he first person I interviewed for this story—days before I knew I would write it, because I felt ashamed—was my husband. Who else could I ask about my private parts being probed by a stranger?
If it had happened on the street, I would have known what it was and called the police. But it was done by a Transportation Security Administration officer. It was a sexual assault. But I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time.
“You got felt up,” said my husband, bluntly. “Sue.”
But you usually can’t sue the TSA for airport screening abuses (though an appeals court ruled in August that you can in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania). In practical terms, TSA officers can act with impunity, especially when it comes to travelers who are ignorant of their rights, like me.
It was only when I got into my car, four hours later, that I sobbed and sobbed.
Here’s what happened (people with a trauma history may not wish to read this description).
Alison Knopf – Filter – October 30, 2019.