Already the general population isn’t too fond of the new TSA security procedures to proceed with an “enhanced” full-body pat-down in lieu of a full-body scan, but even politicians hate them too. Or what about an Ambassadors—a female one—who gets randomly chosen for a frisking ostensibly because she is wearing a sari? This was the case for India’s Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar, who received a pat-down at Mississippi’s Jackson-Evers Airport; her diplomatic status couldn’t save her from it, apparently.
Anyways, the hands-on search has India mad and even Secretary of State Hilary Clinton angry—Shankar’s Ambassadorial status should have seen her whisking through security, not her being frisked by it. According to the BBC, she was singled out for the extra security because of her flowing fabrics.
We know this pulling women aside based on wardrobe choice isn’t just a freak occurrence either; we experienced pretty much the same thing only a few days ago at JFK Airport….
We didn’t have any diplomatic credentials to shout and we weren’t wearing a sari, but our top was slightly drapey and after the after we replied no to the TSA officer’s question if we could take it off, he motioned us over for a pat-down. The resulting frisk only covered our upper half. It was a weird several minutes and now we’ve learned our lesson—don’t wear cool Allsaints drapey shirts to the airport—go with unflattering spandex if you don’t want to be touched.
Unfortunately, spandex is not an option for Ambassador Shankar, and it looks like she could be in for more frisk in the future as US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stands by the actions of the TSA officers in this case