Profiling Ain’t Equal

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Today my husband and I went on a tour of government offices.

He held our son’s hand. I pushed the stroller.

The security guard saw us, and let me through the stroller gate with both kids. I didn’t even pass through the metal detector. He told my husband, who was holding the backpack, to wait in line.

Well, that’s curious, isn’t it? Is it because my husband had the bag, and I had the stroller? Or because he’s a man, and I’m a woman?

I decided to ask. “Hey, excuse me? If it had been the opposite – he’d had the stroller and I had the bag, would you have done the same thing?”

He shook his head and chuckled a bit, slightly embarrassed. “No, it’s only you who can go through.”

“Okay, thanks.”

You think my husband was insulted? Trust me, he wasn’t. He got it. We both got it.

And then it happened again.

This time, I was holding my son’s hand and my husband was pushing the stroller. The [female] security guard said, “Where to?”

I said, “Ministry X.” She said, “Okay,” basically took the stroller from my husband and gave it to me. Then she pushed me and both kids through the door – no security check necessary. My husband waited in the line.

But wait. Unlike the previous office, this time only I needed to go in.

My husband couldn’t wait in line. He couldn’t go in at all. He had to wait outside. Why? Because he didn’t need an office, personally. He was just there to help.

As if I wanted to shlep both of them to the office on my own. Plus, my husband needed the bathroom.

I was pissed because my husband needed the bathroom, and we’d just walked through ten minutes of nearly constant secondhand smoke.

But yeah, okay. I get it. It IS smart and it DOES make sense.

(I just wish they’d ban smoking, fine the smokers 20,000 shekels per cigarette, and tell them to kill themselves where they’re not harming others. Smokers are selfish. Truly selfish. They care more about their own comfort than about the thousands of people they harm with their cigarettes. Did I say I hate smokers? Well, I do.)

And no, it’s not personal. Anyone can tell that my husband is:

  • Jewish (i.e., not out to kill Jews for the sake of Allah and 70 virgins)
  • married (married men are, on the whole, less violent)
  • a dad (dads have more to lose)
  • Anglo
  • non of Middle Eastern descent
  • truly “chareidi” and not just pretending to be (chareidim are not known to be violent; they don’t want trouble)

There’s no *real* reason to hold him up. But those are the rules, and they are there for a reason.

I recognize the fact that most of the time, we get slack, because really and truly, we are not a threat.

I also recognize the fact that things have been “heating up” recently and therefore there is less slack to be given, across the board.

That’s life.

And I’m glad the rules are there, and that they are known and followed. Because it keeps us all safe.

I’m writing this because there’s a lot of noise about the “unfairness” of profiling.

Guys, I don’t care if it’s unfair. It works. Profiling is one of the best, if not *the* best, method of spotting terrorists and other threatening persons.

Get over it.

Use profiling.

And stop the kvetching about the unfairness.

Because, you know, life ain’t fair. Live with it.

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