While it’s not news that a lot of air pas­sen­gers are ner­vous these days around “swarthy” types, it’s get­ting bad when hys­ter­i­cal 12-​​year-​​old girls are capa­ble of pre­vent­ing them from traveling.

The Washington Post reports that, amid var­i­ous man­i­fes­ta­tions of brain­less­ness, some trav­el­ing stu­dents got into a scrape when a

12-​​year-​​old girl started cry­ing and point­ing at them [and] “10 peo­ple came toward our seats and stared at us in a bad way.”

An air­port offi­cial, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, said the atmos­phere on the plane was so “nasty” that the men, even though they had cleared secu­rity and were actu­ally “sweet,” had to be asked to leave the plane because pas­sen­gers were lead­ing a mutiny.

In the 1600s it wasn’t unusual for women to be burned, drowned or oth­er­wise killed hor­ri­bly, con­victed of beng “witches”, gen­er­ally on the tes­ti­monies of pre­teen and teenaged girls.

In the 1980s, sev­eral lives were ruined under charges of “Satanism”, also on the tes­ti­mony of hys­ter­i­cal girls.

Now don’t get me wrong — there are surely plenty of times when girls going into hys­ter­ics are react­ing appro­pri­ately to a given sit­u­a­tion. However, a blub­ber­ing pre­teen is not in and of itself exactly a reli­able marker of … well, of any­thing except a height­ened emo­tional state of mind.

At some point or another, hope­fully, we’ll be able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate gen­uine cries of alarm from sim­ple wolf-​​crying.

But for now, before we pick up the torches and have a good old-​​fashioned neck­tie party, maybe we’d do well to remem­ber that hys­ter­i­cal girls are not nec­es­sar­ily good sources of accu­rate infor­ma­tion about any­one or anything.

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