28 September 2016

An Important Distinction

ETA: There have been issues with Blogger's comment section. I have no idea why. If I have not answered your comment by now it's almost definitely because it never published. I'm sorry for this discouraging hassle but please, especially if you are commenting from a mobile device, refresh the page after you post a comment to doublecheck that it actually published. (Copy the text of your comment before you do so, just in case.)

Afternoon, kiddos! I'm back again with the last question in my queue (hint hint if you have anything you're burning to know). I hope that this will be the last time for a good while that I rant about my beef with people who fetishize my job, but I couldn't ignore this comment.
Rachel, absolutely love your blog! What has happened to our profession? Not to upset you further, and risk glitter bombing my place, but commercials like this one for mens razors really bother me, and seem to perpetuate the stereo types. It is on tv constantly. With ads like this it is no wonder we get harassed at work..and home. 
When I get up some courage, I'll share stories of my personal life. My dating history will sound awfully familiar to you. You are not alone.
First of all: Aw, thank you!

Second of all: Ew. Like, really ew. Seriously, do people not realize how disgusting airplane bathrooms are? Never mind how small? Unless you're on a government-subsidized airline in which First Class passengers basically have their own personal suites, even the nicest bathroom on the plane is about 1/8 of that size. And no matter which airline you're on, government subsidized or otherwise, I really don't want to tell you how unsanitary it is in there. Clean enough to use for the purpose it was intended for, followed by a good wash of the hands? Absolutely. Clean enough to use for sexual rendezvous? Um, no. So much ew.

As for what happened to our profession? I wish I could say I knew. The job has been fetishized since day 1, even back in the day when you were required to be a registered nurse to be hired as a flight attendant. The main problem is that no matter how many ways we say it, people do not perceive flight attendants as safety personnel. I've got news for everyone reading this: Flight Attendants are categorized as first-responders. If your plane has to make an emergency landing, you're not going to care how hot we are, trust me.

Look at a reverse of the situation. Male firefighters are romanticized and sexualized in many contexts; film & TV, commercials, halloween costumes, romance novels, and yes, even porn. I'm sure you would get millions of hits if you googled the phrase "Sexy Firefighter" right now, covering a broad spectrum of ratings.

Here's a great example:


But no one in their right mind would ask a firefighter in real life whether he's had sex on the firetruck or gotten it on with the victim in an emergency he's responding to. And no one questions whether someone is attractive enough to be a firefighter. They are treated with respect, despite being objects of fantasy.

As a matter of fact, being the "object of fantasy" doesn't bother me in the slightest. It's even kind of flattering. What I take issue with is when people see this as an invitation to cross boundaries, not understanding the difference between fantasy and reality, and that the former should be kept to one's self.

There's another obvious glaring difference here, and it regularly complicates my job to a maddening extent. Flight Attendants work in a combined role: that of a first-responder safety professional, and that of a customer service representative. If I so much as suggest someone follow a Federal Aviation Regulation (i.e. THE LAW) and it inconveniences them? I have been yelled at and called names and given all manner of attitude. The way passengers see it, I'm there to pamper and serve them first and foremost, when in reality, that's my secondary role. The safety of my passengers and fellow crew members are my top priority. And if I can manage to deliver your Jack & Coke in the meantime? Great. Everybody goes home happy.

It all comes down to respect, though. Even if I weren't a safety professional and my sole responsibility really were customer service, I would still deserve to be treated with a lot more integrity than I receive from far too many men. But for some reason people think customer service workers can be treated with a lot less decency because we're inferior.

I could go on about this for days. It angers me. But just for good measure, and to keep anyone from accusing me of being a prude or uptight, I'm going to say it again: My problem is not with being considered an object of fantasy. It's with people treating me inappropriately because they think I should be subjected to their fantasies.


  1. OK Rachel,good job with my first round of questions. Since you asked, here is a second round with maybe even tougher questions.
    You mentioned dating someone of the correct age. Is that physical age? Appearance age? or emotional maturity level? What difference does age make if you make someone very happy and they make you very happy? Scenario question: You are in a committed relationship with a very loving and caring man of very average looks. In to the room walks very tall, dark, and makes you weak in the knees handsome. And he's giving you some attention. What do you do? Will you go out with a physically attractive man you have compatibility/committment issues with in the hopes you can help him change?(I can tell you I have personally seen this one blow up a number of times.) This last question may be pushing it a bit, but what if have met/are dating someone who is right for you in nearly every way EXCEPT no matter how hard you or he try he's not a very good...well..."lover"? CD

  2. before you answer anymore questions a quick update PLEEZE. i can't believe no one nice has asked you out on a date in over a month!

    1. Response on the way! Check in next Wednesday. :)