TSA officer gives invasive pat-down to man in skin-tight shorts

Originally published at: TSA officer gives invasive pat-down to man in skin-tight shorts | Boing Boing


Well, clearly, Bobby Booshay was travelling while black. :grimacing::grimacing::grimacing:

In other news, “Bobby Booshay, a powerlifter and cybersecurity engineer” sounds like an epic cyberpunk character.


Some people are obviously more random than others.


Thanks for that. A lovely track.

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< spinal tap cucumber in foil.mov >

was randomly selected

I Dont Believe You Will Ferrell GIF


Not funny because real life invasion of human dignity, but the question still reminded me of…



Clearly TSA stands for Tight Shorts Advisory!


Hey, at least their thoroughness is keeping us safe!



Is his point that he is being selected because flying while black? Or because the TSA are looking for some feels? Seems from his TikTok he gets selected a lot. Despite the outfit? Because of it?




That seemed pretty aggressive. I was kinda uncomfortable just watching it.


My wife gets “randomly selected” every time we fly. She’s a 6’2" tall transgender woman.

During the last one, this lady literally grabbed my wife’s penis, kept yanking it and demanding my wife tell her what it was. I was on the sidelines, and finally yelled, you are yanking my wife’s dick! Suddenly TSA lady decided she was done molesting my wife. I have no idea what they thought they were going to find in my wife’s skin tight leggings.

My wife is not embarrassed about having a penis, but she was frozen in panic at having someone literally grabbing her dick in public through her leggings, and just not letting go of it.

My wife will probably be “randomly selected” again the next time we fly.


am i the only one that thinks the government doesn’t have enough probable cause to search that man?


There’s your problem right there.

No thought was involved at all. The TSA does security theatre, inflexibility and cruelty, but not thought.


I can understand the awkwardness and absurdity, I suspect the agent involved found it just as bad, when I’ve had to be patted down in sensitive areas they clearly didn’t enjoy it.

The mm scanners build an image of the person being scanned. This is compared to the standard average template for that gender, any significant differences between the two is flagged for a pat down.

If you travel with heavy boots that have significant padding above the ankle this will block the scanner and they will need to pat down your ankles.

If you are a body builder with significantly non-average thighs then those thighs will be flagged by the scanner, they would not have been random searches. I understand that agents don’t have discretion on the initial screening, if the machine says that the thighs need to be patted down then the agent must pat them down and must do so using the methods they were trained in, which is what we saw.

There are significantly more problems with the process than flagging body builders. @ethicalcannibal above stated that his wife has a penis and so gets flagged every time she flies, which makes sense as that wouldn’t match the standard female profile. Non-white hair styles and head coverings often get flagged such as afros, wigs, turbans, and muslim head scarves. People who are overweight get flagged more often. People with physical disabilities or wearing medical devices will get flagged. Moisture such as sweat throws off the machine, so people who are nervous about the process are more likely to be flagged. And of course once flagged the pat down process upsets a significant number of people, the offer to take the person to a room of to the side where they are alone and powerless seems unlikely to help.

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In other words, whoever came up with the standard average template the scanner software uses somehow managed to code every conceivable bias that can be expressed with a word ending in “-ism” or “-phobic” into it?
And as if that wasn’t enough of a shitshow in and on itself, the TSA personnel have no leeway at all to follow their own cognisance?
Well, at least there is method to the madness. Which makes it worse. And by madness I mean systemic discrimination.
Seriously, in a way I’d almost be somewhat impressed by it all if it wasn’t so utterly enraging.


Yep Bingo GIF by MOODMAN

I’m really finding endless excuses of systemic discrimination to be increasingly tedious. Nothing is inevitable, and we can change this shit, but some of us don’t want to, because it benefits us too much.


I certainly don’t mean to excuse it, and I definitely don’t think it is ok.

I do feel that to effectively advocate to change a system we need to understand why it works the way it does.

If the system mandates the actions of the TSA officer then targeting the officer will have limited impact. We should be asking Leidos why their systems flag what they flag. We should be asking the TSA why they don’t allow their officers discretion to skip obvious false positives. And above all we should be repeatedly asking for evidence that this ongoing humiliation, burden and expense is actually achieving something.

Downplaying people getting assaulted and discriminated against doesn’t help further that. yes, we should know why a system functions like it does, but we should also more importantly understand the impacts it has, on who, and in what way. :woman_shrugging:

I mean, there is probably not a singular answer for that. Maybe stop trying to put all the blame here on bureaucracy (which is a problem) and understand that TSA agents, can and do make choices all the time. I’m promise you that the allow all sorts of people who don’t fit certain profiles to sail on through. That’s how all of these kinds of systems work. It’s never just “following orders” there is always people who carve out leeway, because these systems function on forms of active discrimination that seem to be about regulations, only, but really end up coming down much, much harder on some people than others.