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15 Bumps

Back on it ... Sanitary Towel Prompts TSA To Grope Sexual Assault Victim

Forget concealed guns, knives, explosives, the real threat comes from gladrags

Sanitary Towel Prompts TSA To Grope Sexual Assault Victim 251110landoffree
Via Fly With Dignity (Left image courtesy David Vincent Wolf, right image courtesy Max Trombly)

Steve Watson
Thursday, Nov 25th, 2010

Menstruating women beware. If you intend to travel, your panty-liners are now considered suspicious objects, after all you could be concealing a bomb in there.

The latest insane TSA transgression answers questions that were raised last week when it was revealed naked body scanners can also detect sanitary napkins.

New York Times reporter Joe Sharkey wrote Monday that he was getting a lot of requests for information from female frequent fliers.

“Do the imagers, for example, detect sanitary napkins?” women wanted to know. “Yes,” wrote Sharkey.

“Does that then necessitate a pat-down? The TSA couldn’t say. Screeners, the TSA has said, are expected to exercise some discretion.” the article continued.

“And what about tampons?” asked the blog Feminist Peace Network. “They look kind of like sticks of dynamite. Are they going to ask us to pull them out and show them just to be sure?”

The answer, judging from one woman’s written testimony, seems to be yes.

A customer of popular women’s health company, Gladrags, relayed her recent experience at the hands of the TSA via email.

In short, she was asked to walk through a radiation firing naked body scanner and complied. The scanner produced a naked image of her, but because her sanitary towel was obscuring her most intimate parts from prying eyes, the TSA agents pulled her aside for a full groin search. Not something to be relished by any person, let alone someone who has previously suffered sexual assault.

Here is the woman’s email in full:

“This email isn’t going to be as polished as I would normally send, but I’m upset and I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else (if I can stop it).

I recently traveled via air, and was subjected to that new scanning device. “No problem,” I thought. I was wearing jeans and a linen tanktop, bra, panties, and one camouflage pantyliner.

I’m a rule follower, so I never have any problems at the airport. Not this time. I was stopped, and then held for 15 minutes while they tried to find a female supervisor. I couldn’t get to my bag, my shawl or my shoes; just standing there while the TSA agents kept me in one place.

Now, I don’t want this to be about bad TSA agents; they were doing their job, they were as delicate as they could be, etc., etc. But what ultimately happened is that I was subjected to search so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assaults.


Because of my flannel panty-liner. These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your “groin” while another woman watches on (two in my case – they were training in a new girl – awesome).

So please, please, tell the ladies not to wear their liners at the airport (I didn’t even have an insert in). I’m a strong, confident woman; I’m an Army vet (which is why those camo liners crack me up), I work full-time and go to graduate school full-time, I have a wonderful husband, and I don’t take any nonsense from anyone. I don’t dramatize, and I don’t exaggerate. I’m trying to give you a sense of who I am so you won’t think that this is a plea for attention, or a jumping on the bandwagon about the recent TSA proposed boycott.

I just don’t want another woman to have to go through the “patting down” because she didn’t know that her glad-rag would be a matter of national security.”

Chalk up another ritual humiliation at the hands of the TSA, protecting us from terrorists by forcing women to remove their underwear napkins and groping their vaginas in public.

When will this insanity end?


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor at Alex Jones’, and regular contributor to He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.


Asked by Gal51 at 11:15 AM on Nov. 26, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 23 (15,495 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (40)
  • When I mentioned this scenario last week, I was called a "fear monger," but I guess, those adamant about not having a problem with the new TSA procedures, now agree that they are insane?!

    I knew these new policies would eventually affect EVERYONE in some way, shape or form, and "suddenly" they would become aghast at the whole idea. Welcome aboard, liberals! :o)

    Answer by LoriKeet at 12:15 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • So, the question remains, what is their glove changing policy?

    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:32 AM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • So all those people who were saying they have nothing to worry about because they aren't terrorists...

    Answer by NotPanicking at 11:35 AM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • Wow, another reason for me NOT to ever fly. And I also want to know what the glove changing police is. If I ever have to fly (even though I pray that I don't) can I request that they change their gloves in front of me? If they are doing these pat downs for "safety" reasons then I too have every right to stay safe.

    Answer by Gnomeofmyheart at 11:38 AM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • mhaney03, you bring up a good point. The Diva Cup...I wonder if it violates the liquid rule?


    Answer by yourspecialkid at 2:44 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • Oh wow. I never thought about the tampon/pad/panty liner issue. Even more reason not to fly!

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 11:18 AM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • Next thing you know, menstruating women will be labeled as extremists.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:57 AM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • know... we all have a right to be "safe"....and that pad was a clear threat. Total threat. I bet the underwear bomber was hired by Michael Chertoff (or whatever his name is.)

    Answer by lovinangels at 11:51 AM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • This is just beyond ridiculous. We're going to Florida next summer, so I guess we're driving. It's only about 14 hours though, so it's worth it. I have an IUD, so I don't get a period.......but would they detect the IUD? This is not about safety. This is about forcing us to submit to humiliation and training us that it is normal.

    Answer by BridgetC140 at 3:44 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • This just keeps getting more ridiculous and invasive. When will it stop?

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 2:29 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

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