A woman who tried to travel wearing a pro-choice t-shirt was barred from an American Airlines flight yesterday because of her fashion choice. According to RH Reality Check, she was coming home from a meeting of pro-choice activists, and was about to change planes for the second leg of her travel when this happened (this comes from an email sent to RH Reality Check):
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.
The woman was eventually allowed to cover her shirt with her shawl, since the rest of her luggage had been checked. She did finally get home, though of course later than she’d planned. Which happens all the time when you fly, of course, but this should never be the reason you miss your flight.
I have seen some terrible, offensive t-shirts on planes. I imagine we’ll hear the excuse that the real problem was the “fuck” word, but that’s just not the case. It was the pro-choice message that was apparently too offensive to fly. This particular shirt is based on a sign created by Oklahoma state senator Judy McIntyre, who has made the point that anti-choice attacks on reproductive health are way more offensive than jokes about fucking a senator.
You can sign a petition here demanding that American Airlines apologize to their customer for keeping her from her flight because they didn’t like her t-shirt’s message.