In a rather interesting move, China’s Beijing Capital International Airport has added female-only security lines. This was made permanent after a three month trial, and has also been expanded to the airports in Shenzhen, Kunming and Wuhan.
Here’s the rationale, per The New York Times:
They are marked by bright pink signs that say “Female Only” in Chinese and English.
The government’s rationale is that women want to avoid being frisked by men. In the women’s lanes, the security guards are all women.
Women also carry bags of personal cosmetics that need to be opened and inspected, requiring greater scrutiny, one security guard told state media. The implication is that they are slowing down other (male) travelers with less fussy baggage.
Supposedly the addition of this new line has “improved efficiency” by 25%, and the women only line is 10% more efficient than the other security line.
The solution China came up with is an interesting one. If you are subjected to additional screening in the US, you’ll always be patted down by someone the same gender as you, which seems like another possible solution to women getting groped by male security officers in China. As far as I know, in the general line a woman could receive a pat down from a guy.
Furthermore, I can see how there’s added efficiency if cosmetics issues are more consistently dealt with in one security channel (as mildly sexist as that sounds).
Presumably women can still choose to use the other line. If it makes things more efficient for everyone, then I’m all for it.
I’m sure some people will have serious issues with this, though. I’m guessing there’s a large overlap between people who believe that, and people who also believe there should be White History Month and a Straight Pride Parade. 😉
What do you make of the concept of women-only security checkpoints?