By: Adam Rotstein
You Can Make Me Check My Carry On But You Cannot Make Me Check My Privilege
You flight attendants think you ‘re so powerful. Well let me tell you something. You may have forced me to part with my bloated Samsonite luggage, but you cannot make me recognize that I benefit from a “largely unspoken system of values and prejudices that provide me with numerous personal and professional advantages every goddamn day. ‘ Okay?
Take your example from earlier this afternoon, when the TSA agent was deciding who to give an extra pat down to after going through standard security protocol. I maintain that I was quickly waved through not because of my obviously caucasian ancestry but because I am wearing a pair of slim fitted Japanese denim pants. These would clearly bulge if any potentially dangerous items were hidden within its pockets. It ‘s as simple as that.
I know what you might be thinking. But how did you afford those Japanese denim pants in the first place? Well I ‘ll tell you. I worked very hard at an intellectually demanding white collar job for over a year and was promoted to manager. That promotion was a direct reflection of the professional initiatives that I took and that my colleague Abigail was often too tepid to go after. She certainly was pretty and smart as a tack but you can ‘t really teach business savvy.
Oh and might I mention I only landed that job in the first place due to my academic success at an elite liberal arts college? And no I did not just waltz through the gates of Bowdoin because of a big building that Daddy donated (though he did attend and has stayed active in the alumni community). I actually studied tirelessly with my SAT tutor for months to get to a competitive score. So think about that for a second.
No, no. Please don ‘t bring up that nonsense about me using the restrooms in Terminal C before getting on this flight. I immediately chose the bathroom that reflected the gender I have assuredly identified with throughout my entire life. That ‘s just the way it is and people are born one way or the other, you know?
Listen, I really don ‘t mean to lecture you. I ‘ve just had a number of bad experiences with the baggage claim process because I travel internationally quite often. One time my favorite suit was just sitting in Dubai for over 36 hours. This gentleman over here was nice enough to give up his seat so that I could sit next to my wife, who he immediately recognized as my romantic partner, for obvious reasons.
I ‘ll be towards the front so I was wondering if there was any way my bag could just be stowed in the cockpit for the duration of the flight? I don ‘t know, maybe we could work out some kind of ‘deal. I don ‘t have any cash.