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Southwest's Fashion Police?

Friday, Sept. 14, 2007 1:18 AM

A note to telemarketers of all stripes:

Please LISTEN when I state that I am not interested in your offer, or unable to contribute to your cause.

DO NOT persist in your sales pitch, thinking I am merely reluctant and/or can be persuaded by your continued attempts at a personal relationship by using my first name in a cold call, or by doggedly reading from your script.

And, most certainly, don't end your call with an attempt to 'put me down for a booster-level contribution'.

That is, I believe, FRAUD. I will sue your ass into low-earth orbit.

I'm sorry you've chosen a job where you don't get paid for people who tell you no, and where the 'experts' who produce these lame-sounding fill-in-the-blank scripts tell you to ignore the word NO and keep pushing.

I'm sorry you're too stupid to understand the word NO when I say it politely. The correct answer is, "Thank you for your time, Sir. Have a nice day." Or do you really think that once I get done yelling in your ear and asking if you are just plain stupid that I'm going to be possessed of kindness and generosity?

(And, yes, I am on the Federal Do-Not-Call Registry. It appears that exceptions are handed out like candy canes at Christmastime.)

What the hell is up with Southwest Airlines?

A second woman has come forward with a story of being told to 'cover up' because her attire was deemed 'too provocative,' this time for a green halter-style dress.

While Southwest says it has no record of any complaint involving Setara Qassim, it responded to an inquiry by Kyla Ebbert's mother by noting it may remove any passenger 'whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive'.

Here are the two young women:

Kyla Ebbert

(Photo of Ms. Ebbert from San Diego Union-Tribune. Photo of Setara Qassim via Google, unattributed.)

I don't get it. Nothing wrong with either of those outfits, and while both young women are pretty enough to draw a second look, their garb is hardly 'offensive'. (I wonder if Southwest would still be grousing if Ms. Ebbert had come aboard in baggy sweats and no bra?)

Let's get this straight. Even on Southwest Airlines, you get on the plane, you sit down. Unless you are in one of the areas with facing seats, you will have next to zero visibility of your fellow passengers' attire during the flight. How can you claim that a woman's short skirt or close-fitting top are disturbing your peace of mind if all you can see is the back of her head? Or that the handful of seconds it takes someone to pass by your seat is sufficient to 'disrupt' anything?

If your sensibilities are so delicate that the mere passage of an attractive woman makes you break out into a sweat, the problem is not the woman or her clothing or her perfume or God taking offense. It's all about whatever preconceived notions you have about women, their bodies, and oozing sexuality. This is America. We don't do burkas here.

Southwest's official policy is that the determination of what is or isn't disruptive attire is left to the common sense and discretion of the flight attendants.

To me, that would mean a simple guideline like, 'Full or partial nudity is unacceptable, except for the purposes of nursing an infant with appropriate concessions to modesty in a public area.'

I would love to see a woman's advocacy group or a media outlet send similarly-clad women aboard a Southwest Airlines flight, to see if they are treated equally. The women should be of different ages, and at least one should prominently wear a cross.

That, or lift the graphics from the Southwest Airlines website and make a cardboard sign proclaiming, "These breasts covered for your protection."

Addendum - 2:00 AM PDT

Seen here in ostensibly happier times is Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, a thug warlord critical partner in our success in Anbar Province - we were providing him with weapons, he was browbeating forming key alliances with other tribal leaders to fight against Al-Qaeda Iraq (AQI).

Abu Risha and his two chief bodyguards were killed yesterday by a roadside bomb. No claim of responsibility has been made, but clearly, Anbar Province isn't the shining light of progress being shoved up our collective asses when our Number One Guy in the region gets turned into camel chow.

The Ministry has received 1 comment(s) on this topic.

Brin - 2007-09-14 06:15:04
There are no facing seats on the company-wide only plane in use at Southwest, the 737. I'm going to fly with them again in about a month. I'll go ahead and implement the best suggestion anybody has as to a protest that won't get me put on a list. :-)