Yesterday we received a letter from a customer who wore her GladRags Pantyliner through a security scanner and was so traumatized by her resulting TSA genital search that she wanted to warn other women. (Read her letter below). Her past history of sexual assault made this experience a nightmare for her. At first we thought yes, we will warn people not to put themselves through this risk.
But on second thought, we want to ask every willing woman, menstruating or not, to put a GladRags in her pants and go through the scanner. Let the TSA learn to recognize that a menstruating woman is probably not a terrorist! (And, yes, we know myriad jokes can be made be about that statement).
The fact of the matter is, everyone is subject to an invasive search. For some women and men it causes great stress and perceived violation. If you can handle the experience fairly stress free, help clear the way for our menstruating sisters for whom a genital search by a group of strangers is a truly traumatizing experience.
So get your GladRags on and get to grandma’s house! Over the river and thru the scannners!
“This email isn’t going to be as polished as I would normally send, but I’m upset and I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else (if I can stop it). I recently traveled via air, and was subjected to that new scanning device. “No problem,” I thought. I was wearing jeans and a linen tanktop, bra, panties, and one camoflauge pantyliner. I’m a rule follower, so I never have any problems at the airport. Not this time. I was stopped, and then held for 15 mintues while they tried to find a female supervisor. I couldn’t get to my bag, my shawl or my shoes; just standing there while the TSA agents kept me in one place. Now, I don’t want this to be about bad TSA agents; they were doing their job, they were as delicate as they could be, etc., etc. But what ultimately happened is that I was subjected to search so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assualts. Why? Because of my flannel panty-liner. These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your “groin” while another woman watches on (two in my case – they were training in a new girl – awesome). So please, please, tell the ladies not to wear their liners at the airport (I didn’t even have an insert in). I’m a strong, confident woman; I’m an Army vet (which is why those camo liners crack me up), I work full-time and go to graduate school full-time, I have a wonderful husband, and I don’t take any nonsense from anyone. I don’t dramatize, and I don’t exaggerate. I’m trying to give you a sense of who I am so you won’t think that this is a plea for attention, or a jumping on the bandwagon about the recent TSA proposed boycott. I just don’t want another woman to have to go through the “patting down” because she didn’t know that her glad-rag would be a matter of national security.”