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Qantas bans men from sitting next to children

Culture Sexism Quantas Bans Men Discrimination

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#1 Godeskian

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 06:00 AM

http://www.nzherald....7C583027AF1010F

Quote

Air New Zealand and Qantas have banned men from sitting next to unaccompanied children on flights, sparking accusations of discrimination.

The airlines have come under fire for the policy that critics say is political correctness gone mad after a man revealed he was ordered to change seats during a Qantas flight because he was sitting next to a young boy travelling alone.

Auckland man Mark Worsley says an air steward approached him after take-off on the Christchurch to Auckland flight and told him to change seats with a women sitting two rows in front. The steward said it was the airline's policy that only women were allowed to sit next to unaccompanied children

Two problems

1. It assumes that no male pesron can be trusted around children.
2. It assumes that every woman can be trusted around children.

It is incredibly sexist in my book to decide that a man can't sit next to an unaccompanied child, but that a woman can. It is a priori accusation of wrongdoing against every male that flies the airline.

Guess Qantas won't be getting any of my money ever.

Quote

A Qantas spokesman confirmed the Australian airline, which operates domestic flights in New Zealand, does not allow unaccompanied children to sit next to men. The spokesman said the airline believed it was what customers wanted.

...

When the Herald asked her if the airline considered male passengers to be dangerous to children, Ms Paul replied: "That's not what I said."

When it was put to her that that was the implication of the policy, she repeated: "No, that's not what I said."

Edited by Godeskian, 30 November 2005 - 06:01 AM.

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#2 sierraleone

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 11:36 AM

I presume that children are still allowed to be accompanied by males :rolleyes:  just not "unacompanied by males"..
*sigh*

Even if you believe, on average, males are more likely to be pedophiles than females, that isn't an excuse. For all they know, the women who sat beside him were dangerous.

If they believe that they and the other passengers can't keep notice in those airplanes, then maybe they should have a seperate section for unaccompanied children in general. Or not allow unaccompanied children at all if they are worried about a lawsuit or something. :rolleyes:
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#3 sierraleone

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 11:39 AM

I think the policy is that women shouldn't sit beside unaccompanied children because they might embarrase the child, pinching their cheeks and cooing over them  :rolleyes:

At least the men will ignorn them, right? If they are decent men of course :rolleyes:
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#4 Shoshana

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:17 PM

I read about that somewhere else and the stewardess had the man change places with a woman travelling with her husband. She really didn't want to move either.

I can see moving people if they are in an emergency exit row and aren't willing or able to open the door if needed ...

#5 Themis

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:31 PM

I always thought that all children should travel together in a soundproof section of the plane where they could kick seats and scream and cry all they wanted... (I had a crying baby all the way from Athens, Greece to New York once...) Free earplugs and drinks for parents who sit with them.   :devil:

However, this policy is just silly.

Based on my first comments, you can tell I'd absolutely refuse if I was asked to move from an all-adult row to sit next to a small child!  

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#6 G1223

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:33 PM

I wonder what the guy is going to rename the airline after he wins his suit.
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#7 Rhiannonjk

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:36 PM

I assume there are waivers and such that parent's fill out to send an unaccompanied child on a plane - it seems to me that a parent could decide there if they trust their child to sit next to a Man or Woman or whatever.  Make it an option like vegetarian meals.  Then straighten this out when you assign the seats!  

But as a policy... it seems tedious more than anything.

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#8 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:46 PM

I so hope he sues this company into bankruptcy and beyond. I also hope he sues the flight attendent that made him move. If it had been me, I probably would've made a scene...and as soon as the plane landed started giving a press conference telling the world that the company was discriminating against men.

As for this comment:

Quote

A Qantas spokesman confirmed the Australian airline, which operates domestic flights in New Zealand, does not allow unaccompanied children to sit next to men. The spokesman said the airline believed it was what customers wanted.

...

When the Herald asked her if the airline considered male passengers to be dangerous to children, Ms Paul replied: "That's not what I said."

When it was put to her that that was the implication of the policy, she repeated: "No, that's not what I said."

That is most DEFINATELY what she said. She can lie all she wants about it, and try flip-flopping it as she might, she most certainly said it.
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#9 sierraleone

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:54 PM

^ if you put up a scene, wouldn't they say that gives them good reason to request you move? .... I would think its a no-win situation, at least in the airplane.

You either shut up quietly and move, like they requested, giving in.
Or you rant infront of the kid, perhaps scaring him/her for life ;)

Or you get up and ask to speak to someone in authority not infront of your young passenger, but likely they'll have your seat filled before you get back there ;)
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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#10 Bad Wolf

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:55 PM

If it were a US airline they would be slapped down immediately.  I don't know what the anti discrimination laws are for those countries though.  Frankly I can't even credit it with political correctness.  I see it as a knee jerk (and discriminatory) policy designed to take the heat off of airlines who don't want to be responsible for kids on their planes (the obvious answer is to tighten up on even allowing unaccompanied minors to fly).
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#11 sierraleone

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:58 PM

^ yeah, I saw it as the opposite of PC... PC tries to make it seem there are no differences at all, and treat everyone exactly the same.
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Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#12 QueenTiye

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 01:43 PM

What's the rationale?  Are they having a NAMBLA problem???

Seriously - what about fathers and sons? Single fathers?  What's up with that???

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#13 sierraleone

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 01:53 PM

^ well by "unaccompanied" I assumed they are refering to the fact when the child is not traveling with either the parent(s) or someone the parents approved of to go with them.
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Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#14 Lin731

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 02:13 PM

Personally, I don't like the policy of allowing children to fly unaccompanied in the first place.
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#15 Rhea

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 02:14 PM

This is ludicrous. It reminds me of a parent we had years ago maybe the first year or so I started in special ed. She told me she didn't like the driver of the bus her son was on and wanted him placed on a different route (not an easy deal, since special ed kids are bused door to door and the logistics of setting us bus routes is a nightmare), and I asked her what the problem was, thinking I'd talk to the bus company as usual and explain the difficulty to them. She said "he has a penis."   :eek4:

She had a bad experience with a man in education who turned out to be a child molester and had come to decide that all men are jerks who can't be trusted around children (except, apparently, her husband who's one of the world's biggest jerks, but not apparently a child molester :p~).

It's so senseless to blame an entire gender because a very small percentage of them are child molesters. I hope somebody sues them.
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#16 Chakotay

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 04:17 PM

Just how young was this child? Age 6? Age 16?

I know it sounds crazy, and stigmatizing the many because of the deeds of the few, but a few more details are required IMHO.
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#17 FnlPrblm

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 04:34 PM

sierraleone, on Nov 30 2005, 10:36 AM, said:

If they believe that they and the other passengers can't keep notice in those airplanes, then maybe they should have a seperate section for unaccompanied children in general.

Just think of the maddness in that area.  Playtime! :hehe:

"Okay children, take your seats."
"I don't wanna."
"but we're landing soon."
"I don't wanna."
hehe
------------

I agree with both Sierra and Gode at this point though.  It's sexist and paranoia.  Afterall, they're on a plane.  There are other people around.  What could be taking place without others noticing?  To me, the stewardesses should be looking out for them on a more consistant basis if they're that worried.  They don't have to do anything, just walk by or peek around the corner.

I will double Chakotay's need for more info as a child who is 6 needs more eye watching than some kid who is 16 and can basically take care of themselves.
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#18 Broph

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 09:36 AM

LORD of the SWORD, on Nov 30 2005, 05:46 PM, said:

I so hope he sues this company into bankruptcy and beyond. I also hope he sues the flight attendent that made him move.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


On what grounds would he sue? He made his flight. He wasn't charged any more than anyone else. His biggest inconvenience was what - getting up and moving to another seat?

In order for him to sue, there must be some law broken or he must have had some loss or hardship imposed upon him by another. Nothing of the sort has happened here.

Turn this situation around, like we must with many of these "why did they do that" stories. What if we were reading a story about a traveller who attacked a child. How many of us would be asking why something wasn't done about something like that ahead of time? Here's an airline trying to do something proactive and they're being criticized about it.

What I don't understand is when I fly alone, why doesn't the airline make sure that I'm sitting next to a female - prefereably one that is strawberry blonde.

#19 G1223

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 09:43 AM

The thing is Broph is the automatic reaction that I am a guy therefore I am too dangerous to sit next to a child. That I must somehow be unable to keep my hands off the child.  Why not prohibit me from flying because I might smack the cute flight attendent on the butt.  We have also been reading about women who have been having sex with young (Under 15) men  and in somecases having children. It appears that child molestation is not limited to men only.
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#20 Broph

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 09:59 AM

All true and I fully support the idea re-evaluating the idea of these unaccompanied children from flying alone in the first place in this day and age.

But an ounce of prevention is often worth not hearing about the pound of cure.



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