Friday, August 17, 2012

Virgin Australia. Sexist Airline Policy. Disingenuous Concern for Children.

ABC News, last Monday, reported on an incident that took place on-board a Virgin Australia flight that involved an adult male passenger and two unaccompanied children who sat next to him. Johnny Mcgirr, like most of us traveling alone, didn't know who would be sitting next to him. Like Mcgirr, most of us do not truly care, trusting that most people would be reasonable, well-behaved, and clean.

Evidently, Virgin Australia does care who sits with whom, for they asked Mcgirr to change seats so that he wouldn't be seated next to 10-yr olds during the flight. The reason? He's a male.

Virgin Australia admitted that it is their policy to disallow grown males from seating next to unaccompanied children, for the children's safety.

Now, we can easily connect the dots, make the equation that looks like this: grown man = pedophile, grown man vis-a-vis children traveling alone = trouble. Eliminate grown man = children safe.

No sweat, this is an extremely sexist attitude, assuming that the molestation of children would most likely be perpetuated by males. It wouldn't be sexists at all, but still questionable, if their policy targeted both males and females. But, no.
  
When Virgin Australia beats their chest and proclaims itself as the cautious overseer of children's welfare, they are playing both sides of the street. If they were truly concerned about the welfare of children traveling unaccompanied, they shouldn't let them on board in the first place. 

If Virgin Australia considers the aircraft a dangerous place where predators could lurk, where pedophiles could molest innocent babes, then parental supervision is imperative. A parent must accompany all traveling children. Wouldn't that be a better policy to apply?

But that would mean no tickets sold because the parent can't make it in the first instance. Loss of revenue, in blinking red neon. And nothing scares the airlines more than empty seats. And so they went for stereotyping males instead and a sexist double standard was born...

The airline was reported to be reviewing their policy.


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