So the sexualized ad burdens the flight attendant with another task, beyong being unfailingly helpful and open to requests: she must respond to the sexual fantasies of passengers. She must try to feel and act as if flirting and propositioning are “a sign of my attractiveness and your sexiness,” and she must work to suppress her feelings that such behavior is intrusive or demeaning. Some have come to see this extra psychological task as a company contrivance. A flight attendant once active in Flight Attendants for Women’s Rights commented: “The company wants to sexualize the cabin atmosphere. They want men to be thinking that way because they think that what men really want to avoid fear of flying. So they figure mild sexual arousal will be helpful in getting people’s minds off flying. It’s a question of follars and cents… Most of our passengers are male, and all of the big corporate contract business is male.

{source, but I don’t know what book this is from.}

Category: Espresso

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3 Responses to The Burden of the Flight Attendant

  1. Murali says:

    It seems that flight attendants are less sexualised now than maybe 20-30 years ago. Now, there are many middle aged flight attendants. Singapore airlines is one of the few exceptions. I think there is mandatory retirement at 35 or something. IIRC SIA of course also has a minimum make-up standard. Faces must be made-up so much and done in a certain style. None of this would be acceptable to americans (or aussies and brits for that matter)

  2. Murali says:

    I wonder what the authors would have said about waitresses in bars or for that matter hooters.

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