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Having my vagina touched in security, aibu to feel pissed?

(329 Posts)
sadiesnakes Thu 30-Nov-17 09:43:43

Just back from a short break to New York. I brought my 7 mth old dd, who is being fed aptimil formula, so purchased the individual 7oz bottles to cut out having no proper sterilized water facility’s in the hotel we stayed in. On the out going flight I packed 6 bottles and 4 baby food pouches which were put through a scanning machine thingie in security to detect whatever bad things it is they are looking for, reassured it was perfectly safe for the baby food, no problems. On the way back we had a short stopover, flying from LaGuardia to Dulles to Dublin (home). I had 6 milks in carryon and went through security, which is understandably very tight, no complaints there. All bags were scanned and again baby food was flagged. It was explained to me, since the bottles of formula were 7oz and not smaller I had a choice to either have them confiscated or accept an invasive 4 minute pat down. Since the trip was expected to be at least 12 hours I had no choice but to accept the pat down as my baby would obviously be starving and needed to be fed without question. It was thoroughly explained to me exactly how long it would take and what would happen, my sensitive areas would be gone over with the backs of the female security officers hand, I accepted and the pat down began, I was totally fine with everything, slightly embarrassed as it was done in front of a lot of other travelers but wanted to get it over with as pushed for time. She checked hair , neck, arms, chest, back, breasts, stomach, backside, up and down the insides of my legs, both front and back, so four times, but each time touched my vagina. Now im not prudish etc and understand they need to be very comprehensive in their searches, but this made me so uncomfortable I felt like bursting out crying. My Dh was holding the baby and all our luggage and was looking at me concerned and I felt so embarrassed. Basically I am saying aibu in being angry and humiliated that in order to have formula food for a 7 mth old baby for a 12 hour travelling period I have to have my vagina searched 4 times and does this actually make any sense, security wise? Sorry this is actually quite long😳.

QuestionableMouse Thu 30-Nov-17 09:45:40

No advice but that sounds horrible.

Caroelle Thu 30-Nov-17 09:47:25

Do you mean your vulva or vagina?

MargoLovebutter Thu 30-Nov-17 09:49:45

Were you clothed - or did you have to undress for a body cavity search? I'm unclear whether you mean vagina or crotch?

user1477249785 Thu 30-Nov-17 09:49:56

Oh clear off with your 'did you mean vulva' comment. The OP is upset - being pedantic just makes you look like a twat.

OP, I'm sorry that sounds really awful.

Mittens1969 Thu 30-Nov-17 09:50:52

I went through something similar back in 2003, not long after I got married. DH and I were travelled to Vienna via Munich. The German security people (women like in your case) made me feel so uncomfortable when they manhandled me. (I'm an SA survivor though my memories of this were suppressed at the time, no doubt this played a big part in the way I actually fought with them.)

They didn't search DH at all. Maybe they were looking for a woman who fitted my description? It was a horrible experience, though.

You definitely have my sympathy, OP. thanks

Bluntness100 Thu 30-Nov-17 09:52:52

Well I think saying you had your vagina searched four times is a little over dramatic. You didn’t have a cavity search. Yes these searches are uncomfortable, although nothing like the Israelies who wrote the book on this stuff, for context.

Having been patted down many times I’m at a cross between thinking you’re over dramatising based on your phrasing or thinking maybe you had a rogue officer. These guys are simoly doing their job to keep us safe. They aren’t getting their jollies from feeling you up.

sadiesnakes Thu 30-Nov-17 09:52:58

Sorry vulva, and was wearing loose harem pants so fully clothed. It's was direct full on contact with her hands and because of the material of my pants, soft jersey, felt way more invasive then say jeans, iykwim.

FlyMaybe Thu 30-Nov-17 09:53:05

I've had the pat-down search more than once. It has never upset me.

user1477249785 Thu 30-Nov-17 09:54:38

The OP wasn't trying to be dramatic by saying vagina. She just got the wrong term. Get off your hobby horses people and show some empathy.

BastardGoDarkly Thu 30-Nov-17 09:55:04

hmmThere's always fucking one isn't there?

Op, that sounds awful, but I think to avoid you actually taking your pants off, they have to 'pat' you down, people have been known to keep things in their knickers.

I guess it's checking for detonating device, if milk actually turned out to be bomb liquid?! (aware how ignorant I am about bombs)

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 30-Nov-17 09:56:22

Have to agree with bluntness they’re looking for things hidden under your clothing, they can hardly avoid a whole area. Four times sounds excessive but I’m not trained in that kind of search so I don’t know if it was. There should probably be a different policy when it comes to carrying formula milk as it can’t be avoided but I don’t know what that could be without it being exploitable.

TheVanguardSix Thu 30-Nov-17 09:56:50

Horrible experience.

All of this 'security' has fucked with our privacy. Permission to do as they please, humiliate and stress passengers, all in the name of gilded liberty. I'm not against security, just the way it's so randomly and haphazardly delivered. I'm outraged on your behalf.

Vulva or vagina, potato, puhtatta, it doesn't matter. It's wrong.

My 82 year old mother gets pat downs every time she flies over to the UK. TMI, but I wish her loose sphincter muscles would work their windy magic on those TSA officers.

LemonysSnicket Thu 30-Nov-17 09:57:29

I understand you being upset ... but ive been searched like that at nightclub enterances let alone planes. People hide things in the gusset of their briefs ( where the little double layer pocket is) and then tuck it up in a bit ... they only feel it if they press a bit and 4 times was probably to get different angles.

sadiesnakes Thu 30-Nov-17 09:57:30

Can I say again that I was totally fine with the search/ pat down, and am not complaining about the security measures needed to keep us safe. I'm talking about my individual emotional experience at having my vulva patted 4 times and do feel this is ott, since I wasn't actually suspected of any wrong doing, just basically having formula food for an infant.

Grimbles Thu 30-Nov-17 09:57:35

being pedantic just makes you look like a twat.

Not realty, they are 2 different body parts.

It's like saying someone touched your anus when they actually touched your buttock.

There's a massive difference in terms of appropriateness when being patted down.

LemonysSnicket Thu 30-Nov-17 09:57:53


PompholyxOfUnknownOrigin Thu 30-Nov-17 09:58:30

Bear in mind that some women have been forced to be human detonators. I can understand your distress but I think that if the search was carried out fully clothed as you describe it's best that you try to forget about it.

Isadora2007 Thu 30-Nov-17 09:59:04

YABU albeit slightly as I do feel for you being upset by this. But they did nothing wrong. I can’t understand quite why you had the wrong amount of formula in the first place mind you... bad advice? Or wrong advice somewhere?
But nonetheless many people can and do use their underwear or even their actual vaginas to carry things in... so the security has to check as thoroughly as they are told to. Your clothing choice wasn’t the fault of the security personnel.

Redsippycup Thu 30-Nov-17 09:59:58

A reporter filmed herself when she was pulled aside for the same kind of search angela rye

It looks bloody awful to be honest. flowers for you op.

inkydinky Thu 30-Nov-17 10:01:31

I've had the same in the US (thanks to a bracelet that couldn't be removed without a screwdriver. Won't make that mistake again!). It was unpleasant and ever so slightly humiliating so no, you are not unreasonable to be pissed off but at least they are explaining it in advance now - I had no idea what was coming.

I do wonder why the same didn't happen to your H though - makes a mockery of the system if it didn't.

scottishdiem Thu 30-Nov-17 10:01:47

From a security sense every check makes sense. Whether or not its proportionate is another matter.

But it was all explained to you what was about to happen and then it happened so I am not sure that it would be considered actions by a rogue officer.

But did the officer actually stroke your crotch specifically or is it a case of being a problem that the crotch is at the top of a body part that is being patted down?

How do you suppose security checks are carried out other than with the technique used on you?

cookiefiend Thu 30-Nov-17 10:01:59

Did they pay down your DH? Seems a bit pointless to invasively search you, but not your travel companion. What if he had something to detonate the milk?

Or if if was in your baby's clothing? Surely if they were really concerned they should have searched you all.

Sounds embarrassing OP, but try to put it behind you. If your trousers were loose they couldn't easily see anything so had to feel if there was anything there.

sadiesnakes Thu 30-Nov-17 10:02:35

Have asked mn to please edit vagina to vulva😳

Nikephorus Thu 30-Nov-17 10:03:04

I do wonder why the same didn't happen to your H though - makes a mockery of the system if it didn't.
Randomness in part (not enough time to check everyone) & partly OP carrying the milk.

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