The airline, Virgin Australia, according to the article linked below, refuses to sit male passengers next to unaccompanied minors in order to protect the safety of children. This is quiet frankly bullshit and needs to stop.
It is often thought that the notion that all men are rapists or sexual predators originated in the feminist movement as part of some sort of general anti-man narrative. However if you think about it the opposite is true. If we believe all the narratives that rape culture feeds us then it becomes clear that the patriarchal view of maleness and manhood is a predatory one.
Myths that are perpetuated by rape culture include:
1) A man cannot control his sexuality when confronted with a provocatively dressed woman
2) A man cannot stop himself once he has become turned on
3) Boys will be boys (whatever the fuck this means)
The overwhelming consensus of these narratives is that mens sexuality cannot be controlled or restrained, and so women must control their own sexuality in order to prevent themselves from being raped. This narrative also could not exist without the common perception that exists, that women never want sex (they only ever dole it out to please men) and men always want sex (they will take it whenever and wherever they can).
So as a man every time you get annoyed at a woman for not for acting as though you are a threat when really you are just enjoying the night air, but at the same time blame someone for their own assault, you are contributing to the narrative that places all men in the position of potential aggressors and all women as potential victims. If you do not want to be seen in this light then you need to take an active part in dismantling the culture that creates and perpetuates this awful narratives.
The idea that a woman could or would never victimise a child sexually or otherwise is rooted both in the ideas about women’s sexuality discussed above and in the idea that a woman’s traditional child bearing role (never mind that all women cannot or do not have or want children) makes them kind and nurturing towards all children. This is obviously bogus, women are no more likely to be nurturing and child focused than men are. On the other hand this trope hides and minimises potential violence that can come from women.
I can understand the desire of Virgin Australia to protect unaccompanied minors on their flights, however relying on tired sexist stereotypes to do this does not protect children. It simply perpetuates the narratives of rape culture and other sexist stories our patriarchal society tells us. If Virgin Australia really believes that unaccompanied minors are at risk from other passengers on their flights then perhaps they should not be allowed to sit next to anyone. All men are not sexual predators and should not be treated as such.