Today, I read something that nearly made me throw up from sheer anger.
Before her flight, a breastfeeding mother named Amy Strand dumped all the breast milk that she had pumped on her business trip in a preemptive attempt to satisfy the airport TSA. She figured she had everything covered to make the airport security process go smoothly, right?
Technically, dumping the milk wasn’t neccesary because small amounts of breast milk are allowed on planes, but as we all know, women have been humiliated before for trying to carry pumped breast milk onto a plane. So, she made sure she was carrying no liquids. She was, however, carrying her $200 breast pump and empty bottles when she tried to board the plane.
Here’s where the vomiting part happens. (Grab a barf bag.)
The TSA officer refused to believe that the pump and the bottles were for breast milk because they were empty. According to the news reports, Strand says that she was told she could either leave behind some parts of her $200 breast pump and the empty bottles, or she could prove that that was what the machine was for.
Oh and just HOW does one prove what a breast pump is for?
According to the news stories (links below,) the TSA officer had her stand in her dress and high heels, in a busy public airport bathroom, in front of a sink, and pump milk out of her breasts as onlookers walked past.
Not. Even. Kidding.
That’s what the news articles said.
She explained, “He said I couldn’t go through because there was no milk in the bottles… But I was not going to leave a part of the breast pump behind- it cost over $200. He told me… my option was to leave it behind or to put milk into it.”
Apparently there was no private area available, so the TSA officer accompanied her to the public ladies’ rest room, where there was an outlet for her breast pump… in front of everyone in the public restroom.
A TSA spokesperson has since written Amy Strand an apology.
TSA officials told Strand that “the agent involved will go through remediation training, and a memo will be sent to agents at Lihue airport about how to deal with similar situations in the future.”
The violent churning in my stomach though says that no apology could fix this. No amount of educating anyone will make this any better. This woman was violated and exposed. She was humiliated and abused.
This agent needs to be fired and a really clear example should be set.
One of two things went on: Either the agent is completely ignorant or the agent is a complete bully.
If a TSA officer doesn’t even know what a breast pump is for and doesn’t have the common sense to ask fellow officers, they are far too intellectually inadequate to be trusted with “National Security.” If a TSA officer is smart enough, but chooses to act stupid so as to perpetrate acts of violation against others, then they should never be allowed in a position of authority over another human being again.
What does your stomach tell you? Are you as ill over this as I am?