My day started off well; early, but well. I was up at 4:20 am as I had an 8 am flight outbound Singapore, headed for Toronto, Canada; my home and native land.
I had a lovely foot rub at Changi airport prior to boarding; but little did I know insults were afoot.
The hands-down WORST question to ask a woman:
[Japan Airlines Attendant to me]
“Are you pregnant?”
Let us step into the realm of ‘if it is a question of possibilities- then it is possible that ALL menstruating girls/women who are sexually active would have the potential of being pregnant.’
From a customer service standpoint: HORROR
FACT: When asked – they admitted to me being the ONE passenger asked on this flight. Hm. Am I the only one who looks sexually active? Or… ?? Ridiculous.
If I could sue for defamation of character / slander for sure I’d hire a lawyer. The humiliation and embarrassment a woman feels when asked one on one when it’s not a reality is bad enough. Imagine such a question in front of hundreds of people about to board an overseas flight?
I demanded to speak to the manager.
The JAL apology: We apologize m’am but we question those who look pregnant.
Me: So. You think I look fat??
JAL: No, no – we just need to ask passengers who we think may be pregnant.
Me: So you asked all women on this flight as they all could potentially be pregnant?
[salt on the wound]
JAL: No. Just you.
Me: So… you say I look fat??!!
Obviously you can see this was going nowhere; and ending not so nicely.
And although I am not delusional into thinking that I am a skinny waif; I most certainly do NOT look pregnant; that I am confident on. I do not need to have ‘washboard abs’ to be accepted into ‘skinny society’ that apparently without such abs, means you are pregnant to Japan Airlines.
It’s funny. My knee jerk reaction is to announce ‘I am almost 40 and a mother of 3 who constantly gets mistaken for 20-something’ [true story and sans botox] – but this Canadian with Scandinavian descent, 5’9” tall, size 8 woman is perfectly fine with how she looks.
And who cares if I was a 12, 4, 2 , 0… point made?
Let’s drive it home:
*For every living breathing person: NEVER ask a woman if she is expecting. NEVER EVER. If you do you are RUDE and should be struck down with lightning then eaten by wild boars. In fact, wait until a woman’s water breaks all over your feet and THEN say ‘OMG! Congrats! I had no idea’ …. But even then be careful as maybe she just has incontinence issues.
One might argue that it’s validated as it’s a potential safety/risk to a fetus. Well, that same point can be related to x-rays at the hospital – which has questionnaires and where it’s common practice to ask such a question to ALL women who have begun to menstruate; including early teens and older adults.
One could conclude that air travel should have in play a questionnaire for female passengers to avoid such confrontations.
Do I lose all credibility herein if I say: ‘Japan Airlines, Go FUCK yourselves’
Updated: A PG version was printed in the December issue of the Singapore American Paper.