American Airlines Rejects Female Passenger Because Political Pro-Choice T-Shirt is “Inappropriate”

This article was updated at 12:41 pm, Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012.

Yesterday I attended a meeting of pro-choice colleagues working to ensure women throughout this country get safe, compassionate abortion care. Today, I received an email from one of those colleagues, detailing the ordeal through which she was put by American Airlines on her flights home. They actually forced her to miss her connecting flight and demanded she change her top. The reason? Her politically salient pro-choice t-shirt was offensive to the flight crew.

That sign said: “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d fuck a senator.”The t-shirt is the now-popularized version of a sign held by Oklahoma state senator Judy McIntyre (D) at a pro-choice rally in early March to protest Oklahoma’s so-called personhood law, which in conferring the rights of a living, breathing person on a fertilized egg denies all rights of personhood of women, full stop.

At the time of the rally, and asked about the sign, State Senator McIntyre “acknowledged that some in Oklahoma, which is overwhelmingly Christian, may find her sign’s language offensive, but she wasn’t much concerned about them.”

“I would hope they would have that same passion about how offensive it is for the Republican Party of Oklahoma to ramrod, because they have the votes to do so, bills that are offensive to women and take away the rights of women,” she reportedly said.

My colleague, O., of the same mind of many of us in believing that sign says it all, wore a t-shirt with the same message under her shawl and boarded an American Airlines flight home from our meeting.

So what happened? O. writes: 

[O]n the plane of the first leg of my flight home, I spent the majority of [time] sleeping, using my shawl as a blanket. Right before we were set to land the flight attendant from first class approaches me and asks if I had a connecting flight? We were running a bit behind schedule, so I figured I was being asked this to be sure I would make my connecting flight.  She then proceeded to tell me that I needed to speak with the captain before disembarking the plane and that the shirt I was wearing was offensive.

The shirt was gray with the wording, “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d fuck a senator.” I must also mention that when I boarded the plane, I was one of the first groups to board (did not pass by many folks).  I was wearing my shawl just loosely around my neck and upon sitting down in my seat the lady next to me, who was already seated, praised me for wearing the shirt.

When I was leaving the plane the captain stepped off with me and told me I should not have been allowed to board the plane in DC and needed to change before boarding my next flight. This conversation led to me missing my connecting flight.  I assumed that because I was held up by the captain, they would have called ahead to let the connecting flight know I was in route.  Well, upon my hastened arrival at the gate of the connecting flight, it was discovered that they did indeed call ahead but not to hold the flight, only to tell them I needed to change my shirt. I was given a seat on the next flight and told to change shirts.

Due to the fact that my luggage was checked, changing shirts without spending money wasn’t an option. I consulted a friend with a law background who told me covering with my shawl would suffice. Upon boarding the now rescheduled flight with shawl covering my shirt, my ticket dinged invalid. I was pulled to the side while the gentleman entered some codes into the computer and then told, “it was all good.”  I did finally arrive home to pick up my daughter an hour and a half later than scheduled. 

So let’s review some facts. O. went through security and was stopped for additional screening, but not deemed a “security risk,” and no one at TSA made the slightest mention of her t-shirt. She boarded her first flight, and none of the airline personnel at the gate mentioned her t-shirt. She quietly took her seat, wrapped her shawl around herself, and went to sleep.

When her plane landed the flight attendant confronted her and said she had to speak to the captain. At no point did anyone say quietly, hey… could you keep that covered with your shawl? Could you turn it inside out? We have a policy….

Instead, after the plane landed the flight attendant brought her up front where the captain berated her publicly and made her miss her connecting flight. It turns out when she asked if anyone had complained the answer was: NO, Only the flight attendant!

The captain and flight attendant took it upon themselves to call ahead to the next gate and make them keep her off the next flight, causing her to miss it. Two American Airlines employees decided *after the fact* to make an issue of this of their own accord and, instead of asking discreetly if she could cover her shirt or turn it inside out, she was humiliated in front of other passengers by a captain out of control. Yes, in some way this obviously has to do with profanity, but where does that stop? Is she allowed to walk into Target? Is she allowed to go to CVS?  She was allowed to walk through the airport… If we women all over this country are being fucked over, and we can’t say that, where does that end?

No.. In this country, you see, fundamentalist right-wing male legislators in every state can take away your rights. They can deny you access to contraception, breast exams, Pap smears, and other primary preventive care. They can deny you access to safe emergency contraception and safe medication abortion. They can force any woman in need of a safe abortion to listen to lies about outcomes of the procedure long disproven by medical science and public health professionals. They can mandate that you to listen to religious dogma at crisis pregnancy centers, force you to look at an ultrasound or hear a heartbeat, make you wait 24-, 36-, 72-hours before you can get a safe, legal abortion, just because they feel like it, and just because they feel like it, they can raise the costs of that abortion — in terms of travel, childcare, medical expenses and time — to really shame you good. Moreover, they feel empowered to coerce you into procedures like trans-vaginal ultrasounds, which I maintain is a form of state-sponsored rape.

But protest these laws and the War on Women with a t-shirt that gets right to the point? Let people know the basis of all of it, the people that “want government out of our lives” want to place it directly into our bodies? In a country supposedly founded on freedom of speech and expression, in which protestors can stand outside clinics harassing and threatening women and doctors, and run through every public square with gory doctored photos? A country in which other protestors can stand outside the funerals of gay soldiers killed in duty and scream disgusting insults, and still have their rights protected? 

Oh, no. You can’t do that. You can’t take that message that your body is your own anywhere. Because in the United States today, that is like taking your burqha off under the Taliban. That is “offensive,” “insulting” and “not for public consumption.”

At least according to American Airlines, which apparently has not heard the term freedom of expression.

Let’s be clear: This is a woman who was not a security risk — she got through the gauntlet of DC airport security, which I assure everyone is easily the most rigorous of any in the country — and obviously was not considered a “risk” of any kind, because… she was not. She boarded her plane without incident and went to sleep. It was at the end of her flight that the flight crew decided she should not be able to board the next flight because her t-shirt was offensive. How is it okay for American Airlines to decide what she can wear on her t-shirt or not? I have been on flights with men wearing tatoos that demean women, and t-shirts that advocate violence against women, that demean women, that treat Obama with racist derision… What someone wears on their body is their business. Whether or not you would wear that t-shirt is not the point. It is not for American Airlines to decide what is politically okay or not.

In March, State Senator Judy Mcintyre told the Huffington Post:

“I was so excited about the fact that the women in Oklahoma have finally begun to wake up and fight for their rights. I saw a sea of signs that caught my eye, but this one in particular — I loved its offensive language, because it’s just as offensive for Republicans of Oklahoma to do what they’re doing as it relates to women’s bodies. I don’t apologize for it.”

We don’t apologize for fighting for the freedom of women. We don’t apologize for taking that war into streets, on sidewalks, into legislatures, into airplanes. We don’t apologize for protecting our rights and our bodies and those of every woman in this country.

While there are plenty of people in power right now that owe women of the United States an apology, American Airlines owes a huge — and public– apology to O. 

Tell them so.

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  • rachel-larris

    My guess is American Airlines would pretend to themselves someone thought you aren’t allowed to walk around in public with the F-word on your shirt. (actually you can just fine). My other guess is that, yes, it was the specific pro-choiceness of the sentiment, beyond the F-word, is what torked off the pilot and the crew enough to make sure she (whom I’m sure they thought was some kind of baby-killing monster) had a bad day. It’s the least they could do. I guess O. should be lucky she was even ALLOWED to take a connecting flight considering…

  • qnetter

    I’m as progressive as pretty much anyone, but I wouldn’t let you on my plane, or in my office, or in my home wearing a t-shirt with the F-word on it.

  • sweett

    Why? It’s not like it actually said “Fuck Pro-Lifers” or “Fuck Muslims” or anything hateful. It was using fuck with it’s actual intent – PIV intercourse. As a private person, you are allowed to allow anyone into your home that you want. If you are an employer, you’d be fine expecting an employee not to wear a shirt. But are we now going to allow a single pilot (or flight attendent) to make a sweeping statement on behalf of a large organization saying that “we now, for this moment and for this passenger, have a dress code, which s/he was not made aware of before booking with us”? Bullshit.


    Also, does anyone know where I can get that shirt???

  • jennifer-starr

    I suppose somebody could consider the word ‘obscene’, but in my opinion it’s nowhere near as obscene as the war on women that the so-called ‘pro-lifers’ are waging. That’s about as obscene as it gets. 

  • ch
  • blondeambition

    I’ve seen far worse on the chests of many teens t-shirts, so I don’t get it. Not to minimize the incident (or inconvenience) since your luggage was checked and they insisted you change your shirt — but couldn’t you have just turned it inside-out to comply and make your connection?

  • jodi-jacobson

    Hi… in response to your question… The answer is “yes” she would have easily done that if anyone had asked her to do so. Please read the story carefully. She was not asked to do anything and there was no problem–she was not even *thinking* about this at the time– when she was stopped from *getting off the plane* by the flight attendant and then publicly berated by the captain. No one had complained, she was leaving the plane, no one had asked her nicely or otherwise to turn her t-shirt inside out… it was how this was handled and the vehemence against her that is the issue.

    while the word “fuck” may be seen as profane, plenty of things are profane in my view that are common staples of the world around us.  Why she was singled out AFTER the fact, and never asked. and moreover… why should she have to do this? Are men with t-shirts of naked women asked to do this? Are men with misogynistic sayings on their t-shirts or on their tatooed and visible arms asked to get off planes?

    let’s put this in context. This was an exhausted traveler, who ran to the airport after a multi-day meeting wearing the clothese she’d had on all morning. She didn’t go there thinking… Oh, let’s see how American Airlines reacts! she just wanted to get home. They made this incident into a controversy by targetting an African American woman in a t-shirt about which no one complained but was offensive *after the fact* to the flight attendant and captain. Sorry… let’s not put the blame on the customer. 

  • dventimi

    The two have nothing to do with each other.

  • jennifer-starr

    Actually they do–it is not a ‘non-sequitir’.  Because it has nothing to do with ‘saving baybees’ and everything to do with trying to control women’s bodies and reproductive choice–big government in every woman’s uterus. And that  is about as obscene as it gets. 

  • dventimi

    You might think the so-called “War on Women” is obscene, and others might agree with you (maybe even me), but that has nothing to do with airline policy.


  • dventimi

    I read the story and your comments carefully, and here’s what I noticed.

    • The article headline (maybe you didn’t write it) claims she was rejected because her political pro-choice T-shirt is “inappropriate”, but your story provides no evidence to support this claim.  The word “inappropriate”–which you quote–doesn’t even appear in your article.
    • In your comment you write that “she was not asked to do anything” and “there was no problem”, but clearly she was asked to do something (change her shirt), and there was a problem (they didn’t like her shirt)
    • In your comment you write that she was stopped from getting off the plane by the flight attendant.  That’s not correct.  If you read the story carefully, you’ll see that the flight attendant spoke to her while the plane was landing, which means she was in her seat.  Nothing indicates the flight attendant stopped her from getting off the plane.  Further, the story says that she wasn’t prevented from leaving the plane, but that the pilot stepped off the plane with her to talk to her about her shirt.
    • In your comment you write that she was “publicly berated by the captain” with “vehemence”.  Now, you’re embellishing your tale.  Nowhere in your original article do you indicate she was “berated”, publicly, vehemently, or otherwise.
    • In your comment you write that “plenty of things are profane in my view that are common”.  Non-sequitur.  It has nothing at all to do with what the airline’s policies may (or may not) be.
    • In your comment you trot out a bunch of examples and ask things like, “Are men required to remove misogynistic t-shirts”.  Well, maybe they are.  Are you sure that they aren’t?  Ever?  Do you have an evidence to back you up?  At all?
    • In your comment you drag in many more irrelevant details, like how exhausted she was and how many meetings she’d had that.  As if any of these things have any relevance, at all, which they don’t.  Complete non-sequitur.
    • Most GALLING of all, is that you try to play the race card by saying the airline “targeted” an African American woman.  What on Earth does her race or ethnicity have to do with anything?  Racism is a grave issue, of course.  So grave, in fact, that charges of racism should be made with great care.  Have you ANY evidence this was racially motivated?  You certainly don’t present any.

    Please read the story–THAT YOU WROTE–more carefully.


  • jodi-jacobson

    I am a bit confused by your rant, but I’ll just say this… all details in this article are accurate as relayed to me by the passenger. As you will note if you can read carefully, the article was updated with further information, and this is clearly indicated so … thanks for the side by side, but you are wrong.

    The passenger went through security *and* through the gate with no incident, sat in her seat and went to sleep with no incident and afterward, when she was needing to leave to get her next flight she was, as she has said and as detailed here, asked by the flight attendant to see the captain, and then publicly berated by the captain for her shirt. Completely inappropriate behavior on the part of American Airlines.

    And yes, I have as I say above many times seen things I found offensive on airlines, including tattoos and clothing with racist and misogynistic messaging. If she can’t be on the plane, can she be in the airport? Can she be in a grocery store? Who decides who gets to wear what?  If NOT ONE passenger complained about this, why did they approach her at all, much less at the end of the flight.

    I absolutely think the pro-choice nature of the t-shirt ticked them off and they inappropriately treated this passenger according to an inconsistent and vague policy that no one explained in the first place. As I said, if at the gate they had stopped her and said: Hey, can you turn your shirt inside out? or wear your shawl to cover it? She would have complied. No one did.

    #AmericanAirlinesFail.  Period.

  • colleen

    the Airline Policy you so revere is one that allows Captains a great deal of latitude and this captain took advantage of that policy to enforce a dress code he made up on the spot. If American Airlines wants to have a dress code and enforce it arbitrarily they should tell customers before they’re stupid enough to buy an overpriced ticket from their bankrupt, employee abusing, corrupt airline. And Jennifer is correct. I am sorry you are unable to connect the dots.



  • jennifer-starr

    I don’t think the war on women is so-called at all. Unlike the imaginary ‘War on Christmas’, this is very, frighteningly real.  And yes, I would consider it more obscene than the word fuck—much, much more. 

    That being said, while I’m pretty sure that you’re not allowed to board an airline in a state of undress or in something that would be termed as indecent exposure, in my 15+ years of flying I don’t ever recall being informed of any kind of a dress code. I once wore  a shirt that I had bought in London which read “Cool as FCUK” ( French Connection UK)–I got some stares, but no one said that wearing it was against any policy.

    I suppose a mom with a child could’ve complained to a flight attendant.  However, given today’s climate, I’m more inclined to think that someone was less offended by the word on the shirt and more offended by the political message it espoused.  And it looks as though the facts  of the case back me up. 

  • dventimi

    back you up?

  • jelliebellie

    Clearly, this was a political message and, as such, is protected by the First Amendment as it the right of free public assembly. If the intention is to protest the government’s actions the expression should have been more precisely directed rather than in an intimate setting of a plane where fellow travelers are restricted from moving about without being offended, intentionally or not, by this possibly offensive message. Considering that the idea of democratic protest is to enlist the rest of the members of a democracy over to your cause or point of view, by offending strangers such a message risks alienating others who may not be familiar with the issue being protested. It may be everyone’s right to wear tee shirts that read “The Supreme Court Justices are All Cunts” but to do so risks being counterproductive. And when it comes to calling politcians motherfuckers, I’m fairly sure you could not do that at a Congressional hearing.

  • jonnytrumbull

    What the captain did was almost certainly false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and prima facie tort.  Maybe slander, although it’s not clear from the article exactly what he said.  Interfering with her connecting flight probably counts toward his point total as well.  And what makes it easier is that there’s lots of law to the effect that “common carriers” (originally railroads, but it fits) owe passengers a special duty of care.  This bozo crossed all manner of actionable lines.  It shouldn’t be that hard to find someone to give this a shot.  Oh, I know what it says on the back of the ticket.  But they were on the ground when this all happened.  This has settlement value.


  • dventimi

    The First Amendment protects speech from government intrusion.  I don’t believe it’s applicable here.

  • dventimi

    What is your evidence for these outlandish claims?  Or are you being sarcastic?



  • blondeambition

    Wasn’t blaming the victim at all … I agree that the airline and all involved were completely out of line and then some. The article said she couldn’t change her shirt because the luggage was checked — so clearly, she thought of that as an option if they wouldn’t allow her to board or make her transfer as she was dressed. The TSA arrests people for sneezing the wrong way these days … I was just wondering if turning her shirt inside out would have allowed her to make the flight — was not at all minimizing the situation, suggesting it was her fault, or anything else. The story stands on its own and I am as outraged as anyone. I was only thinking outside the box of what I might have done to just get on my way given the only option was flying and you are at the mercy of these morons. Sincerest apologies if my observation was intepreted otherwise.

  • ack

    Instead, after the plane landed the flight attendant brought her up front where the captain berated her publicly and made her miss her connecting flight. It turns out when she asked if anyone had complained the answer was: NO, Only the flight attendant!

    It wasn’t a parent, or another passenger. It was the flight attendant, who doesn’t have “police people’s dress” in her job description. Neither does the captain. 






  • dventimi

    I’m more inclined to think that someone was less offended by the word on the shirt and more offended by the political message it espoused

    First, nothing in your quote from the author of the article (not the woman who experienced this) supports your claim that the pilot was offended by the shirt’s political content rather than by its profanity. 


    Second, the words “berated publicly” were added by this article’s author in a subsequent edit, do not appear in the block quote she provided from the woman, and may be an embellishment on her part. 


    Learn to reason, people.

  • dventimi

    Why do you use the word “rant” when describing my bulleted list of criticisms?  A rant implies a response so distorted by emotion that its reasoning is suspect and it can therefore be rejected out of hand.  That would be convenient for you because it would spare you from having to address my actual criticisms, and that’s precisely the reason you used the word, I suspect, since you did, for the most part, avoid addressing them.  That’s a cheat, and reflects poorly on your ability to argue your points.

  • kirsten-sherk

    Jodi, did you or your colleague contact American Airlines? Whether this passenger was detained (illegally and irresponsibly, I believe) because her t-shirt was considered obscene, or in reaction to its political sentiment, surely questions and complaints should be directed to the airline itself? I would have love to hear what response you receive by contacting their media relations office (817-967-1577,, as well as what customer relations might tell the customer.


    With that bit of information, as well as the date and flight number, I would happily join an effort to flood the customer relations number or email (

  • maddie

    What the decency- and maturity-impaired “O” and the irony-impaired Jodi Jacobson fail to realize is that the fastest way to get government out of your womb is for it to stop paying for what goes on there.  Until you are willing to pay the emotional, physical, and financial freight yourself, your body is NOT “your own.”  It’s bought and paid for by someone else, usually against their will.


    To “O”:  By your own account, you are old enough to have a child.  Stop dressing like a sullen, rebellious teenager in public and grow up.  Before the pilot even spoke to you, you knew what the issue was about.  Why didn’t you proactively handle the situation yourself, like a grown-up?  A simple “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend anyone.  Why don’t I just turn the shirt inside-out?”  No, instead you had to whine.  Why do I point this out?  Because it perfectly exemplifies the convenient helplessness of many women on the left, who want their independence, but refuse to accept the responsibility that comes with it.


    To Jodi Jacobson:  Oh, come on.  Is this seriously the best you can do?  You need to try harder.  First off, in a time of recession, when only 53% of those able to work actually have jobs, saying “Look, you need to pay for your own contraception and abortion—we can’t afford to pay for sexual activity that doesn’t involve us” does NOT equal “denying access.”   And just so you know (again with the convenient helplessness!), most GPs and OB-GYNs offer breast exams and preventive health care.  And unlike PP, OB-GYN’s offer mammograms. Stop being dishonest.


    Oh, and for the record, your  “trans-vaginal ultrasound/rape” meme? Long since discredited.  Even pretend journalists need to do their research.  Long before the VA law was even considered, the PPs in VA had a phone message which clearly stated that two office visits were necessary, one for the ultrasound and one for the procedure itself. 


    This entire article was whiny, self-serving, deceitful, and in short, a complete waste of everyone’s time. 

  • maddie

    I think you need to hit the law books, Counselor.  American Airlines is not a government entity and is under no obligation to provide transportation to anyone.  And they are well within their rights to enforce standards of dress and behavior for the comfort of all their passengers.  If O doesn’t like it, she can drive.

  • maddie

    If she “went to sleep,” as you claim, how would she know if one or several or all the other passengers approached the flight crew and pointed this offensive shirt out?


    And if, as both of you claim, “O” had a shawl covering her shirt when she boarded the plane, how would the gate attendant know what her shirt said underneath in order to instruct her on how to dress appropriately?

    The TSA is a service.  They are there solely to screen out dangerous devices.  American Airlines is a business, completely separate from the TSA.  They have to weigh the needs of all their passengers and set standards that ensure the safety and comfort of as many people as possible.  They have the right to decline service to drunk, unruly or offensive people for just this reason. 

    I can’t believe I really need to point this out to you, but the airport is a building, overseen jointly by the federal and municipal authorities.  They most likely will not chastize attire, for First Amendment reasons.  The grocery stor is a business, and again, they need to weight the needs of their customers.  “O” does not have the “right” to shop in any given store.


    Jodi Jacobson Fail.  Period.

  • maddie

    Actually, yes, the flight crew very much has the responsibility of ensurinig the safety and comfor of all their passengers.  That means maintaining mimimum standards of behavior and dress.  They are the face of the company to their passengers, and they absolutely have the right to refuse  service to anyone not meeting them.



  • jodi-jacobson

    That the information cited was added AFTER speaking at length with the passenger by phone.

    We do not “embellish.”

  • jodi-jacobson

    There is a petition in the post that has been signed by nearly 3000 people. We have heard from American. They continue to deny that this was a problem and cite the word rather than the sentiment. I find it hard to understand how “after” the flight landed, she was a safety risk or any other kind of risk.  

  • maddie

    One other thing:   In yet another example of convenient helplessness, “O” should learn how to calculate layover time if she has a connecting flight.  Unless the original plane was over 60 minutes late getting in, she has no one to blame but herself for missing her connection.

  • maddie

    The flight attendant might have been the one to approach “O,” but that doesn’t mean one of the passengers didn’t call it to her attention.  If I was a passenger on that plane, there’s no way I would approach a woman with so little regard for others (and a mother herself, no less!  A fine example she sets!) that she would wear something so inappropriate into a confined space. 

    And by “O”s own account,she fell asleep, so she has no way of knowing how many people might have complained.


  • jennifer-starr

    Long before the VA law was even considered, the PPs in VA had a phone message which clearly stated that two office visits were necessary, one for the ultrasound and one for the procedure itself. 

    Then what was the point in the legislation to begin with? If what you say is true, it seems that the law  that Shorty McDonnell touted would be somewhat superfluous–something that he thought would beef up his ‘wanting to be the VP’ credentials. Is that the idea?  

    PP does ultrasounds when it’s MEDICALLY NECESSARY for diagnostic purposes.  Unlike CPCs, they don’t do it as a form of emotional blackmail or type doofy messages on the ultrasound like “Hi Mommy”. 

  • colleen

    This entire article was whiny, self-serving, deceitful, and in short, a complete waste of everyone’s time. 

    I think the above does a better job of critiquing your shallow attempts at self expression.


  • colleen

    A rant implies a response so distorted by emotion that its reasoning is suspect and it can therefore be rejected out of hand.

    and your point was?


  • bionic

    About all of the snark in the comments section. Isn’t the problem here that the captain/flight attendant detained O after the flight had landed and prevented her from reaching her next flight? Regardless of covering her shirt with her shawl, turning it inside out, buying a new shirt – whatever – she has a right to wear her shirt. Attacking her for acting like a “rebellious teen” as I’ve seen someone do and questioning her abilities as a mother is well beyond the point of the article – and not even relevant to the conversation at hand. 

    Whether or not they detained her because the word was obscene or because of the political message behind it is debatable, but the fact remains that this situation could have been handled better. O could have turned her shirt inside out yes, she could’ve covered it with her shawl (as she did for most of the flight) but perhaps the tension and possibly anger induced by the situation precluded better judgement on the part of all parties involved. I don’t know. But neither do you. Everyone seems to be passing judgement on O and drawing conclusions about a situation that none of us were there to witness. 

    Beyond that, the question remains – if she’d had on a pro-life shirt with the same sort of language, would she have been detained? If she’d been a man, would she have been detained? According to the author of the article, the woman was black, so…if she’d been white – would she have been detained?  *shurgs* who knows. 

  • colleen

     when women employed as 3 Playboy bunnies  boarded. Their dress was far more obscene than a t shirt with the word ‘fuck’ on it. Oddly the flight crew (and male passengers) reacted with delight at their presence in business class and they received extra special treatment.




  • maddie

    I’m not a resident of VA, so I can’t speak to their motivation.  I’m pointing out that it’s disingenuous and histrionic to call an ultrasound “rape,” simply because it’s now required as opposed to, say, at the discretion of the clinic. 

    Either it’s rape both ways, in which case, where was RHRC to complain, or it isn’t rape either way, in which case, stop using it to try to bolster an irrelevant argument.

  • dventimi

    My point is that the author, and many of her supporters in these comments, do not represent their side well.  They reason poorly, commit logical fallacies (such as ad hominem, of which this was an example), and in general hurt their cause.  She–and they–labor to get us to believe some great injustice was done to this passenger.  Well, that may actually be the case.  I admit that.  If it is, then she–and they–have done her a disservice by litigating her case poorly.  Basically, Ms. Jacobson is in the role of a journalist here, and like many other journalists sadly do, she has in this case not done a very good job.

  • jennifer-starr

    If it’s not medically necessary, then there’s no need for it. Period.  And I say the doctor  should be the one to make that call–not  some right-wing legislator or a governor with a Napoleon complex and a degree from Pat Robertson’s so-called ‘University’. It should be at their discretion. 

    And if there’s no medical reason for it and the woman states that she does not want an ultrasound–then yes, I would say that is both invasive and intrusive.  The government coming in between you and your doctor. 

    Just where are these ‘small-government’ conservatives that I’ve heard tell about? 


    And yes, I am a resident of Virginia–and very happy that McDonnell only gets to serve one term. He’s the worst governor we’ve had since Jim Gilmore.

  • colleen

    well, my point was that your posts are meritless rants without substance and intended to demean and insult. Sorry you missed the obvious.


  • dventimi

    Is name-calling the only trick in your book?  Is there a rational argument from you in our future?


  • stop-raising-einstein

    They probably got upset because the shirt was misleading…everyone knows you can’t get to a woman’s womb through an asshole…

  • maddie

    If my “attempts at self expression” (and by the way, the proper phrase is “reasoned argument”) are so shallow, then why are you having such a difficult time refuting them?

  • colleen

    Because your attempts at self expression aren’t worth the time.

  • maddie

    Bionic, I’m the one who said she was dressed like a rebellious teen.  And yes, it’s perfectly relevant.  As I’ve already said numerous times, no one has a right to fly; an airline is a business and they need to set certain standards for the comfort of their passengers. 


    And while it is true that, unless you were on that flight, you have no idea what actually transpired, “O” was the one who is making a federal case out of it.  Not the flight attendant, not the pilot.  Their points of view were given exactly zero consideration.  The only side that was presented was “Waaah!  They won’t let me get away with inappropriate attire and bad behavior!”


    I’m not aware of any pro-life shirt that uses profanity, but hypothetically speaking, such a T-shirt might have a picture that the airline reps considered too graphic, in which case yes, the wearer should suck it up and handle the situation.  And the wearer’s race, gender, or political preferences are irrelevant. 

  • maddie

    Then why do you keep responding to them, Sweetheart?

  • colleen


  • jodi-jacobson

    You would see that she asked if any of the passengers complained and was told “no.”

  • jrm83

    And by “O”s own account,she fell asleep, so she has no way of knowing how many people might have complained.

    Actually, she did.

     It turns out when she asked if anyone had complained the answer was: NO, Only the flight attendant!




  • w2taylor

    I was just wondering when the American female decided that being classless and vulgar was an effective way to communicate? My mom, my aunt, my grandmom never acted or spoke in the manner that women do today, and my dad, my grandad and my uncle respected and listened to them all. Go figure.


  • ashley333

    As a communication student who has studied what is legal to say over the air and on television it is actually LEGAL to say the F-word or A-word as long as it is in the original context it was meant. You cannot say it if it is meant in a derogatory way but if talking about it in its correct context it is okay. If it is alright to say this over the air or put it on television in print or by saying it out loud then it should be perfectly okay for her to wear this shirt in public and she can fight for her right to wear it if she decides to sue AA. And I hope she does.


    It is disgraceful for men to think that they can control a woman’s rights to have a child or not to have one. People do nothing but complain about how young girls are getting knocked up and pregnant at such a young age. This is happening because there is no help for them to obtain birth control or help after they become pregnant. We can’t hope that a man learns what it is like to be knocked up and have no where to turn because fortunately for them they will never have to. I just pray something changes. If womens rights are taken away in this country how will we be any different from the dictator countries where women are forced to marry at a young age and cover themselves from head to toe everytime they set foot in public?

  • liberty

    i’m pro life and pro choice… but why did she have to be argumentative?  She could have just it flipped it inside out.  They didn’t throw her off because she was pro choice, they threw her off because she was argumentative and refused to flip the shirt inside out… its private property and they have to the right to remove passengers if they are causing trouble.  The last place you should cause trouble is an airplane

  • jodi-jacobson

    If you could point me to even one sentence in this article that suggests O. was “causing trouble.”

    I repeat: She slept most of the way on her flight. The flight attendant and pilot did not confront her until AFTER the plane landed, and only then to berate her publicly about her t-shirt. She asked if anyone had complained. They had not. She has the right to wear whatever she wants. If they had wanted to do so, they could have asked her quietly and respectfully to turn her shirt inside out or, as was finally asked of her, to simply cover it with her shawl.

    I am amazed that people are seeking to put blame on her for things she never did, and that you all seem to be more upset by the t-shirt than thelaws denying women their rights.

    Not a very good sign for our democracy.

  • dventimi
    1. Can you tell us exactly what the flight attendant said to her, and exactly what the pilot said to her?
    2. Did this woman tell you the pilot “berated” her?  What exactly were his/her words in this case?


  • crowepps

    I’d like to get to the bottom of this myself.  Exactly when did you self-appoint yourself as internet post monitor, exactly how are you planning to enforce your perceived right to be personally convinced of the truth of all statements before other people are allowed to hold them, and how much do you make a year doing apologetics for ProLife fanatics who want to publically shame those with whom they disagree?

  • dventimi

    when did you self-appoint yourself as internet post monitor

    We’re all Internet post monitors.  Get over it.

    your perceived right to be personally convinced of the truth

    It’s only perceived is it?  You’re saying I don’t have a right to be convinced?  That therefore, I must accept Ms. Jacobson’s assertions, even if she doesn’t build a very good case?

    before other people are allowed to hold them

    How am I preventing other people from accepting Ms. Jacobson’s assertions?  By being so impolite as to ask awkward questions neither she nor her defenders are able to address?  Is that the standard we’re now adopting?  Would you therefore bite your tongue when some Republican makes some nonsensical assertion?

    how much do you make a year doing apologetics for ProLife fanatics

    Not that it matters, but I’m a staunch pro-choice Liberal.  But I’m disappointed when I see other Liberals use some of the same tactics of the Right (emotional appeals, slipshod reasoning, ad hominem attacks).  The fact that you assume someone who disagrees with you must be an enemy from the other tribe speaks volumes about the way you think.

  • ingodwetrust

    First of all those so called doctored gory posters are not doctored they are the “real” thing created by doctors who look at women and see dollar signs.  Second we are talking about “real” live human babies not some kind of disease.  If that were the case than having sex would be the carrier of that disease.  Someone has to stand up for your baby because you certainly are not.  You should be thanking you mother for not believing in abortion or you just might not have been here.  In any case I pray the rosary everyday for all of you that God will forgive you and change your heart before it is to late.  This way maybe you will have a chance to see your babies in heaven.  GOD and His son Jesus Christ, now that is the “REALITY”.  Hope to see you in heaven!!!

  • ingodwetrust

    Let’s see, grow up and be lady.  If you don’t like the way men act then way are you acting like one.

    There are other ways to get your point across.   I am just greatful that I was not on that flight with my child having to explain what that gross word means. 

  • colleen

    But I’m disappointed when I see other Liberals use some of the same tactics of the Right (emotional appeals, slipshod reasoning, ad hominem attacks).  The fact that you assume someone who disagrees with you must be an enemy from the other tribe speaks volumes about the way you think.

    I’m disappointed to see someone who claims to be a liberal behaving and thinking just like an abusive, right wing, MRM jerk. fuck off.

  • jennifer-starr

    Ugh. People always trot out this tired old chestnut–‘But how will I explain it to my child?’  Frankly I see why you should have to ‘explain’ anything. Just simply say “That’s not a word we use,” and move on from there–somehow I doubt the little darling will be scarred for life. 

  • dventimi

    You could have responded with intelligence, wit, and reason.  I see you chose the alternative.


  • person-0

    …when someone has one post that includes almost every anti-choice platitude?  Really, it’s silly.

    “Real babies?” Um, yes, but not on the posters. Are you really so uninformed that you think doctors are photographing fetal remains? Do you understand the fetal stages at the time when almost all abortions occur?

    “Pregnancy isn’t a disease”. Yawn.

    “Someone has to speak for the bayyyyybiessss”.

    “Good thing your mother didn’t believe in abortion”. That might be the stupidest one.

    And of course, “praying to jesus and seeing babies in heaven”. Blah, blah, blah. 

    You understand nothing about abortion and no one here is interested in your ignorance beyond laughing at it. 

  • julie-watkins

    “Pregnancy isn’t a disease”. Yawn.

    It’s a trade off.

    In most cases (prior to modern medicine) the reason for death in childbirth is birth canal can’t handle the baby’s head. The process of giving birth isn’t as difficult for other primate species, but larger brain size was such a survival advantage that genes that would cause death in a significant percentage of births, those genes still breed true — since earlier children or other siblings survived to carry the gene, or if the baby lives & there’s another woman in the local group with milk who can take care of another child.

    I’m wondering if the myths about childbirth being a punishment (I’m thinking of Eve; is it the same in other mythologies?) didn’t develope out of an observation that giving birth wasn’t as dangerous for domesticated animals as it is for human females, and speculating on a reason why.

  • purplemistydez

    We’ll act like a person, not an outdated gender sterotype and speak up for ourselves.  If that is unladylike, I don’t give a damn.  Also it’s your job to raise your kid, not to censor me.

  • maiac

    Making it simple for you…

    When your doctor (based on their expert medical judgment) recommends an ultrasound prior to an abortion and you (based on your doctor’s expert medical judgment) agree and CONSENT (without state coercion!) to allow the insertion of medical insturments in or on your body, that’s not rape.

    When the state legislature (absent any expert medical judgment) REQUIRES all women  to undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion (regardless of medical indications) this is DENYING a woman’s RIGHT TO REFUSE – the very foundation of consent. Inserting anything into (or onto!) a woman’s body without legitimate consent (the kind that you get without coercing her by making it contingent to access the legal medical procedure of abortion) is rape.


  • ack

     I am just greatful that I was not on that flight with my child having to explain what that gross word means.

    Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!!!???!!!!


    Trust me, your kids know words you don’t think they know. “Fuck” is the least of them. In fact, they know words and phrases you don’t know. If you’re lucky enough to be the one to explain the meaning, you can frame it within your own values. Ideally, parents are prepared to give enough information to meet a child’s needs without giving so much they overwhelm their capacity for understanding.


    The “fuck” word on a t-shirt is apparently a whole hearted endorsement for age appropriate, ongoing sex ed.