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Although I'm very aware most of the readers of my blog are not into S&M, the sort of discrimination expressed below could have been aimed in another direction (i.e. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, etc.) -- we need to be ever vigilant to the subtle 'joining' of one lifestyle to another.  Thanks for taking the time to read and take action to this post.
In Chris Elliott's very popular and wide-read travel bog, he writes:
What the heck is going on with the TSA in Orlando?
February 3, 2010
Maybe there’s something in the water in Orlando, but the Transportation Security Administration just can’t stay out of the news there.
Earlier this week, a TSA officer at Orlando International Airport was arrested on charges of molesting a minor. Turns out he was reportedly a fan of bondage and sadomasochism.
Charles Henry Bennett’s MySpace profile identifies him as “Master Charles or Sir.” The online page shows the 57-year-old airport security guard has “many years experience” as a bondage and sadomasochism master and is looking to meet people, especially “submissive females.” The TSA’s blog said the agency was “deeply saddened and disgusted” by its employees actions. Bennett resigned on Monday.
Last week, CNN reported that the TSA had
launched an internal investigation into an air marshal field office in Orlando where supervisors are alleged to have used a crew assignment board to ridicule and keep score on women, gays and minorities.
The board, resembling the TV game show “Jeopardy,” included categories such as “pickle smokers,” “our gang” and “creatures,” which sources said were names used by managers for gay men, African-Americans and lesbians, according to the report.
And, of course, there’s my little TSA incident, which was handled out of the Orlando office, too. (I live in Winter Springs, Fla., a suburb of Orlando.) Orlando Weekly just published an interview with me in which I revealed new details about the standoff between the Department of Homeland Security and yours truly.
Why is this happening? It could have something to do with TSA’s leadership crisis. On Jan. 20., Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent and homeland security specialist, withdrew his name from consideration as head of the TSA. The move came just a few weeks after revelations that he had provided misleading information to Congress, which prompted several Republicans to suggest that his nomination would not move forward without a fight.
I’d like to think that this isn’t an Orlando problem. After all, I live near Orlando, and I want my TSA team here to be as effective as possible. But news of child molesters and racists and my own experience tell me otherwise.
I wrote the comment below in response to his story:
Chaz Antonelli posted on February 5, 2010 at 10:45 am (awaiting moderation):

In your story, you say: “Earlier this week, a TSA officer at Orlando International Airport was arrested on charges of molesting a minor. Turns out he was reportedly a fan of bondage and sadomasochism.”

I want to know: What’s the connection between “molesting a minor” and his S&M fetish? — NOTHING!

Why do people feel the need to bring someone’s personal (and legal) sex life into this sort of story? If he’s a paedophile, then he’s a paedophile — period. His predilection with “S&M” has nothing to do with it!

I know several commercial pilots and flight crew that are S&M practitioners (sometimes it helps to have the skills of an S&M submissive when dealing with passengers) — should they be fired and be humiliated by making their kinky (yet private) sex lives be made public?

Please explain why you felt it was necessary to mention the TSA agent’s S&M habits, when it has nothing to do with the story.
I don't know if my comment will be approved, as it does not fit the mainstream view (that all S&M practitioners are paedophiles and/or mentally ill).  Perhaps YOU could chime in as well?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 5th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
I would also hold off on judgement. As much as we don't like the TSA, the real question here, is he truly a "child molester", was he doing his job overzealously ( how long before the evils of the world use children as a weapon, they already have in the middle-east), or is this an over reaction of a parent. After the underware bomber, it is hard not to cross the line and still do your job.
Feb. 5th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)

That's another argument to consider; however my primary focus (and objection) to this article is the discrimination expressed -- the subtle 'joining' of one lifestyle to another. In the article above, the connection made is that "S&M practitioners are more likely to be guilty of also being paedophiles."

I never addressed whether or not he actually 'molested a minor', that's for the law to decide.
Feb. 5th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
That really is a new connection to me. It is the laws job to decide, but the law isnt always up to finding evidence. Once the pedahile word is thrown out there, you are automatically guilty. I think right now that is the more important thing to focus on. He could have been anything (barbie doll collector, loaner, lives with elderly mother, PTA parent etc and had that connection made just to ignite the flames of public judgement).
Feb. 5th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
"...commercial pilots and flight crew that are S&M practitioners (sometimes it helps to have the skills of an S&M submissive when dealing with passengers)..."

Hmmm, thought it would be better to be a DOM and that way the passengers will jump when the branding irons come out or the whip cracks........grins.

That said, you are correct in stating that a person's kink private life does not equal being a molester and it certainly doesn't mean that a person should be put down or punished for it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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