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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Non Medical Modesty

Clearly there is a relationship between how we deal with modesty in non medical situations and our need for it in medical situations. This thread is intended to draw contrasts and parallels between them to further our understanding of the subject.

69 comments:

Joel Sherman said...

Our reactions to total body airport scanners are perhaps illustrative. I have seen different polls and numbers, but it appears that a substantial majority of Americans would agree to use total body airport scanners even if there was an alternative. I would like to be able to compare that to medical situations directly but I know of no reliable polls I could quote. What percentage of patients refuse medical care when it involves exposure, either to same gender or opposite gender care? In the hospital that is quite uncommon, but my guess is that many of those who would refuse avoid medical care in the first place. Does the greater anonymity of the scanners make a difference or perhaps it is that one never sees the technicians doing the scanning? Certainly most people would agree that embarrassment is less if you are anonymous. Also embarrassment is diminished if you are one of many. The fact that in an airport large numbers of people would be in front and behind you makes a difference. Also there is something hypothetical about being embarrassed if you remain fully dressed. It just doesn't make one feel as vulnerable.
I'm sure others have different thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Taken from my post on Dr. Berstein's blog:

Psychologically, the people who approved of the scanners resemble badly injured ER patients, putting safety concerns far ahead of modesty, liberty, or even common sense.

For at least 7 years, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have had a machine that extracts the images of concealed objects and projects them on the image of a virtual mannequin for viewing by screeners.

According to Jeffrey Rosen's
The Naked Crowd, when given the option of this machine, a small minority of non-exhibitionist people inexplicably still chose the machine that stripped them bare--even controlling for length of wait. This is the same survival-oriented siege mentality seen in trauma wards.

But the points you make, anonymity and group mentality, go a long way toward explaining the compliance.

If this thread covers all non-medical modesty issues, the indignities and modesty double standards males endure from age 4 to 104 should fill this thread in an hour. Too bad I have to type without a keyboard.
--rsl

Anonymous said...

I believe there are some unspoken rules about what's acceptable and what's unacceptable, even in situations where people are comfortable being nude. In nudist colonies, I've read that one unspoke rule is that you don't stare, especially at breasts and genitals -- or appear to be interested in bodies. Nude art models may feel completely comfortable under most circumstances, but if certain rules are broken, then they may feel embarrassed and modesty may kick in. Same at nudist colonies. I've also read that there are many spoken and unspoken rules when sex scenes are filmed as part of main stream movies.
I'd bet someone has written about this. I'd like to see see some sources that talk about this subject:
-- In contexts where nudity is accepted and comfortable -- what are the unspoke rules that keep it that way. What kinds of behavior then cause the situation to change, creating anxiety, embarrassment and modesty.
MER

Anonymous said...

Utah Senator Jason Chavetz took a stand against full-body airport screening in Newsweek this week.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/229665

Anonymous said...

Part 1 of 2

Attitudes toward nudity have changed throughout history. Some changes have been noted in our culture within the last several decades. We can see an example of this when we look at adolescent attitudes toward showering in groups after PE class. Ruth Barcan, in her book Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy, notes that students in the U.S.“have been known to use civil liberties legislation to resist showering after gym class at school.” Some just prefer to cake on deodorant, or, with their parents assent, be driven home to shower there. Barcan reports that anecdotal evidence suggests the same attitude in Australia. High school teachers report that on camping or sports trips, students are reluctant to undress or shower in front of each other. Perhaps advertising has influenced body image, she suggests – but it seems clear that “contemporary urban society is becoming more and more obsessed with privacy and individualism.” Barcan claims that young people are more aware of sexual orientation questions, and that some scholars believe that anxiety over homosexuality “has led students to become more modest about showering in public.” These attitudes are beginning to and already have been reflected in public architecture – with individualized shower stalls in new swimming areas, etc. Even domestic architecture reflects this – younger people have been know to be surprised that there are no locks on bathrooms in some older homes.
“Despite the persistence of a gendered equation between sex and immorality,” Barcan writes, “discomfort with nudity needs to be understood as part of the broader question of our relations to our body in postmodern culture.” Embarrassment and shame isn’t necessarily related to sexual parts. Her interviews with PE teachers, suggests that young people are as much ashamed by “flab” as by sexual parts. For adolescent girls, this often involves the embarrassment associated with floppy breasts. This shouldn’t be surprising. Today’s “canons of ‘acceptable’ body types now focus not just on weight and thinness, but on the tautness and tightness of flesh, which should not be allowed to bulge, wobble or become flabby.” Adolescent girls are quite aware of this. Most of the PE teachers she interviewed said that teasing is relative rare – that most of the self-consciousness “came from students’ own internalized ideas about their body.” Barcan refers to Nobert Elias and Foucault’s theories of “discipline” that suggest one of the hallmark’s of modern culture’s relationship with the body “is an increasingly potent and effective ‘internalized’ surveillance." We are very inward looking regarding our body types, very critical about how we appear to others.

Although most of the research seems to be with females, Barcan writes: “While these pressures may be particularly intense for women, they are increasingly being applied (and felt) by men.”
MER

Anonymous said...

Part 2 of 2

How does all this apply to medical modesty? I think it’s pretty clear. Caregivers often associate naked embarrassment with sexual embarrassment. Although the two can be closely connected, they can also be far apart. Body image, for both men and women, seems to play an important role. And it’s not even so much what the caregiver thinks, it’s mostly how we think ourselves about how our body compares with the “perfect” or “good looking” body that the advertising world is selling us. When a caregiver tells a patient that he/she's "seen it all," how does the patient interpret that? How does the patients body compare with that "all" seen by the caregiver?

Frankly, this attitude belongs to caregivers, too. How do they view the naked bodies they see? How do they feel about the obese, the ugly, the flabby? They are influenced by advertising culture to the same extent as are their patients. Are certain body types (and diseases) “stigmatized” in the medical community? Do patients know or surmise certain negative attitudes their caregivers may hold but not express openly? How does this relate to how patients may feel about exposure in contexts that are often rushed with time at a premium and in front of complete strangers?
Just some questions while trying to understand what’s going on.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

Pertinent to MER's comments, part of my interest in these topics relates to my realization that some of the standards I grew up with are now unacceptable. The prime example is that of mandatory nude high school swim classes that all the boys in my city had to do. None of us gave it much thought at that time and showering after gym in open showers was also mandatory and monitored. We have come so far in the other direction that many people nowadays simply can't believe that nude swimming ever occurred. It is tantamount to child abuse or pedophilia in many people's minds.
I think there are many reasons why society has changed its mores so greatly. These include:
-Larger homes which enable children to have much greater privacy while growing up. Many kids have their own private bathrooms at home, a luxury that was rare 50 years ago. Most kids are unaccustomed to being nude except in private.
-Fear of homosexuals and pedophiles. We were barely aware of this 50 years ago, though I'd guess that the problem was just the same then as it is now if not greater. As kids we weren't aware of pedophilia or homosexuality as a personal threat.
-Our Hollywood culture stressing sexuality even to the very young and the immensely greater abundance of porn which makes kids aware of their bodily image. Women perhaps always have had to deal with body image problems, but it is a relatively new phenomenon with men.
-The ubiquity of cell phones which puts all kids at risk of having their pictures taken while nude and finding themselves sexted around the school the next day.
I’m sure there are other reasons as well.

Anonymous said...

Good points, Joel. I would question the "bigger houses" reason, though. It's the chicken or the egg problem. My tendency is to think that architecture responds more often than it leads -- so the bigger houses and private rooms reflect an attitude rather than cause the attitude. But I could be wrong. Could be a complex combination of both.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

It's not an important point MER. But although many people want bigger homes for the greater privacy it affords, I doubt that many do it to protect their kids’ modesty. The other part of it though is that families are smaller nowadays on the average for most us. It's rare that 5-7 siblings have to share a bathroom anymore, a not uncommon situation in the 40's and 50's.
I truly though have no idea what percentage of parents worry about their kids modesty when it comes to buying a house. Most people I'd imagine buy the biggest house they think they can afford.

Anonymous said...

Joel:

I don't believe these kinds of considerations (children's modesty) is conscious. These are the underground motivations we use to do things. On the surface, we can list why we're doing what we're doing or buying what we're buying. But beneath all that are cultural, social forces acting upon us, and we're not aware of many of them. For me, this comes down to how important our emotions play in our decision making. We like to think we've really thought about things and have come to a rational decision. That's not the case, more often than we like to think.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

I have copied this from the improve medical privacy thread

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned about the full body scanning that will start happening at international airports shortly for flights to the States.
This has been prompted by the man carrying explosive material in the crotch of his underpants.
I have no complaint if women operate the scan, but don't want men operating the unit for women. There has already been one incident at an airport resulting in the dismissal of three men.

Also, women use sanitary napkins and older people use incontinence pads...it seems they will be further scrutinized to check they're not explosives. How on earth can that be done in a dignified way?
I won't be travelling to the States any time soon.
Is anyone else concerned?
Leanne
February 3, 2010 4:58 PM

Anonymous said...

"I have no complaint if women operate the scan, but don't want men operating the unit for women."

Leanne, are you saying you only want women operating the scan for women, or for everyone? I agree with you if you mean you want same-gender scan operators.

Anonymous said...

Leanne: It's one thing to feel uncomfortable with a man behind the screen. I can see that, and I have no problem with that being allowed for women. It's another thing to stereotype men as gawkers -- now, I'm not suggesting you, personally, are doing that. But once we set up a policy that says that all women will have women screeners, and it doesn't matter for men, in essence, we've implied either that this is what all women prefer and/or that men in general are not fit for this type of work. And we've enforced the double standard. The ideal, and I sense you agree with me, would be for people to have the choice of a male or female scanner.
Your points about sanitary pads and incontinence pads is very well taken. I do believe that culturally, men seem to be less modest than women -- generally. That doesn't mean they don't deserve to be treated respectfully as to their comfort levels. As a man, I do not have problems with a woman scanner at the airport. My problem comes with the legality of the scanning in general, and what would happen next to that man if the scanners became suspicious and who would be allowed to do what to that man. I think men who would prefer a man to pat them down should be allowed that -- same with any kind of strip search.
But I am concerned with stereotyping men -- and again, I'm not suggesting you're doing that. But it is a danger.
MER

Anonymous said...

MER,
We currently have a female to pat us down (if required) and men have a male official patting them down...we need two scanners - one for each sex.
When we've already have a breach of privacy and three men dismissed, we need to address the problem.
I have no idea though...how you sensitively address the personal sanitary items issue.
Most people would be mortified being Q'ed about something so personal and embarrassing.
My grandfather wears incontinence pads after a prostate biospy left him with some permanent incontinence due to nerve damage. After reading about these scanners, he's already cancelled a reunion in Hawaii in June.
The article mentioned potentially embarrassing issues with the scanner so we suspect that is behind his change of heart about the trip.
Leanne

Joel Sherman said...

Leanne, can you give a reference or more details as to the 3 men who were dismissed. I'm not aware of the incident.
The vast majority of men wearing incontinent pads will be older and not rational suspects for being terrorists. I have no idea how they would handle women wearing pads; they can't possibly do intrusive searches on all women wearing pads. But it's a good point. Some have questioned how useful the scanners are to begin with. I've seen comments that the scanners would in fact not have picked up the terrorist who had explosives in his underwear.
I believe you're right that all airports use same gender for pat down searches, though I haven't seen that in writing. We're a very long way though from having 2 sets of scanners at every check in station. Remember that for now these scanners are optional at US airports and you can go through the old way if you prefer.

Joel Sherman said...

Still on the subject of full body scanners, an imam has issued a fatwa saying that these scanners are incompatible with Muslim modesty.
Don't know how that will play out in this country but it certainly raises the visibility of the controversy.

Nancy said...

I am surprised by Joel Sherman's comment that "embarrassment is diminished if you are one of many." I find embarrassment is heightened if I feel exposed at the same time as many others. I noted that one anonymous poster mentioned how urban society is focused on individualism, and I guess I am one of those urbanites. To be exposed when one of many, from airport security checks, to "routine" medical exams, I hate to be treated as a member of a population, rather than an individual. It makes me feel like that person is dealing with me as a piece of meat to process rather than an individual to be treated like a person, and I find that to be humiliating and degrading.

Anonymous said...

I don't like to stereotype but apparently I have to in this case. I understand that when they do scans and body searches at airports Muslims are very high on the agenda because of their history of terrorism. If Muslims become exempt to the body scanner rule what's the point of even doing it to the rest of us?

Joel Sherman said...

It's a matter of politics, not sense. But don't forget the plan is that if you refuse walking through body scanners you will be subject to a same gender pat down search.
I think most of us, though not all, would find that more intrusive.

Anonymous said...

For the record Leanne,we should have same sex prison guards as
according to the justice department
female prison guards have a higher
incidence of raping male inmates
than male guards raping female inmates.The problem is seven times higher than expected in male juvenile correctional facilities
whereby female staff are sexually exploiting young males.
If I ever decide to fly commercially,I'll ask for a male scanner!

PT

Anonymous said...

I think most of us, though not all, would find that more intrusive.

On the contrary, I think most people--and certainly most people on this blog--would find a same sex pat-down less intrusive than an opposite sex body scan. We're not talking about the inconvenience of a strip search here.

Oh, BTW, the cross-gender situation in male juvenile and adult detention in the U.S. is disgraceful, and probably violate international law. This discrepancy in the treatment of modesty for males versus female inmates was ferociously fought for by feminist jurisprudence and will not change as long as they have influence.
--rsl

Joel Sherman said...

rsl, I don't know who is correct. We'd need a poll. But remember in order for a pat down search to mean anything (we're not talking about the metal detecting wand here), the security people would have to pat down your groin. Same gender or not, most people would think that is intrusive.
In fact male prisoners have sued over pat down searches when done by women . Legal cases have been mixed. Some decisions have upheld the rights of female guards to do that in emergencies only, but there have been contrary decisions as well.
I have read a lot about prisons by the way. What's against international law (UN) is having male guards in women's prisons, not vice versa. Male guards in women’s prisons are routine in this country. Every prison is different, but some prisons do have male guards who monitor the women's showers, though routine cross gender strip searches are rare in women's prisons. A different issue is the high incidence of the rape of juveniles by female guards, who have been shown in several studies to have a higher incidence of assault than male guards. I firmly believe that opposite gender guards shouldn't be used in any prison in sensitive positions. I believe it's a distortion of equal employment laws.

Anonymous said...

I agree Joel. Even prisoners should have a right to modesty and dignity from opposite gender guards (and nurses).

Anonymous said...

I not saying anyone is saying flying a right to us but it is not a right but a privilege. there are many ways to travel but most want instant gratification so flying is the fastest and we hope the easiest. I personally feel we need to update and mainstream airport security and I can not think of a better, more accurate and faster way to do it then full body scanners. Ironically though I cannot use a full body scanner because of an implantable heart device, so I must be hand patted down every time I fly. Even when I go to the courthouse I have to be hand patted down. Modesty means a great deal to me I had to learn to compromise my modesty starting at age seventeen and just turning forty I know from my past I will be in the hospital many more times. The older I get very few pull a stunt on me where my modesty is up for grabs because I will let them know this is how I will be treated or they just lost a customer. I do think it is time to leave our shoes on and get the true protection we all want with out all the hassles.

Daniel.........

Joel Sherman said...

Daniel, I've never seen any direct info on this, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't go through a body scanner because of a pacemaker. The body scanners do not work on magnetic waves which do interfere with pacers. Make sure you ask your doctor. If I see anything, I'll post it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joel,
You could be right with your statement. I never had encountered a full body scanner, just the normal metal detectors at the airport and other places. I have been told by some medical professionals to try not to have security personal use the hand wand because if it stays in the right spot for to long not a good result. I will as well ask the right people about the full body scanners and if I find out anything myself I will let you know as well.

Thanks,
Daniel...........

Anonymous said...

Male guards watching women in the showers...wow, that's asking for trouble. I'm surprised the authorities would leave themselves wide open with that one. The opportunity for things to go wrong are huge.
I don't think it's ever excusable for male or females to have their privacy violated in that way.
I wouldn't mind the scanner, as long as I have a female operator. I've been patted down many times over the years...I travel a lot with my job. It's always carried out by a woman and not too bad. If it included the groin area, I'd probably go for the scan and a female operator. No female operator, then I'd take the pat down with a woman. Once again, it's common sense...you will definitely end up with more complaints expecting people to accept opposite gender pat downs or scanner operators.
Excuse my ignorance, but how can a woman rape a man? Do you mean touch inappropriately?
Mia

Joel Sherman said...

Mia, shower monitoring is often done by remote cams or from distant central towers. There may be no proximity.
Sexual relations between guards and prisoners are rarely violent. They may be coerced, but they are usually completely consensual. This is true both for male and female prisoners. These contacts are against regulations in all states and felonies in many; increasingly women guards have been sentenced to prison time, especially when juveniles are involved. Women guards have been clearly shown to be more common offenders than male guards.

Anonymous said...

"Women guards have been clearly shown to be more common offenders than male guards."

Joel: Do you have a link for the data backing this up? I can't find any and I need to find a good source. There was recently an article in the L.A. Times about female guards having sex with juveniles.
MER

Joel Sherman said...

MER,
I can send actual articles later.
Here's one reference from ABC news.
Here's the federal report. The mass media reported this widely, but some downplayed that 90% of the guards that abused boys were women.

Anonymous said...

Joel:

The New York Review of Books published a two part series, "The Rape of American Prisoners" (March 11, 2010) and "The Way to Stop Prison Rape" (March 25, 2010) written by David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow.

The first part highlights that Jan. 7, 2010 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) which states that 95 percent of youth claiming sexual abuse say it was done by female staff. Later in the article they write:

"Nearly 62 percent of all reported incidents of staff sexual misconduct involved female staff and male inmates. Female staff were involved in 48 percent of staff-on-inmate abuse in which the inmates were unwilling participants. The rates at which female staff seem to abuse male inmates, in jails and juvenile detention, clearly warrant further study."
Interestingly, the second part doesn't even mention the gender issue, but talks generally about requiring strict standards for prisons and juvenile detention facilities.
Well, let's see if there will be further study, or whether these statistics will go the way of a men's health department in D.C.
MER

Anonymous said...

What would be surprising is if those stats were not the case. If you give one sex complete carte blanche over the modesty of the opposite sex, you can't be surprised at improprieties--the very situation itself is inappropriate.
--rsl

Anonymous said...

Sorry for beating a dead horse but Chicago’s O’Hare airport just got a new full body scanner. For those who said they will have female screeners for females and male screeners for males, well guess what, they received only one scanner, so it is used for both genders. One TSA agent monitors the screen in a remote location, so one gender I guaranteed to be viewed by someone of the opposite gender. I have no problem being seen by my husband or he being seen by me, but no one else has that privilege.

You can opt out bit for now at least but you get an “old-fashioned frisk”. I predict that after we have been desensitized we will no longer be allowed to opt out. You know, the old frog in the pot of hot water analogy.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/ct-met-airport-body-scanner-20100223,0,3580465.story

Jan H.

Anonymous said...

Jan H.-I have no problem being seen by my husband or he being seen by me, but no one else has that privilege.

Flying is a privilege as well and not a right. I saw this story on the news and and I did not think it was intrusive at all. The image was a distorted silhouette and you could never identify anyone with the picture. With the screener in a different location they never see the passenger in person and with no name attached to the passenger being screened it is anonymous unless it detects a issue. I am not saying there will not be kinks in the system as there is always kinks in our systems what ever system that may be. The full body scanner unveiled at Chicago, O'Hare was not intrusive at all and in fact they have been in one of the Boston airports for some time now and I could be wrong but I have not heard a whole lot of problems there.

Daniel..........

Anonymous said...

Flying may be a privilege but privacy is a right. Do I give up my right to privacy just becasue I walk into an airport?

4th Amendment to the Bill of Rights: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."

Jan H.

Anonymous said...

I work for a world wide company and I have a close friend who works for a large company and he is a vice president and the human resource director as well. As we all may know several buzz words/phrases seem to dominate employee training and behavior to keep everyone in large companies in better harmony, ie: Not creating a hostile work environment, Sexual Harassment and Inappropriate office Conversation. My friend and I were chatting not to long ago and I asked what is there any new buzz words coming out of the HR departments soon, he said yes the word "ENTITLEMENT". I had actually heard the word myself used at work but my friend had said basically a growing trend among peers is some employees feeling entitlement over other employees which can trigger that some then feel there life or situation is more significant or superior over others. Examples he used actually had to do mostly with working parents the working mothers. Meaning people who ship there kids to three school districts away and then they have to come in late and leave early to pick them up and he said a growing trend that some of these parents act like it is everyone else's problem in the work environment that this is there situation and it is not the parents issue that work may not be getting done on time because they are not happy with there school district, they could move. A little further with the same situation he said growing issue that these same parents feel if two people needed to leave early the same day that they automatically get to leave before the other person because for some reason they feel ENTITLED. I personally do know a few people like this so until OUR GOVERMENT,OTHER COUNTRIES, THE ACTUAL AIRPORTS AND THE SCREENERS CAN FIRGURE OUT A WAY THAT PASSENGERS DO NOT SMUGGLE ON EXPLOSIVES AND WEAPONS TO USE THESE JUMBO SIZE JETS AS A BOMB I SUGGEST THAT FOLKS WHO FEEL THERE PRIVACY IS BEING COMPRIMISED YOU CAN TAKE A CAR,TRAIN,BUS AND YES EVEN A CRUISE SHIP TO YOUR DESTITNATION.

JUST FOR THE RECORD THE FOURTH ADDMENMENT OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING VIOLATED. THE TERRIORIST WOULD LOVE FOR THE FULL BODY SCANNERS TO LEAVE THE AIRPORTS ALSO.

Daniel.....

Joel Sherman said...

The above post approaches being a political rant. I don't want to stifle discussion, but I want to center on privacy issues and avoid general politics. There's lots of other blogs for political discussions.

Susan said...

I am a software developer, and I have seen the information on these full body scanners.

Please those of you who believe that these are not intrusive, look deeper. EVERY easily available media on these scanners show you an edited version of their output (read the small print on any news footage - it tells you that the actual images are VERY detailed).

Now, you say they can't identify you from these scans?!?!?! Are you serious? They would certainly want to use the results of such a scan against you in court, therefore there MUST be a way of identifying you. And since your FULL BODY is being scanned that includes your FACE. So don't be fooled into believing that these scanners just ignore that.

Now all of you (including me) that have seen embarrassing footage on YouTube that was obviously captured without the knowledge of those in the video ... these are just what people do with cell phones. Imagine what can & will be done with video from these scanners.

Certainly we want to believe that this is all done for our best, but it has been proven over and over throughout history that if there is any way to use information in a hurtful/hateful/evil way ... it WILL happen.

I have worked in the criminal justice field and there is much data already kept on-file that should NOT be. They keep DNA evidence even after a suspect is found to be innocent (they just add it to their database for later use - how is that right??). Think of how you are told that negative items only stay on your credit report for 7 years ... now look at your reports, yep most of us have stuff on there from a lot longer ago than that.

The only time that they willingly remove information is AFTER it is wrongly used and you sue them.

I am not willing to allow them to have my fingerprints without valid cause, but I should let them have naked video??? I just DO NOT think so.

Anonymous said...

I knew it wouldn't take long before some TSA employees would use these scanners to abuse people, didn't expect the abusee to be one of their own though.

MAY 6--A Transportation Security Administration screener is facing an assault rap after he allegedly beat a co-worker who joked about the size of the man's genitalia after he walked through a security scanner. The May 4 confrontation involved Rolando Negrin, 44, and other TSA employees who had previously taken part in a training session at Miami International Airport, according to the below Miami-Dade Police Department reports. Negrin, pictured in the mug shot at right, and his co-workers had been training with new "whole body image" machines--the controversial kind that provide very revealing images of a traveler--when Negrin walked through the scanner. "The X-ray revealed that [Negrin] has a small penis and co-workers made fun of him on a daily basis," reported cops.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0506101tsa1.html

Anonymous said...

A CBS reporter ran this story with the title "Small" Problem Leads To Arrest Of TSA Worker.

http://cbs4.com/local/tsa.screener.arrest.2.1679593.html

I guess women think its funny when men get humiliated.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the author of article at Slate, its not the technology I object to its the people operating it:

http://www.slate.com/id/2215687

Anonymous said...

Although this account is from Dec 2002, it is well worth reading. Basically the TSA felt up & exposed his pregnant wife, she starts crying, he gets upset about it, and gets arrested. The point is TSA has the power to make you do whatever they want. If they don’t like the way you follow their directions, you can be arrested. Now they have yet another toy (body scanner) to increase their power and lessen ours.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/monahan1.html

Anonymous said...

"I guess women think its funny when men get humiliated."

Before making a sexist assumption you should read the article. This man beat another male for mocking and taunting him. Apparently this man thought it was funny to humiliate another man over his small penis size. Unkindness and stupidity aren't limited to one gender.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous, let's not make sexist assumptions. Do note, though, that, although the article is very clear that this initially involved two men -- it later becomes gender-neutral and talks only about coworkers who continued to give the man a hard time. I find that interesting. Language-wise, a move from specific gender language to neutral language indicates to me that some of those coworkers who have him a hard time were indeed women. We don't know, though, because the writer chose, consciously or unconsciously, to hide that information.
MER

Anonymous said...

Regarding the anonymous post from
May 20, 2010 7:28 PM about the pregnant women and her dealings with airport security in year 2002...

I do not understand why someone would search the internet to bring an article from 8 years ago to prove a point about airport security. As anyone that followed the news post Sept. 11, 2001 President Bush and his administration gave airports new guidelines for screening passengers (right or wrong) and yes some of the security tried to respect passengers modesty with the new guidelines and other security did not. Many lawsuits came out of passengers being humiliated by the security and a whole new set of rules came into play.
As I have mentioned before I have a heart defibrillator and I have to be hand patted from airport security. I do fly quite often and it would be much quicker to just walk through the detectors but this is the situation I am in and I understand this is what has to happen. Let me share my experiences with you in this day and age of being hand patted by security-
1. I am always asked is this the first time I am flying since my device was installed, if not they explain the entire procedure from start to finish.
2. I am always offered to have a private screening room for the hand pat down.
3. They ask if your are traveling with someone who can grab your tote with your shoes that went through the x ray machine or they will have another security person grab it and bring it to you.
4. The pat down begins security talks the whole procedure out with you first and being a male when they get to my genital region they stop make eye contact with me and AGAIN explain again how they will be using the back of their hands for that region.
5. I have only had males security personal pat me down and I would never have a problem with a female patting me down because I have only experienced complete respect during this procedure. It is so professional the security personal does not engage in small talk during the procedure, most likely so they do not not get distracted from what they are doing. At they end of the procedure sometimes they will ask a questions that makes everything thing a little more personnel (are you coming or going from this GREAT city, or I see you got a lot of sun did you enjoy your vacation) just something small.
6. The whole procedure (from shoes off to shoes on) takes about eight minutes and honestly it could be done in a minute but here in United States they explain every part of the procedure and that is what takes up the time and if this is what I have to go through personally to keep everyone just a little bit safer flying I have no problem with that.

I wish more poster offered a solution to the problem they are presenting instead of just fishing the internet for a problem/situation they have never experienced. Show us the letter you wrote to change how you feel about a situation so others can learn how you stood up for your civil liberties.


Thanks for reading, Daniel.

Anonymous said...

Even the TSA is blogging! The TSA website has a link to a TSA blog with discussion about the Feds (US Marshalls) admitting to storing the images from these full body scanners. Be sure to read through the comments.


http://blog.tsa.gov/2010/08/tsa-response-to-feds-admit-storing.html

Anonymous said...

I can't remember where this was discussed before on the subject of female reporters in men's locker rooms, but the subject has come up again. The Mexican reporter talks of being in the locker room where men are dressing and showering. Then complains about the cat calls. Why does she need to be in the mens locker room to start with? Again, a double standard. Here is the article:
http://www.comcast.net/articles/sports-nfl/20100912/Jets-Female.Reporter/

Mike(58flyer)

Joel Sherman said...

I've followed the story Mike. Most professional women reporters take care to act with propriety, that is not to play the part of a sex object. This reporter who was a beauty queen flouts her sex appeal. She was wearing tight jeans and reportedly a blouse that showed cleavage all the way down. You can't expect young men suffering from an overdose of testosterone not to react to that. And most women sports writers ignore the inevitable occasional sexist comment and don't lodge complaints about them.

But having said that, women reporters should have equal rights of access to athletes. The problem is with management who is far more concerned with maximum publicity and profits than with the comfort of the athletes, many of whom would like to be left alone to get dressed in peace. The NFL should ban all reporters from the locker rooms until the guys are dressed or do what the WNBA does, permit them in for a specified time and then kick them all out, whereupon the women start to shower and change.

Joel Sherman said...

I've continued to follow the story of the Mexican lady reporter in the Jets locker room. I've been surprised that the comments about the story are overwhelmingly negative. About the only people defending the status quo are women reporters. I had almost come to believe that it was a non issue, that most players and fans didn't care. From these stories, I now think that most players would like to have the locker room to themselves. The 10 minutes they are given is simply not enough.
Once again, the villain in this story is not the reporters, but management who forces the situation on the players. US professional sports are unique in treating the athletes like this. In most of Europe, reporters are not allowed free access to locker rooms and international sports don't permit it either, especially opposite gender reporters.

Anonymous said...

I agree Dr Sherman to a point. Female reporters scream and demand equal access for THEMSELVES. They completely ignore the double standard that exists in the way male and female atheletes are treated, because.....they are a big part of that equation. I followed it also with interest and as you pointed out, was struck by the backlash reporters recieved from atheletes and fans. I think this is why this faded from the news quickly and the players involved were not sanctioned. I saw several times the WNBA used to validate locker room equality, but as you point out the way the atheletes are treated is vastly different. Either the reporters are only concerned when equality is applied to only reporters, or they are just plain intentionally misrepresenting this to deflect attention. I believe the real concern is reporters fear if they demand equal treatment for atheletes they will loose access to male locker rooms as a move to equality will likely mean tighter rules on male locker rooms rather than open female....and while they scream for equality, it means equality for them...not the atheletes. If you want direct apples to apples look at college policy like USC where female reporters are allowed in male football and basketball locker rooms but not in female basketball or other locker rooms. How can sexism and double standards be anymore obvious, and these are 18-21 year old males

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has been to the Los Angeles Coliseum after 1984 has seen the two bronze statues of the nude male and female Olympic athletes. The model for the male figure was Terry Schroeder from the US Water Polo team. He mentions in this article that he spent 60 hours posing nude for the artist and that at first the artist’s secretaries would “just slide notes under the door, but after a while I guess they got used to me being there so they just walked right in.''

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/BODY+BY+SCHROEDER+STATUE+LEAVES+LITTLE+TO+IMAGINATION.-a0119812924

Anonymous said...

Airport pat downs get more personal starting today. If you opt out of the full body scanners (aka nude-o-scopes) you will get a new enhanced pat down that includes them running the front of their hands up the inside of your legs. No one will say exactly how far up they will go. Retribution for opting out of the body scanners?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39889732/ns/travel-news/

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic reports more details on how far this new enhanced pat down (feel up?) goes. TSA "We have to search up your thighs and between your legs until we meet resistance," he explained. "Resistance?" I asked. "Your testicles," he explained.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/10/for-the-first-time-the-tsa-meets-resistance-updated/65390/

Anonymous said...

New post on flyertalk reports some TSA are “targeting” cute females for the NoS (Nude O Scopes).

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-safety-security/1147497-tso-saying-heads-up-got-cutie-you.html

If you opt out, you get the “enhanced” pat down. A blogger named Erin posted she recently experienced this new “enhanced” pat down, to her was a flat out sexual assault.

http://www.ourlittlechatterboxes.com/2010/11/tsa-sexual-assault.html

Anonymous said...

Yes I read that blog also. In her case she did not have the option to be scanned either.

Is this our new the world?

Chris

Anonymous said...

Really good article that goes into more depth about why people are so upset about this.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/11/23/ticked-travelers-hate-new-tsa-screenings/

Anonymous said...

I found it interesting that when the UCONN girls basketball team broke the nations longest winning streak held by UCLA mens for over 30 years...sports reporters did not see the need to conduct interviews in the locker room. All the arguements they use to justify entering male locker rooms of deadlines, and capturing the emotion right after the game, yada yada yada didn't seem as important as respecting the girls modesty. They had an amazing idea, interviewing the girls in an interview room not the locker room where they were dressing...wow why didn't someone think of that before.

Joel Sherman said...

A California federal appeals court reversed a ruling from a 3 judge panel of the same court after review by the entire court. They held that a cross gender strip search, female guard and male prisoner, was unconstitutional barring an emergency.
I'm pleased but surprised. Opposite gender guards can still view naked prisoners, just not conduct searches. I know that does work both ways though as I've seen mention of male guards watching women prisoners shower in California. I personally believe that no cross gender viewing should be permitted, but it's an established part of prison life in most states. It's especially troubling when it involves juvenile offenders.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised and encouraged that this ruling was handed down in favor of a male prisoner. while we have seen so many rulings come down where female prisoners were treated differently than males...perhaps the tide is turning, it is such an easy thing to see, I am really encouraged, and to come out of Calif....wow

Joel Sherman said...

In case anyone is interested, here's the full decision. It's binding only in the 9 Western states the court has jurisdiction over. But it should set a not easily ignored precedent for the country.

Joel Sherman said...

I still disagree with the comments on Bernstein.
Doug, the last few paragraphs are the minority decision and are in disagreement with the majority who clearly found the strip search or pat down humiliating.
Different appellate courts may come to a different decision, but this ruling will put them on the defensive that cross gender invasive searches must be justified by exigent circumstances; only a true emergency qualifies under this decision.

Anonymous said...

I read the full text and agree with you Dr. Sherman. What the decision said was the majority agreed (1)the search was reasonable because it was justified due to fights and looking for contraband (2) while there appeared to be reason to challenge the search under equal protection under the law, the plaintiff did not lay the proper ground work to exert such a claim (3) the search was not reasonable and sided with the plaintiff that using female staff to conduct the search when males were available, and it was not an emergency imposed undue intrusion on the prisoners right to be free from violation of privacy under the 4th amendment (4) the search was conducted in the presence of and recorded by numerous other guards which was unnesecariy and (5)was not an emergency which provided an exception to same gender. The minority desented and I believe presented justification for their desent rather than law. They attempted to discount completely the gender issue, which clearly was set forth as a factor in the majority rule and backed by legal president. What I find encouraging was the fact that the majority recognized 1. gender does have consideration in intimate searches and 2. people are starting to challenge it and getting court backing. lastly, I had read it before, but there was a ruling that clearly stated...the right and desire to cover ones self from being viewed naked, especially from the opposite gender is a basic right and instinct in western society....I agree while the minority disagreed, it is the majority that sets president and this is the important thing....alan

Joel Sherman said...

Once again, it's important to remember that this decision does not apply to the entire US, but only to the Western states in the court's jurisdiction. Opposing decisions, ie decisions to allow cross gender strip searches of men have occurred in other appellate districts. Thus the issue remains in flux until the Supreme Court elects to decide it. So far this has not happened. I have no idea how this Supreme Court would rule. Given all the religious issues in today's society, I think the momentum is moving towards prohibition.
At the very least, it makes it much easier for other men to challenge strip searches in this country.

Joel Sherman said...

Here's a short article with a nice take on the Appellate court's decision.

Joel Sherman said...

Here's another federal appeals court case involving a claimed unconstitutional cross gender strip search. The case was rejected in district court, but the Appeals court remanded the strip search part of the case back to the district court for rehearing.
Don't know what the final outcome will be, but obviously cross gender strip searches are coming under increase constitutional scrutiny.

Joel Sherman MD said...

I have previously referred to a Federal Appeals court decision in California which declared a cross gender strip search unconstitutional. In doing so it overturned a district court's decision. The decision was appealed to the US Supreme Court which has just refused to hear the case.
Thus the ruling that non emergency cross gender strip searches are unconstitutional stands. Not being a lawyer, I can't say if that sets a clear national precedent or not. It may depend on why they rejected the case if they stated reasons. But at the very least it creates a presumption that non emergency cross gender strip searches are illegal in this country.
This should have an effect on practices in all 50 states. I hope get further follow up on this.

Joel Sherman MD said...

Brief follow up: the court did not comment on the reason for its refusal to hear the case. Thus the presumption is great that they agree with the Appeals court decision. I believe this will indeed cause all 50 states to review their procedures about strip searches. The presumption is now that a cross gender strip search is illegal. I'm not clear though whether this prohibits opposite gender guards from observing strip searches.

StayingFit said...

With regard to the case of Byrd v. Maricopa County, I was very glad that the Supreme Court let the ruling stand. This is especially true, since Mr. Byrd was in pre-trial detention, meaning he had been found guilty of nothing. We are all one false-accusation away from being in exactly that same position. So, the ridiculous, yet often heard argument of "don't go to jail and you won't have to worry about it" does not apply here.

I am less optimistic about the ultimate impact of this ruling, however. I noticed that the majority mentioned the video taping of the incident, as well as the presence of onlookers, as circumstances which helped to lead to their opinion. I wonder what this says for a standard strip search, absent cameras and an audience?

In a related matter, I have recently discovered a program on Natgeo TV, called "Prison Women". This details the work day of female guards in a male prison. Considering the way in which the cells in these prisons are designed, with no privacy even for the toilet, I find it hard to believe that these guards can do their jobs and avoid violating the privacy of these inmates, in much the same manner as with a visual strip search. This is especially true when you consider that these female officers would need to supervise the prison showers.

In a recent episode, a female guard working at a pre-trial detention facility, was told by her male supervisor to conduct the pat downs of a cell block, while he observed. The inmates were frisked while wearing boxers, and, as with Mr. Byrd, no portion of their anatomy was spared.

Here, as in the Byrd case, it was a non-emergency situation, there were male guards available for the search, and there was an audience (the Natgeo TV crew). Clearly, the prison system involved was not worried about the legalities involved, since this was broadcast nationwide! I suppose that this might have been filmed prior to the ruling, but it does make we wonder about the extent of its impact.

Please don't misunderstand me, for most jobs, I believe very strongly that these should go to the best candidate, irrespective of that candidate's gender. However, I do believe that there are exceptions, where gender must be considered as a pre-requisite for employtment. Certainly, this would apply to some of the positions in the prison system.

If the legal system does not agree, then it must be consistent in that disagreement. In which case, I look forward to the "Prison Men" series on Natgeo TV, where they will show the full-body pat down of female inmates by male prison guards.

Do you think that this will air any time soon? Me neither...

Joel Sherman MD said...

'StayingFit,' I am pretty sure that the general rule is that cross gender strip searches, absent exigent circumstances, are illegal in this country. That should include observers as the prisoners are not touched in the usual strip search and the guards just observe the inmates carrying out instructions. A pat down is different, it is done on at least partially clothed prisoners and cross gender pat downs are not illegal though many jurisdictions restrict the ability of male guards to pat down women.
Having said that though, a naked prisoner may be viewed by cross gender guards. That includes in the cells and showers though women prisoners are often tho not always offered privacy screens. It varies greatly from prison to prison and state to state. I have read descriptions of California women's prison where monitoring of the showers is done from a central location by both male and female guards. So cross gender viewing of naked prisoners, both male and female is not a rarity.

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