Air travel can be a sexually charged experience. There are the X-rays of your most intimate carry-ons, the curve-capturing body scans, the security rub, the mile-high club, the hours spent in extremely close proximity to a stranger as you get inappropriately intoxicated on complimentary gin. But rarely is your sexual pleasure explicitly endorsed by a Transportation Security Administration agent.
Jill Filipovic opened her luggage Monday morning in Dublin to find a standard inspection card. Travelers in this situation usually prefer not to imagine the agent sifting through all their belongings, judging the way their underwear is jammed in a corner, as opposed to neatly folded. But Filipovic couldn't ignore it, because scrawled across the inspection card was the line: "GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL."
The inspector, it seems, had found her most "personal item."
He or she violated the sexual privacy of the wrong lady. Filipovic is a New York lawyer, a blogger for one of the world's oldest feminist blogs, and an activist around issues like female sexual empowerment, reproductive rights and rape. Filipovic was in fact flying from Newark, N.J., to Dublin, to speak at Trinity College about abortion rights in Ireland.
In Filipovic's blog post titled "Your Tax Dollars at Work," she writes, "Total violation of privacy, wildly inappropriate and clearly not OK, but I also just died laughing in my hotel room."
Several other passengers have contacted Filipovic, saying that they have received similar notes zipped in with their personal belongings. They were just too embarrassed to go public about it.
Filipovic plans to file a formal complaint. TSA responded in a statement that it "takes all allegations of inappropriate conduct seriously and is investigating this claim." According to a spokesman, "appropriate disciplinary action" would be taken if the culprit is found.
On the bright side, the female-owned sex toy boutique, Babeland, tweeted Filipovic asking for her address and saying "we'll send you a new vibe." For perhaps the first time ever, bad publicity for TSA means good publicity for female sex toys.
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