A TSA agent has been "removed" after he scribbled a note on an official notice of inspection regarding a woman's sex toy and left it in her luggage. But it wasn't just any note, it wasn't just any luggage, and it wasn't just any passenger. See, the note said "Get your freak on girl" and was referring to a sex toy the woman had in her checked bag. And the woman was a popular blogger.
That woman was Jill Filipovic, a blogger for the site Femeniste. And on Monday, while on unpacking her bag from a recent trip, she found this gem:
Earlier this week, a passenger found a highly inappropriate note scrawled on a "Notice of Inspection" that TSA places in checked bags if they are required to be searched. She tweeted a photo of what she found and we soon learned of the incident.
TSA quickly launched an investigation and identified the employee responsible. That individual was immediately removed from screening operations and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated.
The handwritten note was highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior.
Agency officials have also reached out to the passenger to personally apologize for this unfortunate incident.
As for Filipovic, she responded to the news by writing a blog post on Femeniste that said she's not really offended by the note (she put it up because she thought it was humorous), but rather upset that the note is "representative of the bigger privacy intrusions that the U.S. government...levels every day:"
It’s easy to scape-goat one individual here, but the problem with the note is that it’s representative of the bigger privacy intrusions that the U.S. government, through the TSA and other sources, levels every day. The invasion is inherent to the TSA’s mission, regardless of whether a funny note is left behind — the note only serves to highlight the absurdity of all this security theater. As much as this is a funny and titillating story, when I put the note on Twitter for what I thought was a relatively limited audience I was hoping it would open up a bigger conversation about privacy rights (or lack thereof) in post-9/11 America. It unfortunately hasn’t done that, and instead has turned into a media circus. I would imagine that the TSA agent in question feels the same way I do at this point: I just want this story to go away. The note was inappropriate, the agent in question acted unprofessionally when s/he put in in my bag, there should be consequences and I’m glad the TSA takes these things seriously. But I get no satisfaction in hearing that someone may be in danger of losing their job over this. I would much prefer a look at why ‘security’ has been used to justify so many intrusions on our civil liberties, rather than fire a person who made a mistake.
And that's how a joke about a sex toy led to a conversation of government intrusion.