Target: John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia
Goal: End the airline policy that prohibits men from sitting next to children.
On the airline Virgin Australia, men are currently barred from sitting next to unaccompanied children in a misguided effort to prevent child victimization. This rule humiliates men by treating them like pedophiles. Virgin Australia must abolish this narrow-minded policy.
Firefighter Johnny McGirr was recently seated next to two unaccompanied young boys on a flight with Virgin Australia. A stewardess approached him and insisted that he trade places with a female, as he was not allowed to sit next to children traveling alone. McGirr stated later that he felt as though he was, “presumed a pedophile,” and that the experience was incredibly embarrassing. He hasn’t been the only one to feel this way as the airline policy has been in place for years.
While it may be true that the majority of sex offenders are male, this does not justify treating an entire gender as a threat. This policy takes a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ stance and openly discriminates against men. An airline that is thought to practice racial profiling meets public outrage. We should be similarly intolerant of gender profiling. By signing the petition below, tell John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia, to remove the policy that prohibits men from sitting next to unaccompanied children.
Dear Mr. Borghetti,
The Virgin Australia policy that prohibits men from sitting next to children traveling alone openly discriminates against males. Men who have encountered this rule have been publicly humiliated, feeling as though they were, “presumed a pedophile.” While the intention to protect children is good and noble, this is the wrong way to accomplish it.
Although it may be true that sex offenders are primarily male, we cannot hold an entire gender guilty for the crimes of a few. The message your airline sends gives a narrow and harmful view of the male sex. All humans have the right to be treated equally, without stereotyping and profiling. Please end the policy that restricts men from sitting next to unaccompanied children.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Greg via Flickr.