On June 9, a man boarded a US Airways flight from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix, dressed in women's panties, a bra and thigh-high stockings.
No US Airways employee at the Fort Lauderdale airport asked him to cover himself. Nor did any flight attendant ask him to do so. And obviously, no one demanded that he get off the plane.
US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder was asked how the airline allowed a nearly naked cross-dresser to board a plane and sit next to other passengers who, one assumes, did not appreciate being seated next to an exhibitionist.
As reported by the San Francisco Examiner, she "said employees had been correct not to ask the man to cover himself. 'We don't have a dress code policy. Obviously, if their private parts are exposed, that's not appropriate. ... So if they're not exposing their private parts, they're allowed to fly.'"
The decline of American civilization since the 1960s has been so fast and so dramatic that it takes one's breath away.
That a woman speaking on behalf of a major airline can say with a straight face that her airline allows anyone dressed or undressed to fly on its airplanes so long as they do not expose their genitals perfectly encapsulates this decline.
The only question is: How did we get here?
For one thing, the concept of decency is dying. I suspect that if an adult were to say to a group of randomly chosen American college students that this man indecently exposed himself and should not have been allowed to fly, that adult would be a) not understood -- what does "indecent" mean? -- and/or b) roundly condemned for intolerance and bigotry.
To judge this man as acting indecently, not to mention to bar him from flying, is to engage in violating the only values a generation of Americans has been taught: not to judge, not to discriminate, to welcome diversity and to fully accept those who are different, especially in the sexual arena.