Wearing my most controversial political opinions across my breasts has never really been my style. I prefer to rely on my big mouth (and writing) to express myself. But there are plenty of people who are more comfortable advertising where they stand via their clothing. Like a woman who is being referred to only as "O," who was wearing the outspoken pro-choice T-shirt shown here when she flew American Airlines recently.
O told the website RH Reality Check that she was confronted by a flight attendant who told her that she needed to speak with the captain before making her connecting flight, because her t-shirt was "offensive." The captain said that she shouldn't have been allowed to board in the first place and would have to change before boarding her connection. As a result, she ended up missing that second flight. I smell a protest!!
It's not like O was the first lady to wear a tee sporting the politically-charged statement. The slogan first appeared on a sign at a rally in Oklahoma in February, and Oklahoma Sen. Judy McIntyre (D) posed with the sign, later telling HuffPo:
I saw a sea of signs that caught my eye, but this one in particular -- I loved its offensive language, because it's just as offensive for Republicans of Oklahoma to do what they're doing as it relates to women's bodies. I don't apologize for it.
O must have seen eye-to-eye with Sen. McIntyre, and I don't blame her for being pumped about the message! But at the same time, well, it's not like the action American Airlines took against her was unprecedented. It clearly states in the airline's conditions of carriage that "American may refuse to transport you, or may remove you from your flight at any point, for one or several reasons," one of which is if you're "clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers."
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And an AA representative responded to the story by explaining that the problem the pilot had with O's shirt was the "f-word," not the pro-choice sentiment.
Like it or not, seems like that's all legit legally. Still, it's galling that the airline thinks its their job to regulate passenger's clothing and preempt another passenger being offended.
If I saw a guy with an anti-semetic sentiment on his sweatshirt or a someone using a laptop sporting a misogynistic GOP bumper sticker, I'd be offended, sure. But I wouldn't necessarily expect the airline to kick that person off the flight. Then again, leaving passengers to their own idiotic devices and knee-jerk reactions could get ugly.
Guess AA is just trying to play mediator to keep the peace aboard their flights, huh? Too bad even hilarious, spot-on messages have to fall by the wayside for that to happen ... but maybe next time O flies, if she just blurs out the offending word, it should be go.
Do you think airlines have a right to tell us what we can and can't wear?
Image via crocktees.com