Are all men potential pedophiles? If you're a passenger on a Qantas Airways or Virgin Australia flight, the answer is yes, as both airlines have policies forbidding adult men from sitting next to unaccompanied minors. Dismayed at being so negatively stereotyped, men are speaking out down under to protest this profiling. Daniel McCluskie, the second 30-something man in a week to come forward, told The Age, "It seemed I had this sign I couldn't see above my head that said 'child molester' or 'kiddie fiddler.'"
The winter (for them) media sensation started last week with Johnny McGirr, a 33-year-old firefighter, whose experience on a Virgin Australian flight sparked national outrage, The Australian reported. McGirr was sitting by two boys on a one-hour flight when a stewardess asked him whether he was in the right seat, McGirr wrote in a blog post. He explained that he had let one of the boys take the window seat. But right before the flight took off, the stewardess returned and asked McGirr to switch seats with a young woman. She explained that McGirr "wasn't allowed to sit next to children," McGirr wrote.
"I was red from embarrassment," he said. "I felt like I was being judged and found guilty of a crime I hadn’t committed."