Nudity is something everyone comes encounters on a daily basis. Whether it is in the shower or changing clothes the entire populace is naked at some time or another. Although individuals tend to see themselves nude regularly, under certain social situations nudity is considered as a taboo occurrence. However, some people strip their clothes to reveal their undergarments or naked bodies as a sign of protest.
Recently, on April 10, 2012 an unidentified woman was spotted naked in a Denver airport. Denver channel reports the woman was reported to be smoking in a non-smoking terminal, when the woman was asked to put out her cigarette she responded by taking off her clothes. There is differential discourse regarding the causation of this woman’s’ actions. Reports cannot definitively tell whether the woman stripped her clothes was a result of an airport employee asking her to put her cigarette or if she was protesting against Transportation security administration or TSA pat downs. Denver police claim that the woman was experiencing a nervous breakdown while she unclothed herself. The unidentified woman was not arrested but instead taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation. There has been other news coverage regarding individuals who stripped their clothing at an airport because they were protesting against TSA pat downs. For example, a fifty two year old woman in a wheelchair was reported stripping down to her black lingerie to get through security at Will Rogers World Airport in 2010. In addition, a college student who was protesting against TSA pat downs stripped down to a speedo in November of 2010. Nudity or almost nude bodies undoubtedly brings attention to a situation or cause. Nudity is a factor of life that everyone must encounter. The United States has sexualized the body to the point that we as a society feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when we view another’s nude body or when someone touches ours for an extended amount of time. Therefore, issues such as TSA pat down become problematic because many Americans believe in social situations the body should not be touched extensively or seen without clothes on.
Some people report that these pat downs are an invasive of privacy and feel very uncomfortable after the pat down was conducted. After September 11, airports have become aggressive in mitigating terrorist or suspicious activity that may potentially harm their passengers. Now the question I pose to all of you is do you believe airports is invading autonomy over people’s bodies even if it occurs for a brief period of time? More specifically, what would you do if you perceived an airport official to have touched you in a sensitive area longer than deemed necessary?