‘GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL’ was the only advice Transportation Security Administration officials had for Jill Filipovic.
The suggestion – handwritten on an inspection notice tucked into Ms. Filipovic’s checked baggage – referred to something the woman had purposely left out of her carry-on: her “Silver Bullet,” a discreet mini-vibrator.
“Just unpacked my suitcase and found this note from TSA. Guess they discovered a ‘personal item’ in my bag. Wow,” the writer and attorney tweeted early this morning.
“Total violation of privacy, wildly inappropriate and clearly not ok, but I also just died laughing in my hotel room,” Ms. Filipovic continued in “Your Tax Dollars at Work,” an article posted on the blog Feministe.
While she was initially amused by TSA’s “love note,” now that her story has gone viral, Ms. Filipovic hopes to turn the incident into an awareness campaign around intrusive airport security methods. She’s chucked her Silver Bullet (hygiene concerns), and also plans to file a formal complaint.
“The fact that they would leave a note takes it to another level of invasive—especially since I imagine they assumed I'd be embarrassed by their discovery,” she told Lauren Rae Orsini of the Daily Dot.
Ms. Filipovic said she’d actually checked the $15 sex toy in her luggage to avoid a more public airing of her carry-on: “It’s probably worse to have a stranger pull a vibrator out of your purse at the security line and wave it around for all to see,” she told the Daily Dot.
Over at Feministe, commenters shared their own humiliations: “About six months ago on a flight to NY, I checked an old duffel and received a kind note from TSA informing me that the condoms in the bag had expired,” wrote one.
Another suggested Ms. Filipovic buy one of these, while still another said she'd given up packing such “personal items” altogether: “I just stared blankly at them when they asked me what kind of a ‘motor’ I had packed in there. Ever since then, I figure I can get along without any personal items for a week or two.”
The incident raises more privacy concerns for the TSA, which drew ire last month for the aggressive pat down of a breast cancer survivor and again last month when officials tugged at Dallas hair stylist Isis Brantley’s sizable afro, looking for WMDs, presumably.
All this as safety officials missed a loaded .38-caliber handgun in Los Angeles Sunday – it tumbled from a duffel bag on a flight bound for Portland, Ore.
Eyes on the prize, guys.
So, what do you travel with and what do you leave at home? Have you ever found any extras in your luggage after a flight?