A controversial column has fired up debate about children travelling alone…
It’s a known fact that strangers pose less of a risk to our children than those already in their lives, and yet parents still feel the need to protect their kids from strangers, especially from men. It makes sense, to a point. But what about when children aren’t even allowed to be in the vicinity of strange men, even though they are perfectly innocent, ordinary people?
Parents are increasing requesting that their children not be seated next to men on flights when they are traveling unaccompanied. Is this rude? Sexist? Offensive?
Journalist and commentator Tracey Spicer doesn’t care if it offends. She was recently confronted with a situation that forced her to face her own fears for her children.
“I know it’s sexist. But I don’t want my kids sitting next to a man on a plane.” And with these words a raging debate was born. In a column written for Fairfax, Tracey spoke about the day she was faced with this situation and what she wants to see happen.
My nine-year-old Taj and seven-year-old Grace flew as unaccompanied minors, for the first time, on Virgin last year. They were put in the last row with a bunch of other kids where doting staff plied them with treats. It was a relief to see their smiling faces at the end but I was disappointed I had no choice about where they’d be sitting.
Many parents want their children sitting next to women on flights, not men, because majority of pedophiles are men. But what about these men? How do they feel about not being able to sit next to minors on flights, just in case? Do we have a right to treat all men like potential pedophiles?
In 2012, a flight crew forced a male nurse to swap seats with a female passenger because he was sitting next to a young girl traveling on her own. "It seemed I had this sign I couldn't see above my head that said 'child molester'," he said later. However there have been some incidents of children being molested on flights.