April 18, 1993|By KEN KAYE, Staff Writer
While canoeing in a Boeing 727 one day, Kathleen Wentworth bare to argue a aliment manual.
When she opened it up, she was abashed to acquisition an 8-by-10-inch full-color photograph of a woman`s genitals taped to the central cover.
The account was so graphic, Wentworth said, that it belonged in a gynecology textbook.
“To say it was gross is an understatement,“ said Wentworth, who was a flight architect at the time. “It was acutely embarrassing.“
That is one of the tamer examples of how animal aggravation has invaded the cockpit of U.S. airliners in the aftermost decade, back added than 1,000 changeable pilots accept aing the ranks of airline flight crews.
Other forms of aggravation accommodate evocative comments, jokes, innuendo, gender bigotry and, to a bottom extent, accurate touching.
Wentworth, 43, now a captain on Boeing 737s for a above air carrier, has led a cause to brand out animal harassment. She asked that the name of her employer be withheld.
She has accounting accessories on the accountable for able pilot magazines and asked airlines to bigger brainwash pilots on what animal aggravation is — and how to abstain it.
“The cockpit is a actual small, comfortable place,“ said Wentworth. “You accept to absorb hours and hours with a being sitting 18 inches from you. It`s actual difficult to say to somebody, `That was offensive.“`
Of 42,000 pilots aerial for U.S. airlines, about 1,600 are women. Worldwide, there are about 2,000 changeable pilots, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots.
Most women pilots shy abroad from advertisement aggravation to government agencies or the airlines, Wentworth said. “The aftermost affair one wants to do is draw absorption to yourself back all you appetite to do is be one of the boys,“ she said.
The Aviation Assurance Advertisement System at NASA`s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., is one of the few agencies that advance such data. It has accustomed about 50 complaints of animal aggravation in the cockpit in the aftermost seven years.
But from talking to added changeable pilots and cartoon on her own experience, Wentworth has developed a blubbery book of incidents.
For example, there was the captain who appear to passengers: “We`ll be accessible for ascent as anon as my additional administrator gets through accomplishing her beard and nails.“
Or addition captain who accomplished over to his changeable aboriginal officer, affected her blouse area it had inadvertantly popped accessible and said, “What`s that? An invitation?“
Other macho pilots frequently proclaim, “Bra check!“ as planes auto over aflutter concrete.
Such bawdiness makes alive in the cockpit difficult, if not miserable, for dozens of women, said Wentworth, who is based in San Francisco and additionally is a lawyer.
Of added affair to the aerial public, animal aggravation additionally has jeopardized safety, Wentworth and added pilots say.
Such was the case in January 1987, back a male-female flight aggregation was instructed to auto its even assimilate a aerodrome and delay for ascent approval at Portland International Airport in Oregon. Because of abashing built-in out of astriction amid the two pilots, they abandoned the tower`s instructions.
` `We took off anyway, after ascent clearance,“ the changeable aboriginal administrator wrote in a complaint to federal authorities. “I accept this happened because I am a woman and the captain was a man who does not like women pilots. He and I had words aloof above-mentioned to this event.“
Experts say animal aggravation in the airlines is apparently no worse than added professions. But they say the botheration has agitated in all fields area women are bushing acceptable macho roles, such as law and medicine.
“As anon as women move into college positions of authority, the added animal harassment,“ said Patricia Ireland of Miami, admiral of the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C., who already was a flight accessory for Pan American World Airways.
Sexual aggravation is worse yet in fields area there is a military-like alternation of command, such as badge and blaze departments — and the airlines — said Deborah Corley, a psychotherapist in Dallas.
“Women who move up in these organizations accept to accept added of a macho administration style,“ said Corley, who has fabricated a abstraction of animal aggravation in the airline industry. “They become one of the acceptable old boys rather than addition being in the position.“
Corley said the Anita Hill allegations adjoin Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spurred women in all fields to footfall advanced and action animal harassment.
One of those was Kathy Gillies. In a high-profile accusation adjoin United Airlines, Gillies, a aboriginal administrator on Boeing 737s, claims she has been ually addled always back aing the airline in 1989.
Among her charges: She said she was asked by a flight adviser if she capital to accept action and she was subjected to pornographic pictures hidden in assorted cockpit compartments.
She additionally accuse that a pilot tackled and ually assaulted her. Gillies beneath to animadversion for this story.
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