An airplane passenger was booted from his Alaska Airlines flight after harassing a flight attendant during an airplane safety demonstration.
As the flight attendant was instructing passengers what to do in case of an emergency, some guy thought it was a good idea to call out “Ooh, sexy!” at her.
The incident occurred on Sunday during a flight from Seattle, Washington to Burbank, California, according to The Huffington Post.
Amber D. Nelson, who was a fellow passenger on the flight, recounted the incident in a now viral Facebook post that has been shared more than 4,000 times.
According to Nelson, the flight attendant reacted to the man’s heckling by telling him he needed to be respectful. The man replied that he was just “playing” with her.
After halting her safety demonstration to approach the disrespectful passenger, the flight attendant then took a moment to speak with her colleagues.
Shortly after, a male airline employee boarded the plane and escorted the catcaller off.
The man reportedly shouted “I didn’t do anything wrong!” as he was being removed from the aircraft.
An Alaska Airlines representative verified that the Nelson's story was true and noted, “We stand behind the actions taken by our employees.”
Due to the prevalence of rape culture in our society, the catcalling passenger may have truly believed he hadn’t done anything wrong.
In his mind, he may have thought he was simply being jovial or that his remark would be considered a compliment.
Regardless, his behavior is inexcusable, but the incident speaks to a more deeply rooted problem related to the normalization of sexual harassment.
Women are faced with this demeaning behavior very frequently, and oftentimes, there are no security guards or colleagues around to help neutralize the situation.
In those cases, the violated woman is faced with the difficult decision to defend herself — possibly risking more harassment and intimidation — or ignore it, and inadvertently make the heckler believe his actions are acceptable.
Alaska Airlines' diligence in removing the disruptive passenger wasn’t just an act in support of their employee, but for all of the women on that plane who he made uncomfortable.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Mike Blake