Underwire Bras and the TSA (RO)


**Can we just give up pretending that the American public is really willing to do any thing useful about preventing airplane hijackings? **
ISTM to that shortly after 9/11 the newly-formed TSA started advising travelers that under-wire bras would have a good chance of causing problems for the passengers at screening.

I remember, especially a flap when an airline stewardess was having a snit because the TSA people dared to investigate her after the metal in her bra set off the metal detectors.

This story from 2004 mentions some of the reasons why people should avoid underwire bras, as does this page from the TSA, itself.

This is not news. It’s not supposed to be a sudden policy change, and for damned sure, it’s not the outrage that this woman seems to think it should be.

IMNSHO the woman involved, and all other passengers, should be furious and shocked that this woman has been flying frequently for some time, now, without ever having her underwire bra set off the metal detectors. I am quite willing to wager large sums of money that I don’t have that for the metal content of an underwire bra one could also manufacture a box cutter that would work quite well as a lethal weapon. (Just for one example - consider a plastic handle holding a razor blade, or one of the larger X-Acto[sup]TM[/sup] knife blades)

Can we just stop pretending that the American public wants to do anything serious about security? The restrictions on passengers at this point seem to be simply multiplying the hassles of travel without reliably even causing the screeners to investigate things that they claim should be giving false positives! And the public’s reaction when they do hear about a false positive, and how rare it is, isn’t concern for what else might be going through the screening process unimpeded - just that the inconvenience is an outrage.

As a nation we’re spending billions, I believe, on this security that doesn’t seem to be working properly, and when it does work properly all that people can say is that it is an outrage. Why the fuck are we spending this money, again?

Excuse me, I need to beat my head against my desk. It will feel better than thinking about this idiocy.

The phrase you’re looking for is security theater.

My husband worked at a large airport, in the baggage area, for three months. He could have smuggled anything he wanted into the baggage area and gotten it on a plane. The metal detectors at boarding are supposed to increase our safety but it’s all for show when there are easier ways to smuggle larger things on board.

While I totally agree with you about the security thing being all fucked up, I have to say I would be a little indignant too about the bra. Some of the bustier among us can’t really be comfortable in any bra but an underwire. You’re telling me I can’t even wear a goddamn comfortable bra to fly without getting shit for it? This is really getting out of hand.

Interesting. I always wear underwire, and I’ve never set off alarms. (I fly maybe 3-4 times a year, so admittedly I don’t have a whole hell of a lot of experience.) To be honest, I really didn’t know it was supposed to be an issue.
It occurs to me that perhaps the underwire in what I wear isn’t metal. I’m not sure what Target’s using these days for their cheapie stuff.

Given that I have sometimes forgotten, and worn an underwire bra through security without incident, I’ve wondered if some ‘wires’ in bras are actually plastic. I’ve never wanted to cut up a representative sample of bras to check, as that seems expensive.

GilaB, that’s what I’m figuring. I just did a quick google and couldn’t really find anything right off the bat.

Mine’s never set it off either. I think, from the times it’s broken through and poked me, that it’s metal with plastic coating on the ends.

The most common form of death for my bras is an underwire poking through the fabric. I’ve found that the ratio of metal to plastic is about 2:1, with the metal often coated in plastic.

As far as airline security, it’s really meaningless unless they arm all of us on the way in, or we all have to board naked. Anything else is just window dressing.

We may be a few years away from ceramic handguns, but we sure as hell know how to make ceramic knives. And knives of hard plastic. Of what serious use is a metal detector?

Dayum. Ditto for me - I’m not a frequent traveler, maybe 6 or 7 flights a year, but I’ve always worn underwire bras, and didn’t know it was an issue. I also suspect that under"wires" are that stiff plastic stuff like I used when I made my corset. I sure hope so.

The irony is that the security obsessed mindset wants to reduce the general public to a mass of sheep that will obey any authority without question. And that’s a hundred times more dangerous than any possible weapon a terrorist might smuggle aboard a plane in her bra.

Passengers were always told to sit down quietly and do whatever they were told if there was a hijacking - leave it to the experts. Hijackers and terrorists knew this and that enabled them to take over planes with box cutters.

If they ever give me a hard time about mine, I’ll just take it off, right there in the security area. It’s easy enough to do without removing my shirt. :smiley:

Metal? Who needs metal?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ACLU membership card held proudly in hand: We’re all going to die. Deal with it. Let your death mean something, and bequeath a free country to your kids. Get you the sons your fathers got, and God will save the Queen. Or the Constitution.

Ditto. Hell, I’m on the verge of fed up by the time I’ve stripped off my shoes any way, I have no problem with flashing my tits to a TSA agent for good measure.


On preview, I see AHunter3 beat me to it.

Awesome post, Little Nemo. I wish it were mine!

TroubleAgain and lisacurl: Thank you for giving a man something to fight for. You are appointed Morale Officers. :smiley:

At least we can have fun with it.

I had a friend working at O’Hare. Pumping gas into planes I think. He said he was amazed to find out (when he started working there) that the workers got their own enterence. He said if he wanted to bring in a gun or bomb or whatever it wouldn’t have posed any challenge what so ever.

So far as I am concerned, you outrage is misplaced.

These kinds of restrictions and procedures are not in the the legitimate pursuit of safety. They are rather a theater for training people to submit to more and more intrusive forms of scrutiny, to learn to order our lives and activities and movements for the benefit of security operatives.

At this point, people like you, apparently, are willing to do damn near anything so long as it’s under the instructions of someone who carries a title with the word “security” in it.

Fuck that. It’s not making us any safer. It’s only making us less free.

I think we should all be furious and shocked that a small knife is the threshold for security. Small knives stopped being effective threats against airplanes a few hours into the morning of Sept. 11. Yes, someone on board with a knife could probably kill a few people. But someone on the ground with a knife could kill people, too. And have a better chance of escaping without being beaten to death by a mob.