Planet IS: Woman Told to Cover Up on American Airlines Flight

You would think that in the years since Lil Kim wore this:

https://www.capitalxtra.com/features/lists/first-red-carpet/lil-kim/
Source: CapitalXtra.com

And J-Lo wore this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Celebs/comments/7qs0yj/jennifer_lopez_in_her_infamous_green_versace/
Source: Reddit

 

That a woman wearing a romper would be just fine on an American Airlines flight from Jamaica (94 degrees) to Miami, FL (89 degrees).

 

But no.

On #PlanetIS, Dr. Latisha Rowe was told by flight attendants that she had to cover up her outfit, or she would not be allowed to fly.

She was also warned against making a scene or getting “loud” on the flight.

The best part of this entire thing: the members of the flight crew that committed this act are also black.

TYT’s Post Game debated whether or not people of color can be defined as racist. This is my comment on the video:

I am black and have known many black racists. It is A Thing. It happens.
We still have the House N vs Field N mentality. Lighter-skinned Blacks with softer curls are seen as more attractive. It is changing very slowly, but it [is still] there.

CNN reports:

(CNN)American Airlines has apologized to a woman who says she was humiliated after being told she couldn’t fly unless she covered up her romper.

Latisha “Tisha” Rowe said she and her son were boarding a flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to Miami on June 30 when flight attendants asked them to step off the plane to talk, she told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Thursday.

Rowe said a female flight attendant asked her several times whether she had a jacket, and when she asked why, the woman told her that “you are not getting on the plane dressed like that.”

Rowe was wearing a strapless romper, so her legs, shoulders and arms were visible, but she said that nothing inappropriate was exposed.

“To me, that felt like a slap in the face, because I felt appropriately dressed,” Rowe said. “But I’m being told indirectly, in front of my son that — you know, it felt like ‘you look like a slut, so let’s fix this.’ “

Rowe said she ended up wrapping a blanket around herself in order to board the plane.

 

Dr. Rowe is a family doctor in Houston, TX.

An apology from American Airlines is certainly not enough. This is an ongoing symptom of #PlanetIS and the double standard forced upon women in all aspects of daily life, from schools to the workplace. And it is certainly not new.

Women of color were once required by law to cover their hair and all people of color were restricted to wearing only certain types of clothing.

The Timeline reports:

Before the American Revolution, European colonies enacted laws to distinguish African slaves from their burgeoning white populations. The purpose of this legislation was to entrench the superiority of Europeans and an economic system that exploited the labor of African slaves.
Under British rule, South Carolina passed the Negro Act of 1735, which provided stipulations on the type of clothing black people were allowed to wear, outlawing anything more extravagant than “Negro cloth, duffels, kerseys, osnabrigs, blue linen, check linen or coarse garlix, or calicoes, checked cottons, or Scotch plaids.”
Governor Esteban Rodriguez Miró of Louisiana, which was still a Spanish colony, passed the “Edict of Good Government,” which required black women to wear “their hair bound in a kerchief” or a “tignon.” Additionally, black women were prevented from wearing the same “jewelry or plumes” as women of European descent.
Governor Miró was also concerned about the growing appeal of Creole and biracial women, often referred to as mulattoes, to men of European descent. Part of enforcing the wearing of headwraps was to discourage plantation owners and slave masters from pursuing women who were deemed beneath them.
In South Africa, similar laws were passed at the behest of slave mistresses who felt that the headwrap would prevent white men from pursuing black slaves.

These days, women of color wear their headwraps proudly.

https://timeline.com/headwraps-were-born-out-of-slavery-before-being-reclaimed-207e2c65703b
Source: The Timeline Erykah Badu

 

Source: WrapQueen.com

And I am one of them.

Wrapped

I am not certain if others understand the history and significance of the headwrap.

Either way, this attempt to minimize us in the past failed, just as American Airlines’ attempt to police Dr. Rowe’s more than acceptable attire should have failed.

 

However, on #PlanetIS, such objections are given more weight than they deserve.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Planet IS: Woman Told to Cover Up on American Airlines Flight

  1. This is a fantastic post you have written, I am happy that someone is addressing an issue like this. To be honest I think rowe shouldn’t have been treated that way especially not at the presence of her kid. It’s really bad. Apart from the issue of racism if a superstar were to take a public airplane anywhere dressed even more unclad than she was, I’m sure she wouldn’t be asked to “coverup”. I think rowe should be compensated, an apology is not just enough.

    1. Jackson,

      The fact that this even took place is beyond reason. Add in all the variables and it’s a mind-boggling situation. As you can see, her outfit was not provocative and she was with her child. 

      With the social climate we have in America and across the world today, it is OK to tell a woman she cannot get on the plane “dressed like that”.  And the company apologizes or throws money at the problem when the problem is that their employee felt justified in treating a paying customer -or anyone!- this way.

      It is disheartening. 

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Gwendolyn J

  2. This is a delicate subject, as are some of the outfits highlighted on the article.

    Personally, on flights I like to be comfortable, if people dress a certain way that is comfortable for what they feel is what they want to wear on a flight, then good luck to them.

    In Tisha Rowe’s case, that is an absolute disgrace the way she has been treated, but it is good to see that it does not appear to be the racism card coming into play, given the parties who chastised her were also black.

    Black or white, no one deserves to be treated in this manner.

    1. Shane,

      Actually, Black on Black racism is not new.

      It is the House N v Field N mentality.

      Darker-skinned, beefier slaves were put to work in the fields, while slimmer, lighter-skinned slaves with more European features were used as house servants, caretakers, and even sex.  These were the slaves the master of the house wanted to show off to his peers and was proud to be seen in public with. 

      There were lighter-skinned slaves who could “pass” as white, and this was one of the reasons why slaves had to wear certain clothes to differentiate them from actual white people.

      As a darker-skinned Black person, I have been subjected to this by lighter-skinned Blacks. I grew up not believing I was as pretty as what we called “yellowhammers” or “redbones” because this is what we were led to believe.

      Even if skin tone is not an issue, people of any color placed in positions of authority will often employ that authority unjustly. I have witnessed this and been subjected to this as well between Blacks. The flight attendant may have considered herself “better”  than Dr. Rowe based on how she was dressed, or even her hairstyle. 

      I vividly recall going to seek public assistance and having a black woman who was handling my case ask me point blank why I bothered to have children with a white man (my children are obviously multi-ethnic). She wanted to know why I would weaken “my race” that way.

      I had to request another social worker because it seemed that she found far too many excuses to delay my assistance. Once I had a new worker, my disbursement was approved within a few days. 

      Unfortunately, we are often the worst racists of all.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Gwendolyn J

  3. This is just ridiculous. There’s nothing offensive or wrong with what she’s wearing and when I fly anywhere, I don’t even pay attention to what other people are wearing. It’s like going to the grocery store, you just go in, grab what you need and leave. It must have been embarrassing for her to be approached by a worker and told to cover up. And it’s peak summertime, so loads of people dress in summer-appropriate clothing. 

    Makes no sense at all. An apology doesn’t make it right, but at least AA issued one.

    1. Nate,

      Sadly, this does not strike me as odd. We are a species that believes in hierarchies and those that do not fit into their respective boxes are often harassed,  especially by others just like them. 

      Unfortunately, there are stereotypes based on clothes, hair, skin tone and dialect that just will not fade away. If we are going to be better, we must let go of these archaic views and see each other as #1Race.

      Thank you for stopping by, 

      Gwendolyn J

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