The Appalling Transphobia Of The British Prison System

4
701

Isn’t this just the very terror? Trans prisoners will be held in special trans parts of prisons rather than being accepted and identified as what they are, simply men or women. Quite disgusting cont. pg 94.

That is going to be the line put forward by someone in ooooh, 3…2…1. Rather than a more general agreement that we do in fact have a problem here. Put rather well by Caroline Cossey in a radio interview decades back. She was pointing out that even having been a Bond Girl if she were convicted and sentenced to prison then she’d serve the time in a male prison. For that was her gender at birth so that’s what the law would do. She jokingly pointed out that she’d probably have a pretty good time but that was a joke.

More recently we’ve changed our societal view on gender. To change it one simply needs to declare that it has changed. Thus the convicted rapist, with the intact meat and two veg, serving the sentence in a women’s prison. Where at least two allegations of sexual assault followed.

We’ve thus a problem here, a real one, one that can’t be wished away nor just smoothed over. Whatever we think about gender bending the current mores are that what people say they are is what people are. Birth, DNA and even genitalia be damned. And yet we’ve also this inconvenient fact that prison does exist, people will be sentenced to it and we do indeed think it a good idea that there be a separation of sexual bits and desires when we do so.

Sticking male genitalia – whatever the gender attached to them – into a female prison isn’t going to work out all that well, nor the other way around, female into a male prison. And yet how can we, given current mores, not assign the jugged to the prison of their gender?

Here’s one viable answer:

The Prison Service is to stop many transgender inmates, including sex offenders, serving their sentences in women’s prisons. The justice minister Ed Argar said the government was “revising” guidelines that said the “great majority” of trans prisoners should be allowed to “experience the system in the gender in which they identify”. Options now under consideration include “clustering” trans prisoners in special wings or sections of wings.

Segregate into male, female and trans therefore. Well, it does work.

But the problem is going to be the claims of transphobia over this, isn’t it? Because it’s an official treatment, insistence even, that trans aren’t really, not really really, their gender of choice. And that’s to be arguing against the very essence of the insistence from some about what trans means.

At which point, well, what do we do? An interesting question would be to ask those who do complain well, what do we do? For as sure as eggs is eggs there will only be another activist along in a minute to tell us that solution’s wrong too.