Pedophile Policies on Airplanes May Insult Men But So What

Rant 188

A airline cabin31-year-old man is making a huge public fuss over the fact that a flight attendant on a major airline asked him to move his seat away from an unaccompanied 10-year-old girl. He's saying the airplane embarrassed him and made people think he was a pedophile. How childish of him. This is not the first time someone (usually a man) has pulled the discrimination card on these airline policies. But really, they should just shut up about it. As a parent, I think this policy is an excellent one for protecting kids. As a passenger, this is an even excellenter policy, because who wants to sit next to a kid on a plane when you absolutely don't have to.

Hopefully when you are on a plane, you are going somewhere relaxing to get away from kids of any kind. I mean, we love our precious little snowflakes and all, but let's be real -- some parent is putting their unaccompanied minor on that plane for a reason.

There is maybe only one perk to sitting next to little kids on a plane, and that is that they are usually pretty small. There is nothing worse than getting a seat next to a pleasantly plump person whose legs overflow the arm rests into your personal territory -- that you paid for. (Alright, maybe two perks. If kids are sitting next to you, then they aren't sitting behind you constantly kicking your seat, with you constantly craning your neck back at them with your annoyed "stop it" face on.)

But other than that, there are really nothing but negatives.

-- Too-loud iPods bleeding through their ear buds

-- All that fidgeting

-- Gum chomping

-- Constantly asking the flight attendant for something -- crunchy snacks, to go to the bathroom for the 15th time, to shut the overhead air thing off, can I have a pillow?

Man, feels like I never even left home.

Other men have contested these kinds of "all men are pedophiles" policies on planes and won. One of the arguments of the man who was asked to move his seat on Qantas recently was that it's highly unlikely a child is going to be harmed by a stranger on a flight, that a child is more likely to be assaulted by someone they know. That is very true, statistically, and it probably is discriminatory in a way, but who cares.

It's such a non-event to move your seat. If something like this could prevent incidents like the pervert groping a sleeping teen boy on a JetBlue flight recently, then it's worth just sucking it up and finding something else to complain about. This is the airline industry we are talking about, after all, the choices are unlimited.

Do you think this policy is really that bad or should these men just get over themselves and move their seat as asked?


Image via vincent a desjardins/Flickr

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Tierra Robinson Sloan

I think if the attendant had asked a racial minority to move, you'd be screaming discrimination. Ditto to if they'd asked a woman to move. Yes, it's really that bad. No one should be assumed to be a predator. Realistically, 99.9% of the population is NOT a pedophile. This is a way for the attendant in charge to not have to watch the child as much. Stop being lazy, start doing your job, and stop acting as if the whole world is a danger.

Heather Duso Johnson

Why don't we just ban all men from flying?  Or better yet have a flight for just children?  If you are so concerned with something happening to them, don't let them fly alone!   

Véronique Houde

I disagree with your point of view wholeheartedly. Using the argument "kids are a pain in the ass anyway so just be happy you didn't have to sit next to one" is as lame as saying to a gay man wanting to get married that marriage is sexless anyway so might as well stay single. I can understand this man's embarassment and encourage him to continue with his actions - people need to think about this too!

Rebecca Peterson

Personally, flying with kids, can either be a cake walk or annoying. It really depends on the child. Second, I agree with Tierra, those "creepy pedophiles" make up less than 1% of the population, and most of the people charged with sexual crimes are boyfriends who are 18/19 sleeping with their girlfriends who are 16/17 and the parents got pissed off.

Second point, as an editor, it'd be nice if you proofread your own writing. "Excellenter" isnt' even a word. The proper use would be "an even more excellent policy". Thank you though for fixing your spelling error, I know when typing, fingers have a mind of their own.

vulca... vulcanarcher

This article is wrong on so many levels.  The first being that it's not just men who are pedophiles, women can be pedophiles as well.  So you support a policy where a man who is not a pedophile is moved away from a child, and a woman who may be a pedophile is placed next to a kid.  Awesome.  This is why discrimination is generally a bad idea. 

Second, you do a great job with totally tearing down all kids and lumping them into one box.  The reasons you gave for disliking traveling with children?  They also apply to adults, and not just the young ones.  Whereas many children, even the fairly young ones are sometimes better behaved than the adults around them.  In either case, it's more of a reflection of the parent(s) than that individual.

Third, let's just assume that I'm a guy who was told to move my seat only because I "might" be a pedophile.  Where's the proof?  No proof?  Yup, discriminiation.  And I would have paid for my seat, whether I chose the seat or not.  I paid for it.  Airlines provide a service.  Should they not provide the service in a satisfactory manner, well, they are going to have to reap the consequences.

Of course the man was embarassed, especially since this is slander.  It's not innocent until proven guilty here, but the other way around.

Heath... HeatherJo11

That is such blatant discrimination based on someone being male. I cannot even fathom it. This article (as well as the policy on airlines) is absolutely ridiculous. I would be furious. Regardless if it's more pleasant to not be by a child. To be asked to move because of your gender is utter sexism & completely illegal. What nonsense this article is.

nonmember avatar Guest

And don't forget, if the Boy Scouts don't let gay men take young boys out into the woods overnight to sleep in tents, you are supposed to shriek "haters" at them!

After all, nothing could possibly happen overnight in a tent and the woods; but sitting in plain sight in a plane full of people, who knows?

vulca... vulcanarcher

I would also think that if you rephrased airline policy enough to change the "male" to "female", the author would be calling for the airline to go out of business for sexism.  Double standard much?

i.hea... i.heart.nerds

Would you be saying the same thing Cynthia if a woman had been asked to move? Women can be predators too.

Pretty stupid article, honestly. Do you even read what you write?

mande... manderspanders

So apparently civil rights are ONLY for women and minorities. 

What the hell is wrong with you?


It is THIS mentality that has caused my hubby not to pursue his teaching license (he already has a Bachelor's in Education)....  it is assumed that particularly white men *must* be pedophiles, especially if they are interested in anything to do with children. 


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