Virgin Airlines’ Official Predator Panic Policy: All Men Are Pedophiles
This is utterly insane. John McGirr — a firefighter from Sydney, Australia — says he was forced to move out of his seat on a Virgin Airlines flight because his row mates were two young boys. He says the incident left him “angry, embarrassed and acutely aware of how society has become fearful of everyone.”
His humiliating incident began on Sunday afternoon when he boarded his flight. Two youngsters around the age of 10 years old were in his row and even though he was supposed to sit in the window seat, he let one of the kids sit there since kids like window seats. Everything was ready to go for takeoff when this happened:
The fasten seat belt sign was illuminated and we were clear for takeoff. Then the stewardess approached me again.
â€˜Sir we are going have to ask you to moveâ€™
â€˜Whyâ€™, I said.
â€˜Well, because you are male, you canâ€™t be seated next to two unaccompanied minorsâ€™.
Shocked, I replied, â€˜ Isnâ€™t this sexist and discriminatory?â€™
She replied, â€˜I am sorry, but that is our policyâ€™.
It’s a policy to presume male passengers are pedophiles? Really? What kind of loony and offensive policy is that?
The flight attendant asked around to see if a woman could swap seats with the gentleman on account of how he wasn’t “allowed to sit next to the children.” Someone agreed:
As I collected my things from the seat pocket I could see people looking at me and wondering why I was being moved. I was red from embarrassment. I felt like I was being judged and found guilty of a crime I hadnâ€™t committed. It was an uncomfortable situation and I felt ashamed which was a weird feeling because I hadnâ€™t done anything wrong.
McGirr began to get angry about being held accountable for all the male pedophiles on the planet:
The irony of the situation is that I am a emergency service worker and if the children were in trouble I would be given the responsibility of protecting them. Men are policemen, doctors, social workers, teachersâ€¦ people who are entrusted to the care of children but according to Virgin once you step on one of their planes you are a pedophile or a potential pedophile.
He complained to Virgin and they confirmed their policy of treating all males as pedophiles. He says he was told that all of their incidents of pedophilia on flights were by men. As if this justifies treating all males as responsible for the crimes of a few. If you have trouble with this, imagine that all of their trouble was from people of one race — would that justify treating all members of that race as the troublemakers?
McGirr proposes that Virgin drop its policy or start getting more consistent by forbidding any men from sitting next to any women (rape, you know). He notes that living in a free world entails certain risks:
What we all need to realize is that as soon as we step into the outside world we are potentially vulnerable. There are dangers every where. In our attempts to lessen the danger we must be aware that we are not projecting our insecurities onto innocent parties. Not all men are pedophiles or rapists and we shouldnâ€™t be made to feel this way.
Preach it, brother McGirr.
No one wants children to be harmed but the fact is that the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of sex crimes against children don’t come from strangers anyway. Predator panic makes us hate and fear men and that’s a crime that affects everyone. It needs to be stopped.