Moral Panics

Fear of perverts in aircraft


Moral Panics Index


Perverts in Aircraft

News Reports 2 : Dec 1-3 2005

The Dominion Post
December 1 2005

The evil beast that is man
Letter to the Editor
by Anthony Frith, Mt Cook  (Abridged)

I was disgusted by revelations that it is Air New Zealand and Qantas policy not to seat unaccompanied children beside men (Nov 30).

It is galling that airlines have made this decision arbitrarily and, in doing so, spread the myth that we men are all dangerous perverts who, if left with a child, simply can not help ourselves from committing acts of indecency. It is teaching our children that all women are beyond reproach and that all men are to be feared. It this the shape of the new segregation?

I have been seated before on overnight trains, buses and aircraft beside unaccompanied children and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that, each time, the child has instigated. Now it seems the powers-that-be are determined to keep me and all other men completely ringfenced.

If I didn't have three nieces and a baby nephew, I might die without ever talking to a child again. I expect it is only a matter of time before we are seated in a male-only section -- complete with male stewards -- to ensure we do not sexually molest female passengers or cabin staff.

Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro applauds the move. It is sad that our leading public servants also think that the only way to keep children safe is to keep them away from the evil beast that is man. No wonder we feel marginalised.