Should An Airline Be Allowed To Say Your Shirt Is Too Offensive?

When does an airline passenger’s attire cross a line and become so offensive they should not be allowed to board? And who determines where that line is drawn? Those are the questions surrounding an incident involving a woman who says she missed her connecting flight because a pilot said her shirt was inappropriate.

The passenger in question tells rhrealitycheck.org she was flying home from Washington, D.C., wearing a shirt (see the full sort-of NSFW version below) that reads, “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d fuck a senator!” — a reference to a sign held by Oklahoma state senator Judy McIntyre during a March reproductive rights rally.

The woman says she made it through security and boarded the plane — wearing a shawl — without incident. But before the flight was about to land, she says that a flight attendant asked her if she had a connecting flight. When she told the attendant that she would be connecting to another flight, the attendant said the passenger needed to speak to the pilot because the shirt was offensive.

As she was deplaning, the pilot spoke to her and said she should not have been allowed to board and that she needed to change her shirt before boarding her connecting flight.

government-in-my-womb_WT.png

The passenger’s luggage had already been checked so that meant she would need to buy a shirt. And when she arrived at the gate for her connecting flight, she says she learned that the pilot had called ahead to alert the gate crew to her shirt.

She wasn’t able to board that flight, but was — again with the help of her shawl — able to board a later connecting flight.

The American Airlines contract of carriage, does give the airline the right to refuse of remove passengers who “Are clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers.”

And the airline confirms to MotherJones.com that “the only reason she was asked to cover up her T-shirt was the appearance of the ‘F-word’ on the T-shirt.”

We wanted to know from you whether or not you think the shirt in question was sufficiently offensive to merit the pilot asking the passenger to change:

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Cat says:

    WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

    • ferozadh says:

      Not when they’re watching stuff like this on TV:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFRdx7xFsrI

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Fu*k the childr…, err, the Senators.

    • menty666 says:

      You laugh, but my oldest is learning to read, which means he reads pretty much anything that falls in his line of sight.

      While I don’t necessarily agree with censorship, I do think a little common decency and consideration for those around you isn’t out of the question, particularly in a mixed age setting.

      • Timbojones says:

        Oh good lord your son might read a swear! Calamity ensues.

        • rmorin says:

          This ignorance shows you’ve never had kids, or been around kids for that matter.

          “Fuck” (especially in this context) means sexual intercourse. There are negative consequences to children exposed at young ages to ideas of sexual intercourse. Since most parents don’t feel like explaining to their 7 year old on an air plane that “fuck” is slang for sexual intercourse (and then explaining sexual intercourse to them) I would say as common courtesy to not wear shirts with vulgar words on them around children.

          • blanddragon says:

            News update: They probably have heard words from your own mouth that you did not think they heard.

            • rmorin says:

              And they have probably seen another persons naked body on accident as well. That does not mean that people should be able to ride in a plane naked.

          • Naked-Gord-Program says:

            News flash: People without kids don’t care how hard it is to raise your kids.

            We prefer abortions.

            • NickRayko says:

              I’d much rather ride in a plane full of adults wearing obscene slogans than in a plane with undisciplined crotchfruit.

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            Who says you have to explain it? Just tell them it’s a dirty word. Sometimes that’s all you have to say to younger kids. They may not even ask for an explanation.

            That said, it’s not a very good idea to wear clothes with curse words on them in mixed company, even though I totally agree with the shirt’s message. I wouldn’t wear it in front of my grandmother, for example (if she were still living) because I know the word would upset her. It’s just about being polite.

            • Insert nickname here. says:

              Yup. Stop trying to legislate stuff just because of how hard it is to explain to [your] kids! Explaining stuff to your kids is a parent’s job. Don’t complain about society just because it’s inconvenient to you. Or maybe you’d rather lock them up in a hermetically sealed bubble and be done with it.

          • Tmoney02 says:

            ” There are negative consequences to children exposed at young ages to ideas of sexual intercourse.”

            Citation Please. I assure you plenty of children who grow up on a farm see plenty of sexual intercourse of all sorts through the resulting “mircle of life” from the very begining of their lives without negative consequences.

          • Firethorn says:

            There are negative consequences to children exposed at young ages to ideas of sexual intercourse

            Source? Kids are typically exposed to the idea of intercourse very early, and going by farm kids, pragmatically and properly done it’s just fine. Heck, farm kids? What about the kids of a family that lives in a single room house, like in much of the undeveloped world?

            Here’s my opinion: Don’t try any ‘birds and bees’ analogies, don’t lie and talk about storks. Be straight up and honest. Either the kid is old enough to get the concept(and no, it won’t harm him or her), or too young, in which case it goes in one ear and out the other.

        • JennQPublic says:

          It’s not just the swear word, it’s the message, and how loudly it is made. What about when your kid asks what it means- are you prepared to explain to your first grader about unwanted babies and abortions? No matter one’s position on the issue, some topics are adult in nature and should be addressed discretely (if at all) in public.

          I don’t mind airlines demanding manners from those I may be in close quarters with for hours on end.

          • Naked-Gord-Program says:

            Funny how “some” people don’t want offensive words shoved in their face but “others” want to medically rape a woman to shame her into not having an abortion.

            Or, worse yet, shove their views in her face by forbidding her that abortion.

            • JennQPublic says:

              I’m not sure I understand what your “quotes” are “implying”. I am pro-choice, but I don’t feel that shoving my political views in other people’s faces is appropriate, and I think this woman crossed a line by making loud statements (via her shirt) about topics that are not age-appropriate for those she was likely to encounter.

              Your penance for implying that I want to medically rape someone is to go make a donation to your local Planned Parenthood. I already did this week.

    • vastrightwing says:

      THIS! is a good reason to leave children at home with a sitter. They should not ever be exposed to this. EVER!

    • DFManno says:

      Fuck the children!==

    • Charmander says:

      If the word “fuck” is on your shirt, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be offensive to 95% of the population. Other words, not so much.

  2. shepd says:

    Private airline, private decision. It is up to the airline to decide who does and does not fly. If the airline doesn’t like certain words on shirts worn by passengers, good for them for enforcing their policy.

    • axhandler1 says:

      That’s what I was thinking. I disagree with the decision, but it’s a private business. If representatives of the airline felt her shirt was too offensive, then they can tell her she cannot board the plane. Simple as that. I wonder where the line is though, because I don’t think they could tell someone to remove a garment that has a religious purpose, simply due to it offending the other passengers.

    • redskull says:

      I agree. Retail stores have the right to refuse service, so why not an airline? By booting her from the flight they may very well have avoided unpleasantness between the woman and other passengers who didn’t appreciate her sense of “humor.”

      You don’t wear a shirt like this unless you’re looking for attention or trying to provoke a reaction.

      • That guy. says:

        But when a retail store refuses service, they don’t accept your money, then not give you the product claiming you are dressed offensively.

        The question, posed above by FatLynn, is would the airline refund the money if they refused to let her board due to the shirt? If there is a term in her contract when purchasing the ticket saying she can’t dress “offensively”, then that is a subjective term. If someone doesn’t, subjectively, feel their shirt is offensive, then they are not purposefully violating the terms of the contract. It is the airline who is voiding it based on their interpruation of the term “offensive”. Since they cancel the transaction, they should refund the money.

      • kent909 says:

        Yes a restaurant has the right to refuse service. They don’t have the right to take your order, have you pay for it and then not let you eat it.

    • FatLynn says:

      I agree, but it’s a little murkier, though, having already accepted the woman’s money for a ticket. If they deny boarding, do they have to give her a refund?

      • shepd says:

        Oh definitely. Unless they specifically informed her of their shirt-rules. And not in fine print. Proper “we called you and told you that was a bad idea” kind of being told no.

        • GrimJack says:

          That’s ridiculous. So the airline should call everybody that books a ticket and read them the entire CoC, pausing occasionally to say “Do you understand and accept the section that I just read to you?”. Just because you can’t be bothered to read the CoC (or license agreement, or terms of use, or any other document that dictates the terms of a contract) doesn’t mean that you are entitled to recourse for your ignorance/laziness.

      • Kat says:

        But by purchasing a ticket, aren’t agreeing to their terms and conditions?

      • failurate says:

        I wonder if there is some small print dress code somewhere in the ticket contract. If so, and the passenger was in violation, then no refund.
        If it is just a judgement call made by the pilot or other crew, no contract, then refund.

      • aerodawg says:

        Probably not since the subject shirt is being considered a violation of the contract of carriage (CoC). Generally the CoCs contain provisions for the airline to keep your fare if you violate the CoC.

        I don’t think this is a case of Involuntary Denied Boarding since the only thing preventing the passenger from boarding is the choice whether to change/cover the shirt or not, and not a lack of space or some other issue.

        • comatose says:

          heheheh, you said CoC.

        • history_theatrestudent says:

          The issue of depending on the COC is that 12.6.f is vague on what is consider disruptive, or disruptive enough to passenger to warrant being booted off a flight. Further whose rights take priority should passengers make counter-claims of disruption against one another.

          Now from what I understand when a contract is vague, it is interpreted in a manner that benefits the party who did not draft it.

    • josephbloseph says:

      With the level of government subsidies that the air travel industry gets, I wouldn’t really consider them to be completely private, but if that is the shirt in question pictured, where the “F word” is presented in a color to contrast from the rest of the statement, I could certainly see the argument that it is meant to be obscene, and should remain covered in the confines of the plane and airport.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      They should have made that “private” decision before allowing her to enter their “private” space.

      Once they allowed her in with that shirt, they had no business kicking her out. They already gave it their implicit approval. Stranding her in the middle of her journey is not acceptable. The time to have objected already passed.

      It’s these “half” measures that are worst of all.

    • MeowMaximus says:

      Not just no, but hell no! The airline is in the wrong, and should be sued.

      • Round-Eye 外人はコンスマリッストが好きです。 says:

        Yes! SUE ALL THE PEOPLE!!!!!11!!!!ONEone1 Because that’s the answer to everything. And what would she sue for? No, really, I want to know. Contract of carriage (CoC) allows for AA to make the call on what’s appropriate attire for their aircraft. As much as we love to cite the CoC for airlines’ failings, it applies to passengers just as much.

    • rkramden says:

      It is not a private company. It is publicly held. Every shareholder should vote on the decision.

  3. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I’m sorry, some shirts are only OK in a context where only adults are around. For the parents that check the ratings of their kids TV shows and movies, and prewatch iffy ones, we would rather not have that control taken completely away from us.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      I’m sorry, no one gives a flying fuck about *your* kids. If you want to keep them away from anything that might offend you, then feel free to dip them in concrete.

      I want parents to admit that the reason they keep their kids away from “offensive” material has nothing to do with ‘protecting the children,’ and everything to do with ‘not actually wanting to have any discussion about uncomfortable topics with the children.’

      • rmorin says:

        Exposing kids to sexual ideas at too young of an age has clinically been found to lead to certain psycho-sexual problems later in life. This shirt is not a good teaching tool or conversation starter.

        Having conversations about sexuality with children is very tough for parents under the best circumstances, none-the-less in an airport.

        • Timbojones says:

          So don’t have a conversation about sexuality. Have a conversation about language.

          • rmorin says:

            So where do you draw your lines? Clearly there have to be some words you would advocating kids not being around?

            • Timbojones says:

              “Censorship”

              There are certainly words I would encourage my children not to use; there are certainly words that I will not personally expose them to. But I’m not going to censor the world against my child, and I’m not going to pretend that it’s even possible to do so. Swears have a long history and a useful function.

              Words have exactly as much power, meaning, and suitability as we give them. When you react strongly to a word, you give that word strength.

              Verboten things are more enticing, especially to children. The children who find the toy guns fastest invariably accompany a parent who says “You know you’re not allowed to play with guns!”

              If the child is swearing because he’s bored or angry, deal with the boredom or the anger, not the word.

              http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=141&id=1966

              • BD2008 says:

                Is it ok if your 7 year old son walks around calling his classmates “cunts” and “bitches”? They are just words, afterall.

                • Timbojones says:

                  No that’s clearly not ok. But that’s not what we’re talking about. I’ll deal with my 7 year old son and his problems.

                  I won’t tell some stranger to remove their shirt that says cunts and bitches. Nor will I break up 2 pigeons fucking on the sidewalk because my 7 year old son might see it. That stranger is not my 7 year old son, and it’s not my responsibility to teach that stranger how to act in society. If I notice the shirt before the kid does, I’ll surreptitiously try to keep him from seeing it. If he sees it then we’ll have a frank and calm conversation about assholes and polite society.

                  If you shelter your child from the world, your child will not be prepared to handle the world when they leave your shelter.

              • rmorin says:

                So if a shirt said something VERY explicit, like graphically sexual, it would be okay to be worn around children?

                And you don’t know what censorship is. Private companies censor us in MANY ways both as costumers and employees and they have that right and they should. It’s the government that does not get to.

                Consumerist.com themselves “dis-emvowels” comments. Why do they do this? To facilitate intelligent, non-inflammatory discussion. Why does AA not want this shirt being worn on a plane? Because it takes away from the experience of others.

      • 2 Replies says:

        Thank you!
        While a little lacking in tact, I totally agree.

        Kinda like those BS “Baby on board” stickers/signs.
        Parents shouldn’t be expecting everyone else to modify their behavior just because they shoved out a unit. “Baby on board” signs belong on the dashboard.

        • Costner says:

          I don’t think parents are the ones expecting anything here. It is society in general that has dictated what is and what is not acceptable behavior. Running around with profanity on your shirt is generally frowned upon whether there are kids in the area or not.

          I will agree that having a child should not require society to adapt, and I even agree that those Baby on Board signs are silly (but the point was more to brag than it was to expect anyone else to modify their driving habits), but in this case the airline was more than justified in their request, and anyone wearing a shirt with profanity on it is pretty much asking for attention (which is what she received).

      • Costner says:

        Um… no. A four year old shouldn’t be in a position where they see the F-word on a shirt and because they are becoming familiar with letters and might be starting to even read they can figure out what it says. This isn’t because it is uncomfortable, it is because you can’t exactly use logic and have a mature discussion with a four year old. No amount of explaining is going to make them understand the word isn’t appropriate in certain places, and there will come a time when they decide they need to repeat the word… which often would be in the middle of church, or at a checkout lane in a Walmart.

        It is a different situation when the kid is 10 or 12… then by all means wear your idiotic shirt, but for young children there are certain things they shouldn’t be exposed to. Whether it is a word, or language, or sexual acts it isn’t that it is uncomfortable to talk about these things… it is that talking about them is difficult if not impossible with a child who is two, three, or four.

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          If the 4-year old can read, they should be rewarded with biting political commentary.

          • Nyxalinth says:

            I could read at that age :D I would have embarrassed my mother asking about that word, too.

        • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

          SOLUTION! No one take your snowflake into public until they are 10-12 and in no danger at melting at the face of life. My kids know the adults use curse words. YES, even the 4 year old. They also know they are not allowed to use those words. It was not a difficult process.

      • BD2008 says:

        It’s never good when your first grader tells the other kids in class what “fuck” means because you had to explain it to him due to some attention-seeking retard’s lack of consideration for other people.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Too bad. If you don’t want your kids to come in contact with reality, better just lock them in their rooms for the rest of their lives.

      And just stop pretending there’s anything wrong with “fuck” anyway. Or “shit.” Or whatever.

      Just words. Only a problem when you invent said problem in your misguided little brain.

      • rmorin says:

        “Fuck” (especially in this context) means having sexual intercourse. Exposing children to the idea of sexual intercourse at too young of an age can have negative consequences. Talking to children about sexuality is incredibly complex in the best of times, none-the-less on an air plane.

        Words are only as significant as the meanings behind them, however with “fuck” the meaning is very significant.

        • Timbojones says:

          “Mommy what’s ‘fuck’ mean?”

          “It’s an adult word that only rude people use.”

          Problem solved.

          • rmorin says:

            Do you know how I can tell you don’t have kids?

            You seriously think kids give up that easy?

            • LJKelley says:

              I remeber the first time I heard the word Fuck. I was raised in very conversvative in a Christian Evangelical family. I kinda just knew better than to repeat the word at Church and have actually never said the word Fuck at a Church (excuse me, brb…).

              My mom basically alluded to it being an adult subject and that she would discuss sex (thats the word she used) with me when I was ready for it.

              When I was ready, I kinda figured out on my own. My mom never told me and besides I’m gay anyhow so its quite mute anyways and I discovered on my own what I wanted to do with my body.

              Just her saying sex though, shut me up. I knew it was adult and as such foul language (for my upbringing) and didn’t mention it.

              This shirt is entirely appropriate, and i’m sorry that we can’t shield your kids from political protests. AA is correct in banning whatever they want, but in bad taste. This woman has every right to wear this shirt walking down the street and your kid might see it. I think any parent should easily be able to deal with such a situation and unless they live in a bubble or private school, i’m quite sure they will hear the word Fuck at school.

              • rmorin says:

                Your exactly right, in public you can wear whatever you want, that is not what I am debating.

                You are wrong in that it is in bad taste by AA. AA wants their customers to be happy. It’s not that parents CAN’T explain curse words to their children. It is that they do not want to have to on of all places a plane, which is already normally a headache to begin with.

          • Costner says:

            You clearly don’t have children.

            You can try to explain it away…. and a week later when sitting in church the kid busts out the new word he learned. Hilarity I tell ya… people will just eat that stuff up!

      • Sunrisecarole says:

        Glad I don’t know your parents. Just sayin’……

      • Spooka says:

        False! These words (the one in particular) have a commonly agreed-on meaning. Many words do.

        If I’m going to offer you a glass of water I don’t ask you if you’d like a grape of thumbtacks. I don’t ask that because those words (grape, thumbtacks) have specific meanings and while they are fundamentally “just words” they still mean something important and would impede you in your effort to get a glass of water.

      • BD2008 says:

        So you are ok with children using profanity? All children? All ages? For real?

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        Really? You must not be a parent. (For the record, neither am I.)

        Having said that, imagine this situation: You’re on that same flight with the woman wearing that T-shirt. Your 5 year old son/daughter reads it and asks you “Daddy, what does ‘womb’ and ‘fuck a Senator’ mean?” Do you want to teach sex ed and abortions to a 5 year old? Neither would I. There’s a time and a place for everything. This political statement isn’t one of them.

        • Firethorn says:

          In my experience, if the kid isn’t ready for such talk, they are going to quickly lose interest once you start explaining. You don’t need to get into an extensive philosophical debate. Heck, simply tell them it’s a ‘dirty word’.

          Your ‘not wanting’ to explain squicky stuff doesn’t resolve you of your responsibility to do so.

    • Guppy06 says:

      Perhaps, but I’d make an exception for this:

      1.) The word “fuck” is used to describe a very specific biological act, and avoiding the use of that word would make the sentence unwieldy at best, and more than likely inaccurate. The best I can think of is replacing it with “copulate with,” which still leaves you having to explain to the hypothetical four-year-old what “copulate” on the nice lady’s shirt means.

      2.) It is a pertinent political statement concerning current events. If you don’t want people bringing their sexual habits into the public sphere, then perhaps you should contact your representatives and tell them to stop trying to legislate other peoples’ sexual habits to begin with.

      • Not Given says:

        What about screw? Bang? Boff?

        • Guppy06 says:

          Euphemisms are too vague. The legislation isn’t talking about screwdrivers or fireworks. “Fuck” and “copulate” are the only two words I can think of that clearly describe the specific act (versus “sleep with” or “lie with”), while not being too exclusive (“fornicate” is too specific).

          Social conservatives want the government to regulate fucking, no more and no less. If it’s an appropriate subject on legislative floors, it’s appropriate subject on airplanes.

      • JennQPublic says:

        So once I’ve contacted my legislators (most of which are already pro-choice, given where I live), then can I be allowed to believe that topics like sex and abortion are not appropriate for young audiences?

        Seriously, it’s abortion. Pro-life or pro-choice, no one should be rushing to expose kids to these concepts.

  4. Here to ruin your groove says:

    Ya, that’s pretty offensive.

    • NumberSix says:

      Why?

    • jeadly says:

      I think it’s offensive that she’s not allowed to wear it. See how subjective this can be?

      • Here to ruin your groove says:

        If someone walked into my business wearing that I would ask them to leave. I don’t give a shit about the message. It’s about having manners.

        There is a time and place for cursing, and my business is not it. If I have a guest try to check in and they refuse to refrain from cursing, I have no problem firing a customer.

        Fuckers.

    • Jawaka says:

      If you wear a shirt in public that has cursing on it then you deserve any head aches that you get because of it.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Exactly, that wording is meant to be shocking so as to get attention, plus one wears something like that in public specifically to be provocative so this woman can save her crocodile tears as she got what she deserved (although I’d have made sure she couldn’t get on any later flight without changing either.)

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        I think this is the first time you and I have ever saw eye to eye. I agree with you 100%.

  5. FatLynn says:

    I think the airline should have the right, I just don’t think they should really exercise it.

    So, I don’t really think that the airline should kick people off of flights, but I also don’t think the government should step in and forbid them from doing so.

    • Kevin411 says:

      A. Turn it inside out…problem solved well enough to fly.

      B. Airlines have a right to have a dress code, but should not strand someone in-between destinations over something like this. If she was allowed to fly she should have been allowed to finish the trip. Causing someone to potentially miss an event or something over this while in a strange town after luggage has been checked is just rude and stupid. Hand her some gaffing tape and put her on her scheduled flight.

      • Martha Gail says:

        Yes. They certainly have the right to enforce a dress code. However, they shouldn’t decide to enforce it mid-trip.

        • Dipsomaniac says:

          So airlines should demand to see all items of clothing that passengers are wearing before takeoff, just in case something under the first layer is offensive?

      • Round-Eye 外人はコンスマリッストが好きです。 says:

        They enforced it mid-trip because the offensive wording was hidden when she boarded her first flight. If she’d done the same kind of cover-up for her second flight, she’d probably not have had a problem. But, even though she wasn’t overtly belligerent, by not complying with the airline’s (via the pilot) demands, she was not allowed to board her second flight. It’s not like they said it was okay at first, then changed their mind all of a sudden.

  6. Blueskylaw says:

    The best way to do it is to wear the shirt inside out and then change it back in the planes bathroom. Forward thinking FTW!!!

    • aerodawg says:

      Great idea, then when the FA tells you to change it back and you refuse, you’re guilty of the federal felony “interfering with a flight crew.” Have fun doing your 3-5 in the federal pen…

      • Blueskylaw says:

        “Have fun doing your 3-5 in the federal pen…”

        That would seem to be less painful than flying nowadays.

      • msbask says:

        Why change it back at all? If wearing my shirt inside out is what’s going to get me home, then I think it’s a small price to pay, don’t you?

  7. cameronl says:

    The only reason to wear a shirt like that is to push people’s buttons and elicit a reaction. And that is what she got.

    • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

      +1

    • failurate says:

      The button she pushed….. was eject.

    • chicagojay says:

      I concur.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Or maybe she is mirroring the types we read about every day in the news in modern-day America; uneducated, ignorant, and could care less about herself and what others think of her. Yet,,they’re still allowed to breed.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Yup. She clearly demonstrated how moronic people can be about pretending a word is, in and of itself, so offensive. When anyone with a brain can see that it’s just a word, and it doesn’t matter.

      But really, I think the shirt was making a good point about reproductive rights and highlighting how offensive that morony is. That’s offensive. The word “fuck” is only offensive if you imagine it to be so in your little mind.

      • Jawaka says:

        Its called manners and respect and wearing a shit like this in public shows neither. It doesn’t matter whether the shirt offends you or not, the point is that there’s a overwhelming likelihood of running into many people throughout of the course of the day that it will offend; and most people with common sense will understand that.

        • jesusofcool says:

          I agree. Unfortunately, wearing a shirt like this in a very public place is just a stunt for attention. Why else would you put yourself in a situation that may attract negative attention and detract from your cause?

  8. qwickone says:

    IMO, the word “fuck” on a shirt is generally offensive (not to me personally, I think it’s funny in this case). I don’t have a problem with attempts to curb generally offensive behavior, but they could have just asked her to keep her shawl on or turn the shirt inside out. I think “think of the children” actually applies here. I imagine there are exceptions…

    • GrimJack says:

      The problem is that this thread lit the ‘think of the children’ fire and called out all the ‘fuck your kids’ crew. This isn’t about children being exposed to bad language, it’s about wearing a shirt with a word on it that most of the population consider to be offensive. Maybe it’s grandpa and grandma that find it offensive – should they be told to stay home if they don’t like seeing the word ‘fuck’ on people’s shirts?

      Personally, it doesn’t bother me (and I totally agree with the sentiment), but then again I don’t claim (like so many others here do) to be solely representative of the general public on what is offensive or not…

  9. That guy. says:

    When a contract (which is what she entered into by purchasing a ticket) uses a term like “offensive”, you are dealing with things that are subjective.

    A pilot may find an Anti-Obama shirt (without curse words or nudity) offensive. A shirt with cartoon bikini girls holding a giant Corona could be offensvie. A shirt with Calvin urinating on a Ford logo can be offensive.

    The point I’m making is, as long as the shirt covers up the person’s body, and itself doesn’t depict nudity, then it’s the offended party’s issue if they find something offensive. It’s their problem.

    These “offensive” words only have power if we are this afraid of them. “Oh no! Not THAT word! You can’t travel with THAT word on your shirt! If a child sees it, it will be the first time ever that they were exposed to it! Then their parent would have to actually talk to their kid about appropriate language for children! We can’t possible ask a parent to parent!”

    • FatLynn says:

      Ha, there was an episode of Airline where a guy had on a short kilt with his balls hanging out.

    • frank64 says:

      You don’t need to be afraid words to think they are rude and offensive. I think if the FCC is able to ban them, then private companies should be able to also.

      Restaurants may have a dress code. You don’t need to be afraid of some guy in pajamas to allow that a restaurant may want to not let him in the dining room.

      • That guy. says:

        But in those scenarios, they don’t take your money, then decide to not provide service because of the customer’s offensive attire.

        • frank64 says:

          That issue is easily resolved. Airline gives refund.

          You take the risk if you go somewhere where you know you might be in some sort of violation. This is clearly one of those times.

    • Spooka says:

      So wait – a shirt with nudity on it is offensive? What if it’s non-sexual? Isn’t that as arbitrary as saying an offensive word is the problem of the offended?

      Would it not be wise to consider reasonable standards of offense and obscenity in so public a forum as an airplane?

  10. Boiled for your sins says:

    Anyone can claim to be offended by just about anything.

    My husband occassionally wears a t-shirt depicting jesus playing poker – the caption is ‘Ante Christ’. Reactions mostly range between chuckles and smiles to surprised looks and negative comments. The most extreme was a woman who yelled at him about going straight to hell for his blasphemy. Not exactly a concern to an atheist…

    • Kat says:

      God is a comedian playing to an audience afraid to laugh.

    • tdogg241 says:

      No kidding. People can and WILL claim to be offended by just about anything. I worked in a video store during college and was once showing Spongebob Squarepants on the monitors in the store in the middle of the day. This older woman (60+) was absolutely irate that I would be showing something like that in the store where it could be seen by children. I’ve been forever baffled by that. Maybe she thought it was South Park or something.

      • subliminal plastic says:

        Yep. I used to work at Lowe’s and me and my manager got chewed out by an old lady because we were selling a snowman that sang “Ice Ice Baby” at Christmas time. We laughed our butts off for weeks over that one.

    • Costner says:

      Although true people can be offended by anything, I think we need to go by the reasonable standard of what is socially acceptable.

      A vast majority would agree two people having sex in a public park is not acceptable, just as a vast majority would agree the F-bomb, or the N-word on a shirt is not acceptable. However most things which may offend a slight minority are probably OK.

      For instance, your husband’s shirt probably only offended the most uptight of Christians (whereas most would find the humor in it). A shirt showing the benefits of bacon consumption might offend a small minority of Jews too… but it would still be the smell test of being acceptable to most people.

      What I’m amazed at is how many people will walk up to a perfect stranger and make some comment about what they are wearing. I had a shirt with some cartoonish baby chicks on it and a caption which read “Chicks Dig Me”…. obviously it is a joke and meant to be funny, but I had a 80-something year old woman approach me and say that she wanted me to know that she was one chick that does not dig me in a somewhat angry and bitter tone. I couldn’t help but laugh and shake my head in disbelief.

    • Jawaka says:

      There’s a difference between people who get offended by anything and people who try to offend other people.

  11. DerangedKitsune says:

    Eh. If it wasn’t for the legable profanity, I would be totally on the side of the OP. This is no different than individuals from People of Walmart that have profane and disgusting sayings on their clothing. There should be a certain level of decorum when interacting with the general public, especially in the US where people can get their panties in a twist for the most minor of actions.

    • jeepguy57 says:

      Agreed. Does it offend me, no. Would I wear it, absolutely not. It is offensive to others and human decency should tell this woman not to wear it. Obviously she has no class.

  12. Pete the Geek says:

    If it honestly was *just* the f-word that was considered offensive, the airline could have offered her some duct tape to cover the one word. I believe that American Airlines staff actually found the message offensive, which is why she was asked to remove or cover up the *entire* message. While I don’t appreciate gratuitous use of bad language in general, this is clearly political speech in which the f-word is uniquely appropriate. American Airlines staff has the right to kick her off their airplanes, but the standards should be clear and consistent.

    • frank64 says:

      They said it was just that word, seems clear and consistent to me. You are doing exactly what you are accusing the airline of doing. You are allowing for the word due to you agreeing with the political message, the airlines say they are not.You have nothing to go on for the airlines, but your statement speaks for itself.

      How times have changed, when one can say the work fuck on a shirt in public must only be offensive because of the political message.

  13. Upthewazzu says:

    Whatever happened to common decency?

  14. bhr says:

    She wore the shirt to get a reaction, then ran to the newspaper when she got the reaction she wanted. The only problem was it was the airline and not TSA like she wanted.

  15. DoubleShortMILF says:

    My 5-year-old son can read, and he will read shirts out loud. I do not need to board a plane and have him read “fuck” at the top of his lungs.

  16. balderdashed says:

    One wonders what the airline would have done if the shirt had been exactly the same — except the message had used the words “sleep with” or “have sex with” instead of the F-word.

    • Costner says:

      I was curious about that too… frankly I think the shirt would sell better if they replaced “fuck” with “screw” because most people I know aren’t afraid to give you an opinion, but they don’t want to walk around with profanity on their shirts.

      Being offensive is one thing… being crass is another.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I agree with this. I think “screw” would have been better too.

      • Round-Eye 外人はコンスマリッストが好きです。 says:

        Very well said.

  17. Tallanvor says:

    The poll is silly. Do I consider the shirt offensive? No. But free speech doesn’t apply to a private company, so they can set restrictions like that, and if we don’t like it, we can usually choose to use another airline.

  18. chiieddy says:

    If she put tape over the ‘UCK’ it would have been fine probably. I can’t fault the airline here.

  19. tiredofit says:

    I think this shirt’s message is fine, but seriously? What the hell is wrong with this woman wearing it traveling in public? She should know better, and if she doesn’t …

  20. binkleyz says:

    American Airlines needs to calm the fuck down. It’s just a fucking word, and unless the other passengers are living in a convent, they’re nearly certain to have heard other shitty words just like the one the airline found offensive.

    It’s a slippery slope, since many many things can be found “offensive” to someone, like a Southern Baptist being offended by the word “Damn” on a book cover.

    • Mighty914 says:

      The slippery slop argument can just as easily be applied the other way. Fine, you allow shirts with curses on them, because we all know them anyway. Well, perhaps we should allow shirts with human body parts (you know which ones) on them because we all have those. Etc., etc.

      • binkleyz says:

        Words are not images, and from legal perspective (though IANAL) imagery is in a different category of protection than words, with a much lower bar defining what is “Patently offensive” or “Shocking to the conscience” in terms of obscenity.

        See these two US Supreme Court opinions on this:

        http://tinyurl.com/lx8wvv (Jacobellis v. Ohio)

        or

        http://tinyurl.com/6jymyd (Miller v. California)

        And you’re right about the slippery slope, we’ve become a puritanical society (here in the US, anyway.. readers from outside the US, your results may vary) where the slightest bit of discomfort around nearly ANY topic is grounds for a complaint.

        • rmorin says:

          we’ve become a puritanical society

          Yeah, we were so much more progressive in the 1860s …

          • binkleyz says:

            Relative to the outside influences, yes.

            The US is the only “Western” power that has such a religiously dominated electorate, and has far and away the highest percentage of its population self-identified as “Born Again” or “Evangelical Christians”, when compared to our peers.

            Theists (of all stripes) are all offended at the notion of being told what to do as far as morality, but seem perfectly willing to pass laws enforcing their own religion-based morals on everyone, which in my view is precisely what the Puritans did, in that they fled a society that wasn’t open to their own particular interpretation of religion, and then when they made it to the new world, turned around and did here precisely the same things they’d found so oppressive.

            Which is a roundabout way of getting to the point that, just because someone is offended at an IDEA that they don’t agree with, does NOT give them the right to force others into their worldview.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        This t-shirt was clearly a political statement.

        That’s a very common standard for giving it more legitimacy regardless of what the other elements of the situation. You would like to pretend that there isn’t already a clear path here but there clearly is.

        Given where a lot of these pilots come from. There’s a good chance that this had nothing to do with “profanity” and the pilot was just being a mindless jar head.

        Politics may have been the real heart of the matter.

    • shepd says:

      There’s no need to be subjected to unpleasant/offensive things in a private confined space that you paid good money to be in, where the owners of said space want you to be protected from it.

      • binkleyz says:

        So where do you draw the line?

        Maybe the vegan sitting next to you is disgusted by the honey-sweetened cookies you brought?
        How about the Muslim who is offended by the depiction of Mohammed in the book I’m reading?
        Maybe the Hassidic man doesn’t like that I’m reading a book that denies the Holocaust.

        Anyone can be offended by anything if they’re sufficiently wrapped up in their opinion of things, and (IMO) we’d be much better as a society to just accept that other people may not share your viewpoint on certain things.

        • Round-Eye 外人はコンスマリッストが好きです。 says:

          False parallels are false. Your arguments are bad and you should feel bad. None of the things you mentioned are overt. You’re not shoving cookies/books in anyones faces and forcing them to eat/read. If you were, then you’d probably be dealt with for other reasons – like assault. A t-shirt that is being openly displayed is just as public as, say, a billboard. So yes, they can draw a line there. It’s actually pretty common-sense based. Hyperbole much?

          • Brave Little Toaster says:

            How about a woman wearing a full burka then? That’s as “in your face” as this woman’s tshirt.

  21. The_IT_Crone says:

    If it had been about the F-word, then they’d have let her keep her shawl on, turn the shirt inside out, put tape over it* or something. The fact that she wasn’t allowed to wear it shows it was about the message, not the word.

    * Tried and true

    • castlecraver says:

      Yeah, except for the part where she was allowed to wear it, covered with the shawl. RTFA.

  22. mattyb says:

    Hard for me to pick a side on this one. On one hand, I don’t think that airlines and pilots should become the decency police whenever they feel like it, but on the other I don’t think someone should wear a shirt like that out in a public place where children (and other easily offended people) are present. That’s definitely a shirt you should only wear around a certain crowd.

    • Zelgadis says:

      That’s just what I was thinking. Ridiculously prudish airline, ridiculously unclassy passenger. There are no winners here.

    • James says:

      agree. there was a guy on a recent flight wearing a shirt that said “John F-ing Deer” with a horse mountain a tractor or something.

      Sitting on the bulkhead so everyone passing by, including kids, could read it. I don’t believe in overprotecting kids or being a nanny state decency police. — my only thought was “Why would anyone wear that outside of a family backhard BBQ.”

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I agree, there is a place for that and I can’t believe she thought multiple airports would be a good place.

      I am hardcore into the women’s movement right now, but I would never wear a shirt like that anywhere but a rally. To do otherwise is actually hurtful to our message, because there are a lot of people out there who think we are nothing more than a bunch of immoral floozy men-hating feminists who get abortions for fun. This would only prove them somewhat correct (in their minds of course).

  23. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    I take it this shirt is protesting taxpayer money going to Planned Parenthood?

  24. AjariBonten says:

    American Airlines; need we say more?

  25. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    T-shirts! Thats where my specialty is! Trust me, I have more offensive tshirts than your eyes can handle.

  26. Captain Obvious says:

    Its a word.
    Its not a picture of Jon McCain fvcking( close your eyes and imagine that image).

    • rmorin says:

      Sorta odd you wanna defend the wearing of the shirt, but edit yourself on a largely anonymous blog?

    • Spooka says:

      But the word has meaning! Those letters in that arrangement aren’t inherently offensive but the *meaning* of the word is generally considered offensive.

      Words and symbols exist with meanings whether or not we choose to give them power. The meanings may change over time but ignoring them will not change their urban dictionary (if you prefer) entry.

  27. cbatt says:

    Sad that it’s gotten to the point where we actually have to tell grown adults that it’s not appropriate to wear shirts like that on an airplane. Of course I keep reading articles where we have to tell recent college grads to show up to interviews on time and to comb their hair so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised at the social ignorance of the general public.

  28. 2 Replies says:

    Freedom of speech dictates anyone can wear whatever they like and not have to deal with this narrow-minded BS.

    Any claims that it could INCITE a threat are baseless since even then it’s not the shirt or the owner WEARING it that would be the problem, but would be the ACTIONS of those getting violent over it.
    (The mentally unstable pilot that flipped out months back was to blame for his behavior, not whatever set him off.)

    Wearing a t-shirt is NOT a threat to national security, nor is it a threat to a flight.
    People OVERREACTING to it are.
    PERIOD.

    • frank64 says:

      You are misusing freedom of speech in a few ways. Vulgarity was never part of it, and private people/events aren’t part of it either. Yes the gov can’t prosecute you for political views, but this is not the gov saying we don’t like the shirt, it is a private company. You may have the right to be offensive, but you are not protected from private reactions, including not being allowed on private property.

    • Upthewazzu says:

      Freedom of Speech protects you from government persecution, not American Airlines.

      The more you know…

  29. docshar says:

    “I want parents to admit that the reason they keep their kids away from “offensive” material has nothing to do with ‘protecting the children,’ and everything to do with ‘not actually wanting to have any discussion about uncomfortable topics with the children.’”

    Bullshit. I talk to my five-year-old about what language is/is not appropriate, about death, about where babies come from…just about any “uncomfortable” topic you can think of. She said to me just the other day, “Don’t say ‘penis’!” But I still don’t need my kid seeing this shirt. I agree completely with the sentiment of the message. But I also agree with others that using and highlighting the word “fuck” was intended to be offensive and get a reaction. Well, it worked.

  30. Clyde Barrow says:

    The tee is a good summarization of her qualities. Is she related to “tanning mom?”

  31. dulcinea47 says:

    You know, what bothers me about this shirt (assuming it was the same as pictured here) is that the word FUCK is in bright pink. Which says to me that you’re trying to draw special attention to the naughty language used on your shirt. If all the lettering were the same, it’d just be a statement.

  32. energynotsaved says:

    The first time I flew on a plane, men wore suits and women wore heels. People acted as if flying was a special event. Over time, airlines became America’s answer to buses and we dressed and acted accordingly. While I don’t want to return to the days of suits and heels, it would make flying a little nicer if we all acted as if we respected others. Personally, I don’t care about your religion, politics, or sports team. I’m sure you don’t care about mine. Just don’t shove them down my throat.

    • SlowRider says:

      I agree with this. It seems to me as if people have a pathological obsession with making sure everyone around them knows their views on every possible subject. As a society, we do outrage very well but nuance, not so much.

      It works on Facebook and Consumerist and such, but man, out in public, it would be so much more pleasant if people could just maneuver through the average place without bleating their cause du jour in a written or verbal format.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      YES.

      Although I find when I wear the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center shirt my boyfriend got me that has a Department of Homeland Security logo on the front and a SWAT team on the back, people are either very nice to me or leave me the hell alone. Heh heh.

  33. SlowRider says:

    I’m torn. I have two daughters under 15, and have raised them with the general idea that they should not be afraid of words. However, I have also tried to tell them that words can be powerful. So I tell them to take context into account and to know their audience when using language that might be considered off-putting to someone else.

    It’s a tough moral path to navigate and I am guilty of straying off it myself sometimes. There is no answer that will placate everyone, so I suppose we have to defer to the rights of the airline on this one. I personally would have been uncomfortable with the shirt as written also. Sometimes nuance will get your audience to think more than shock will.

    Disclaimer: I agree with the idea that the shirt is meant to convey – that the government should stop obsessing over women’s bodies and trying to control them.

  34. KitanaOR says:

    This isn’t a kids issue. F*** is an offensive word as deemed by society as a whole. Some of you need to grow up and recognize this.

  35. daynight says:

    The t-shirt was political speech. It was not simply a cutsy joke. It had serious meaning to her. Despite the f-work being cited, I am thinking it was just as likely that the pilot disagreed with the idea it represented and used an excuse to punish her. But that, of course, would require esp to see what was really going on in his head. What I notice is not mentioned is any option that she cover it with her shawl on the plane. The next plane she boarded did not give her trouble, so the pilot seems likely as the real source of the trouble.

    • frank64 says:

      The shirt was political speech with an offensive word. This word is considered offensive and rude by many, many people. The political speech is not the issue it is the word. Adding political speech does not make something that is offensive to many all of a sudden not offensive.

      Would a x-rated movie be OK to play on TV if Michael Moore did it about one of his issues?

      • StarKillerX says:

        Well personally I find Michael Moore offensive so no, it shouldn’t be allowed.

        Although I also think Michael Moore and Glen Beck should be dropped on a deserted island together for the next 20-30 years.

  36. balderdashed says:

    The notion that we can protect kids of any age from hearing or seeing the F-word (or any other word) is simply ludicrous — unless, perhaps, a child is home-schooled and rarely leaves the confines of his or her home. If parents are smart enough to not be shocked when their child hears and probably goes on to use the word, everyone including their kids will be better off.

  37. ILoveBacon says:

    If you can’t handle the consequences of wearing clothes designed to get a reaction out out of people, you shouldn’t wear clothes that are designed to get a reaction out of people.

  38. gman863 says:

    If the was that bent out of shape over her T-shirt, they could have loaned or given her an American Airlines t-shirt to wear over hers….or offer her a piece of luggage tape to place over the word “fuck” until she reached her destination….or suggest she go to the ladies room and turn the t-shirt inside out.

    It sound like the pilot is still acting out over Rick Santorum and/or Rick Perry dropping out of the primaries.

  39. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    The whole of humanity needs to get over “four letter words” already.

    It just doesn’t fucking matter. If there’s anything to be offended about, people should be outrageously offended by the fact that there are people stupid enough to be offended by the word “fuck.”

    So, fuck you, you fucking fucks.

  40. Not Given says:

    She could have just turned the shirt inside out.

  41. Flatiron_32 says:

    I got on a plane where a man was wearing a shirt that on the front said ” say no to unwanted pregnency”… on the back “fuck her up the ass”. That was offensive to me and I am 40 year old male. The flight attendants were disgusted, but did not say anything to him.

  42. evilluckycharms says:

    Sorry, all I read was “attention whore sought attention, got attention, ground the attention into fine, sandy granules and put them in her twisted up panties and complained about her sandy vagina.”

    People are idiots. You want to be a tactless redneck, go for it, I don’t care. Love the government, hate it, whatever. But when your stupidity invades my eyeballs and those of my minor children, you have to abide by common decency “rules”. That includes choosing one of the 30 other shirts you own that DONT contain a profanity, turning the already worn shirt inside out, putting masking tape over it, etc.

    She should definitely have to pay for a new ticket, pay for the cost of the security ruckus she caused, and pay an idiot fee. They invent new fees every day at airlines, it’s about time for an “idiot fee”

    • Hibyeman says:

      then from the tax for sprint alone making money on idiot fees the us would be out of debt

  43. Spooka says:

    I had to register an account just to come here and complain about everyone complaining that it’s absurd to get up in arms over “a word” with no inherent meaning.

    The only reason we have language at all – and indeed the very reason it works – is that we use sets of words in agreed-upon structures with agree-upon meanings. If you violate the semantics and syntax of your language then you’ve stopped communicating.

    So don’t pretend that the phrase on the t-shirt is just a sequential string of symbols with meaning only to Puritanical helicopter parents.

    Most Americans (and I’d guess many speakers of UK English and so on) agree on what the shirt is explicitly (as opposed to implicitly) stating and would also agree that it would reasonably offend someone.

    “Calm down, it’s just a word” is without merit if the word has had meaning associated with it. And many (all?) words do.

    And also don’t bring up examples of esoteric slang because those would only be offensive (or even meaningful) within the groups that use it.

    Grok that?

    • rookie says:

      Excellent treatise, unfortunately six levels of intelligence too high for this crowd…

      I am pleased you were coerced into registering and commenting. :)

  44. Sad Sam says:

    First, awesome shirt. Second, understand airline’s concern in that you are trapped with a 100 other people 30,000 feet above the ground, having hard core swear words on your shirt in a mixed setting could cause trouble.

  45. Dave on bass says:

    I am quite surprised at how many people appear to be against the woman and her shirt.

    IT IS NOT A PERSON’S DUTY TO MAKE SURE NOBODY’S FEELINGS GET HURT.

    If person A says something to nobody in particular and person B takes offense, it is squarely and fully person B’s problem. If person A says something hurtful *to* person B and person B takes offense, then sure person A is probably a jerk, but it’s STILL person B’s problem.

    The fact that people think some words are “bad words” boggles my mind in and of itself; added to yet another example of the victim-mentality on the march, and I just get angry.

  46. Nyxalinth says:

    She could have just turned it inside out. It would look dumb, but it would have saved some hassles on her connection.

  47. make7acs says:

    I think it is ridiculously immature to walk around in a public setting with a shirt like that. I curse like a sailor, but do try to be a bit tactful when I know other people in the area may not share the same love for my favorite 4 letter word.

    That being said, I think it is equally ridiculous that she wasn’t able to just cover it up and board the flight that way. Hell, turn the shirt inside out, I feel like this could have been avoided so many ways.

    But if she refused to cover it up, I see no problem with them not allowing her on. Like it or not, it could potentially offend other customers.

  48. rookie says:

    Flashback, WAY back, to 1972.
    I was returning to Great Lakes, WI, via ORD from STL after a weekend pass. I had on a tank top, they let me check a bag, then refused to let me on the plane because I was “underdressed”…

    I got wrote up for missing muster. I never have let that happen again.

  49. Cobra4455 says:

    Not that I’m against the ideology behind the message but seriously can’t people stop being absolute trash in the public. Flying on the airplane used to be a big fucking deal, where people wore formal attire when flying. Now all of these entitled fucks feel like they have every right to dress like scum of the earth in wifebeaters or shirts like this and expect people to just put up with it? Why are their so few civilized human beings left. At this rate Idiocracy will be here in no time.

  50. Budala says:

    Let’s be realistic this is a company trying to take your 1st amendment away. Free speech will always offend somebody, that is the reason why it is in the constitution, to protect the offender and not the offended person.

    • frank64 says:

      You need to look into what free speech actually means. They are not trying to take it away. Just not allowing you to have something offensive on your shirt.

    • SlowRider says:

      This has nothing to do with the First Amendment. The First Amendment concerns the making of laws by government to restrict free speech, not private entities. Private entities have much more latitude as to what they can disallow on their property and in their facilities.

  51. n0th1ng says:

    I used to work for FedEx and when we would fly at a discount on other carriers there was a certain dress code we had to adhere to. I agree with the flight attendant, she shouldn’t have been allowed on board with that shirt, or a t-shirt period. We had to always dress up: Men in a dress shirt, slacks and dress shoes, women had to wear a blouse, a skirt or slacks and heels or flats. Even if you were going to Hawaii or some exotic destination we still had to dress up. They could refuse you to fly and tell you to go change if you weren’t dressed right. The reasoning is that you are representing the company and need to dress your best.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I’m not dressing up when I’m not working or wearing company attire. No way. Planes are uncomfortable now.

      That said, I try to at least dress neatly. Comfy jeans, sneakers (no feet hanging out in sandals because they get cold), and either a polo or a t-shirt with nothing offensive on it. And a jacket because, you know, it’s cold. My hair is clean, and I’ve had a shower. I think that’s sufficient.

  52. Professor59 says:

    I can’t imagine taking an airline’s side on any issue, but come on. You’re in a public place. If you want to act like an idiot, you need to expect some consequences.
    This is not a first amendment issue. If you think it’s OK, then you won’t mind if your first grader’s teacher is wearing that shirt in class.

  53. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Buy a shirt? Bullshit. Just turn it inside out. Problem solved.

  54. quieterhue says:

    While I find the message of that shirt hilarious, I think it was monumentally stupid of her to wear a shirt like that to an airport. Airlines can refuse to let you on board for just about any reason they feel like, so why give them an excuse?

    Was the airline wrong? Well, if it’s their universal policy to refuse passage to someone who has “fuck” written prominently on their shirt, then no. The only thing that bugs me a bit is that she was allowed to board the first flight with the shawl covering her shirt and then was refused passage on the second flight because someone suddenly noticed it. They probably should have let her board if she promised to stay covered or given her a piece of duct tape to cover the word fuck.

    But, all things being equal, I don’t think it was ridiculous that she wasn’t allowed to board, mostly because I think it was her fault for using bad judgement in wearing that shirt.

  55. Robert Nagel says:

    Whether or not she should or shouldn’t have been allowed on the plane she has certainly indicated that she lacks any sort of class.

  56. Hartford says:

    Apparently, having the right of free speech means that everyone else has no choice but to endure crude, vulgar and tasteless t-shirts, signs and verbal ferity.

  57. RiverStyX says:

    No. Only because I still wear my cannibal corpse shirts to piss off people like these. The one of the corpse eating out another corpse? Fuck it, I wear that shit to work. And that cradle of filth one where it says “Jesus is a cunt” on the back? Got mine on a hanger, I should wear it more often.

    Freedom of speech is a motherfucker..It’s also a two-way street that protects everybody equally. Welcome to america, land of the free!

  58. iluvhatemail says:

    no and fuck em

  59. jiubreyn says:

    If the only thing on this shirt that was “offensive” is the word “Fuck”….have the passenger put some duct tape over the word and let her continue with her flight.

  60. The Porkchop Express says:

    what about yes it could be offensive BUT the airline also over reacted?

  61. DJFriar says:

    When there was a big brouhaha over a San Diego International Airport TSA employee grabbing a man’s genitals, my then GF made me a shirt that had a blue tick figure with a red “prohibited circle” over his crotch that said “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested” (I still have it, so proof can be provided). I wore it through the exact same gate the incident happened. Most of the TSA staff chuckled at it, the pilot shook my hand when he saw it (Southwest Airlines).

  62. Gertie says:

    Chiming in really late, but do people who wear t-shirts like this think anyone is endeared to their cause? I see this shirt and think she’s a crass moron who probably has no intelligent way to express her views. “I let 100% cotton speak for me!”

    Plastering cars in bumper stickers and wearing provocative t-shirts to do your talking screams you are a soundbite thinker in a complicated world.

    Additionally: Why do you think so highly of yourself that you believe the people on the plane or in the car behind you NEED TO KNOW your political views at any given moment?

  63. mik3y says:

    This is no different than the airlines not letting people board while wearing pants so low that their underwear shows. People were all for them to kicked off.

  64. FLConsumer says:

    I’m all for free speech. BUT with freedom comes responsibility.

    If the shirt didn’t have the f-bomb, I’d have a problem with the airline on this. But that word is still considered one of the few taboo words in US culture.

    At the same time though, if you’re not being offended on occasion, you’re not living in a free society either.

  65. tundey says:

    How come no one has addressed the anatomical inaccuracy in the statement? .

  66. Ayla says:

    Sounds like one classy lady *sigh*

    As the mother of four children, the oldest of which can read now, I wish some people would have the common decency to not wear the flippin’ F word on their T-shirts. I’ve seen T-shirts with the F word at parks, Disneyland, rollerskating rinks – it’s ridiculous.

    I certainly don’t think we should have a “law” to stop people but I think private businesses should have the right to set policies against it if they deem fit. Obviously places like a bar, adult store, liquor store,etc. might would allow a shirt like this, but an airline that serves families wouldn’t want this sort of thing and they’re right.

    I don’t know if anyone has stated the obvious but couldn’t she have just turned the shirt inside out? That’s what they use to make kids at my school do when they violated the dress code.

  67. soj4life says:

    Change it to bang, and it wouldn’t be offensive.

  68. kent909 says:

    Well as we can see here in these comments just about anything has the potential to offend someone. Not sure this should be the pilots call though. When a person who is checking in has a potentially offensive whatever, a specific and well versed employee of in the airlines policies should be summoned to make the call. Not just any employee who may or may not fully understand the policies. I also think if the airline chooses to not let a person fly they should refund the entire purchase price of the ticket. My guess is that while the the shirt is sure to offend someone, it probably was a pro-life button more than a language button. I also think the women who wore the shirt should realize that 99% of the people on board don’t care what her position on the topic is. So what is her point anyway. I also did a review and search of AA website and found nothing about a dress code.