Why was a man in panties and a bra al­lowed to fly?

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

On June 9, a man boarded a US Air­ways flight from Fort Laud­erdale to Phoenix, dressed in women’s panties, a bra and thigh-high stock­ings.

No US Air­ways em­ployee at the Fort Laud­erdale air­port asked him to cover him­self. Nor did any flight at­ten­dant ask him to do so. And ob­vi­ously, no one de­manded that he get off the plane.

US Air­ways spokes­woman Va­lerie Wun­der was asked how the air­line al­lowed a nearly naked cross-dresser to board a plane and sit next to other pas­sen­gers who, one as­sumes, did not ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing seated next to an exhibitionist.

As re­ported by the San Fran­cisco Ex­am­iner, she “said em­ploy­ees had been cor­rect not to ask the man to cover him­self. ‘We don’t have a dress code pol­icy. Ob­vi­ously, if their pri­vate parts are ex­posed, that’s not ap­pro­pri­ate. . . . So if they’re not ex­pos­ing their pri­vate parts, they’re al­lowed to fly.’”

The de­cline of Amer­i­can civ­i­liza­tion since the 1960s has been so fast and so dra­matic that it takes one’s breath away.

That a woman speak­ing on be­half of a ma­jor air­line can say with a straight face that her air­line al­lows any­one dressed or un­dressed to fly on its air­planes so long as they do not ex­pose their gen­i­tals per­fectly en­cap­su­lates this de­cline.

The only ques­tion is: How did we get here?

For one thing, the con­cept of de­cency is dy­ing. I suspect that if an adult were to say to a group of ran­domly cho­sen Amer­i­can col­lege stu­dents that this man in­de­cently ex­posed him­self and should not have been al­lowed to fly, that adult would be a) not un­der­stood, what does “in­de­cent” mean?, and/or b) roundly con­demned for in­tol­er­ance and big­otry.

To judge this man as acting in­de­cently, not to men­tion to bar him from fly­ing, is to en­gage in vi­o­lat­ing the only val­ues a gen­er­a­tion of Amer­i­cans has been taught: not to judge, not to dis­crim­i­nate, to wel­come di­ver­sity and to fully ac­cept those who are dif­fer­ent, es­pe­cially in the sex­ual arena.

That is why I think it is very dif­fi­cult to have a di­a­logue on this mat­ter. For those who be­lieve in pub­lic “de­cency,” the mat­ter is as clear as a bell, this was pro­foundly in­de­cent, and for those who do not be­lieve in such a con­cept, the mat­ter is equally clear, “de­cency” is an anachro­nism.

One caller to my ra­dio talk show sim­ply could not see what was so bad about what the man did and that US Air­ways al­lowed him to fly. I asked my caller if he thought an air­line should ban naked pas­sen­gers. While he ac­knowl­edged that pub­lic nu­dity is against the law, he saw no rea­son that it should be so. Ba­si­cally, I suspect that in my caller’s view, my op­po­si­tion to this man be­ing al­lowed to fly con­sti­tuted a “hang up.”

So the god of tol­er­ance is one rea­son for the death of the con­cept of “pub­lic de­cency.”

An­other is the age of sec­u­lar­ism in which we live. In a more re­li­gious Amer­ica, the hu­man be­ing was re­garded as cre­ated in God’s im­age, a be­ing that ide-

An­i­mals are naked in pub­lic; hu­mans are clothed. But sec­u­lar­ism eats away at such re­li­gious ideals. Thus re­li­gion-based con­cepts such as ho­li­ness and de­cency die out.

ally as­pires to a level of ho­li­ness. As sec­u­lar­ism pro­ceeds with the in­creas­ing force of an avalanche, how­ever, man is in­creas­ingly re­garded as just an­other an­i­mal.

One way in which higher civ­i­liza­tions have demon­strated the hu­man-an­i­mal dif­fer­ence has been the wear­ing of cloth­ing.

An­i­mals are naked in pub­lic; hu­mans are clothed. But sec­u­lar­ism eats away at such re­li­gious ideals. Thus re­li­gion­based con­cepts such as ho­li­ness and de­cency die out. You can see it in the wide­spread ac­cep­tance of pub­lic curs­ing as well as in pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion­ism, among many other man­i­fes­ta­tions.

I don’t know if US Air­ways is alone among air­lines in al­low­ing any­one to fly as long as their gen­i­tals are cov­ered.

But it seems to me that if restau­rants can post dress codes and an­nounce that they re­serve the right to refuse ser­vice to any­one, an air­line, in which peo­ple, un­like in restau­rants, are forced to sit two inches from strangers, should be able to do so.

In the mean­time, this is the Brave New World that mind­less tol­er­ance, di­ver­sity and law­suits on their be­half have wrought.

Den­nis Prager hosts a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated ra­dio talk show and is a vis­it­ing fel­low at the Hoover In­sti­tu­tion at Stan­ford Univer­sity. He is the au­thor of four books, most re­cently “Hap­pi­ness Is a Se­ri­ous Prob­lem” (HarperCollins).

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