Beijing Capital Airport Implements 'Women-Only' Security Checks

Women in China sometimes have it pretty rough. Whether it be lower pay in the workplace, being forced to retire earlier, or having fewer leadership positions than men, at least now they get through airport security a little faster. In a policy shift that was created to shield women from the frisky and sometimes degrading proceedings of airport checks, ladies will have the option of using their own line overseen by female security officers.

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These lady-only lines have been popping up at major airports around the country, including Beijing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Kunming, since the beginning of the year when they began a trial period. These new lanes are marked by bright pink bilingual (English and Chinese) signs that say “Females Only.” This is fine and all, but when will they also make a baby blue section for little boys?

The hope is that these segregated lines will move faster than unisex ones, but it is very likely just so that men who (sometimes) travel with fewer cosmetics in their carry-on luggage won’t be held up by the cornucopia of powders and creams that often get mistaken for anthrax or plastic explosives. We can just imagine the lightbulb moment, when whoever made this proposition realized “why don’t we separate the ladies and put them in their own damn line so we can hurry through and get some free hot water already.”

Delegating women to a different security line does have its advantages, like fewer cooties to infect the boys, but in a city of over 20 million people, we doubt that a single sex line will make a big dent in wait times, which at our capital airport can sometimes seem endless. We’re not even going to ask what transgendered people should do.

What other lines or public services in Beijing could be benefitted through gender separation? But please avoid using sexist stereotypes, which can be difficult to avoid in such a discussion even with this example of airport security.

More stories by this author here.



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