Last week during a conference in China, Qantas airlines chairwoman Margaret Jackson recalled an experience she had at Los Angeles airport last year. As she passed through airport security, a TSA agent detained her because of airplane blueprints found in her briefcase.
When questioned about the contents of her case, Jackson explained her position as the head of Qantas airlines and that the diagrams were for a new plane prototype. The TSA agent stated “but you’re a woman” and continued to detain her because he did not believe that a woman could hold such a position. It took quite a bit of time for Jackson’s release because she had to prove her Qantas credentials.
Normally, a story like this would cause me to spew fire and take to the streets with my pitchfork. Actually, I first heard about this while listening to the radio on my way to work and I have to say that I am very happy that I was alone. If you were on Route 146 last Thursday afternoon, I was the maniac yelling in the teeny blue Kia. What decade are we living in, people? Since when is it unfathomable for women to be CEOs? I know that only two of the Fortune 500s CEOs are women, but those numbers will never rise above two until people actually believe that women can hold positions of power.
However, I got the whole story when I looked up more information about the incident. Apparently, while telling her conference tale, Jackson also referred to the TSA official as a “black guy, who was, like, eight foot tall.” What does the agent’s race or height have to do with the story? Sounds like the two of them need to reunite for a few rounds of diversity training.
I am working on several ideas right now for new articles. Bitch finally released their writer’s guidelines for the next two issues, so I’ve been throwing around some topics for their “Hot & Bothered” and “Green” publications. These ideas are coming rather slowly, so luckily I have until March 1st to put something together. Can you believe that I can’t think of a single topic for the sex issue? Maybe I’ve been reading way too many issues of Cosmo and Jane while at the gym. It’s hard to be in a sexy, feminist frame of mind while reading about “100 ways to sexually degrade yourself in order to make your boyfriend happy”…ick.
Additionally, I have a strong desire to write a short, personal piece about coffee and how I feel like a complete outcast as a professional (and a Rhode Island native) for not needing a constant java fix morning, noon and night. I was thinking of pitching this idea to Rhode Island Monthly, but Dan mentioned that it might be a nice piece for a business-related magazine. Every time I have a business meeting at work, my colleagues line up in droves for coffee and I’m left sitting by my lonesome, sipping my water and looking like an idiot. I’ve also had my fair share of stunned co-workers—“you don’t drink coffee at all?!” they gasp, as if I confessed that I don’t breathe air or bathe. I could go on and on, but I’ll save it for the article so I can actually try to make a little money off of my pet peeves.
I’ve also had some time to put in a little reading over the holiday weekends. I finished Andrea Dworkin’s Woman Hating and I was surprisingly disappointed. Maybe it wasn’t the best book to read as an introduction to her work. I’ve read several of her articles in magazines over the past few years, so maybe I just didn’t choose a good book this time. I enjoyed Lyra’s Oxford, Philip Pullman’s tiny morsel to hold readers over until his next Dark Materials book—I can’t wait!