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View Diary: A Prison Story: punished for being sexually assaulted (61 comments)

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  •  Rape in men's prisons is a serious issue (2+ / 0-)
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    rserven, Nina Katarina

    but trans women are at far higher risk than anyone else, including gay men. Trans women are the only group who will "probably" be raped in a men's prison; in all other groups, including gay men, the percentage raped is a minority. Trans women are raped at rates similar to what one would expect when placing any other woman in a men's prison; they should be placed in women's prisons for the same reason all other women are placed in women's prisons, to protect them from men.

    Men in prison deserve to be protected from rape as well, and most decent people wouldn't claim otherwise. However, men (likely including trans men) rape women (including trans women) at far higher rates than they rape men. That's why we have women's prisons. Sorting by genitalia places trans men with women (bad call) and pre/non-op trans women with men (extremely bad call), while doing nothing to improve the safety of vulnerable men.

    By your logic, we should just throw all women in men's prisons, and then try to figure out how to solve the rape problem. Now, in my ideal world, there wouldn't be a need for gender sorting, because prisoners wouldn't be raped...but until then, we can try to protect those who can realistically be protected under the current system; women (including trans women) rarely commit rape, so housing them together is a fairly obvious solution.

    It might also be a good idea to house gay men together to help reduce homophobic rape and violence, but I don't suggest throwing gay men in with women because we're not women. Trans women are women and should be protected in the same way as any other woman.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 05:59:14 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  OK, so what you are saying is that (0+ / 0-)

      the defining criteria for prisoner classification, in your ideal world, would be the liklihood of comiitting a sexual crime against another prisoner, or the likelihood of being a victim of a sexual crime.  

      I must say, that is a much better argument than sorting by the presence of a penis.   It might be a little bit difficult to implement, but in theory it would be more logical than merely sorting by genitals.

      It would also avoid the problem of shipping automatically transmen to male prisons -- which would be an even greater risk of rape than putting a transwoman in a male prison.   It would also avoid the problem of a homosexual transwoman raping another woman.

      It would not, however, solve the issue of consensual relations between a transwoman and a woman which might result in pregnancy.   However, it is at least a start for a legal argument.

      And that is why this is important.   If transmen and transwomen really are interested in prison reform, it will be necessary to come up with an argument which survives a "rational basis" challenge at the very least.   You need a legal hook -- something better than just "transwomen get raped" -- in order to have any chance of changing the system.

      Thank you (and the diarist) for the debate.   It has helped me greatly.  

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