girls, although for the life of me I can't understand why. That's clearly about male TSOs wanting to avoid the gropes, not out of consideration for what the underage boys must feel, getting groped by a woman in public.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
Perhaps she just meant TSA prefers to have female TSOs grope underage boys as well as girls, although for the life of me I can't understand why.
Stereotypes. An adult male spends time around a young boy, and the default reaction of strangers is "that adult might be abusing that boy, I'd better keep an eye on him". An adult female spends time around a young boy, and few strangers give it a second thought.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 4:03 pm
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Next, male TSOs will file a union grievance that they aren't getting as much overtime as the females because there are more males to cover the available checkpoint hours.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 4:23 pm
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It's abuse and sexual assault, regardless of what sex the assailant is.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
Stereotypes. An adult male spends time around a young boy, and the default reaction of strangers is "that adult might be abusing that boy, I'd better keep an eye on him". An adult female spends time around a young boy, and few strangers give it a second thought.
IMO, the fact that the sex of the groper matters to TSA is evidence that TSA links sex (consensual or not and abusive or not) to the gropes.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Schmurrr View Post
IMO, the fact that the sex of the groper matters to TSA is evidence that TSA links sex (consensual or not and abusive or not) to the gropes.
When I flew home from Japan a couple of years ago, there was a line of about eight female security screeners patting down everyone, both males and females, as the pax walked toward the jetway.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
Stereotypes. An adult male spends time around a young boy, and the default reaction of strangers is "that adult might be abusing that boy, I'd better keep an eye on him". An adult female spends time around a young boy, and few strangers give it a second thought.
Given the frequent highly publicized instances of female school teachers engaging in sex with underage male students, I'm not so sure people still believe that stereotype.

I think it's clear that this only goes one way. I think it's equally clear who it benefits.

If the requirement for promotion is to spend 'x' amount of time in each of several functions, then why would women get denied promotion because they've been forced to spend time groping instead of screening checked baggage? Why wouldn't men be equally penalized because they're not doing their fair share of groping?

Level the playing field - make them all spend the same amount of time groping and in baggage screening to qualify for promotion. So the guys would take longer to qualify because they never have to grope; well, the women take longer because they're forced to spend too much time groping.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 7:53 pm
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[WAG] Just a guess the pat downs are not opt outs but secondaries related to scanner anomalies. Women probably tend to wear clothes that do not lend themselves to clean scans whereas men's clothing do. Thus more female pat downs. [/WAG]
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Old Mar 13, 14, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
If the requirement for promotion is to spend 'x' amount of time in each of several functions, then why would women get denied promotion because they've been forced to spend time groping instead of screening checked baggage? Why wouldn't men be equally penalized because they're not doing their fair share of groping?
You've answered the question yourself, without realizing it.

It appears that the requirement for promotion isn't that you do your "fair share" of pat-downs, but that you complete so many fixed hours of it, along with so many fixed hours of other duties. If TSA imposes its rules regarding who may and may not perform pat-downs, it seems clear that female TSOs are being pulled away from other duties to perform pat-downs --- making it hard from them to accumulate enough hours at those other duties. I suspect that the hour requirements are easy enough for male TSOs to satisfy even with the lesser demand for male TSOs for pat-downs.

If TSA rules require as many or more pat-downs to be performed by females than males, and simultaneously TSA hires twice as many males as females as TSOs, it's easy to see how those females are at a disadvantage when it comes to promotion.

This is hardly unique to TSA, of course. Women serving in the US armed forces have historically had difficulty being promoted because of the great value placed upon actual combat experience, combined with the restrictive rules regarding women in combat that were (are?) in place.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
I don't know the answers to those questions. But note that the article states that only one-third of TSOs are female. Even if male and female passengers are chosen for pat-downs at equal rates, the inequity in the gender makeup of the TSA means that female TSOs would perform more pat-downs than male TSOs.
And if TSA is already short on females, they wouldn't want to promote them out of the screening force and have even less females to do pat-downs! It's a Catch-22 for female TSOs.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by NextTrip View Post
And if TSA is already short on females, they wouldn't want to promote them out of the screening force and have even less females to do pat-downs! It's a Catch-22 for female TSOs.
Not really. All TSA employees have the option to quit. Those with a conscience would have already done so.
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