Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yow, that's gonna leave a mark

What happens when you're a woman trapped in a man's body that's trapped in state prison?

You slice off your own testicles with a disposable razor blade and sue the prison to let you take hormone treatments! Worse than that, the newspaper reporter covering your case refers to you as "she" even though you're ... well, not a "she." Not yet anyway.

Read the whole surreal story here.


cris said...

that the media acknowledged the transgendered individual by the pronoun she chose is to be commended.

that someone would feel desperate enough to perform that kind of mutilation is only one of the devastating side issues.

if people would not presume what is right or wrong for another with out ever walking in those shoes is part of the problem, not the solution.

Ron Franscell said...


I have no intention of walking in prison-issued shoes, for any reason.

The fact that our she-male inmate is in prison is, for me, the main issue. Why should society bear the expense of his/her transformation? He/she is in prison to serve a debt to society, not incur another one for society. We owe him/her nothing ... he/she owes us some down time.

What he/she does outside the walls is his/her business and I really have no issue with transgendered folks seeking their desired form, whatever it might be. I'm not threatened nor diminished by them.

But an all-expense-paid sex-change? No. Fulfilling inner desires of criminals is simply not the burden of an otherwise law-abiding citizenry. Consider the mass murderer who always dreamed of handsome features. Should society pay for his plastic surgery to fulfill the handsome man who resides inside him?

As for choosing our personal pronouns, sorry. Wish away and call yourself anything you like. But until our he is completely transformed into a she (and NOT living in a male prison), he's a he in my book. And the reporter (or editor) who says otherwise is confused or has a social agenda. After all, we got through this little exchange with no doubt whatsoever about the unfortunate male inmate's gender, didn't we?

cris said...

Ron, I wasn't suggesting you experience his prison issued shoes. For what ever reason this person had a debt to pay to society. No one said s/he should get out of that.

I do not agree either that the state should pay for the medication. I think people should have the option for that through their own insurance companies, but not society's bill pay system (but then I think that we handle prisons completely wrong...lock 'em up and let them lie...doing much of nothing. give them free room and board. DUMB)

But to compare it to someone's desire to look prettier is to totally discount the very complex emotional and physical distress of living in a body that is wrong, diminishes that person. Those are the shoes that you can never walk in...never come close to understanding.

I agree that we should not pay for transition, or even the medical therapy, but we should be giving the right to access this. I disagree that we owe this person nothing. We owe all people basic human respect.

Have we the right to argue with someone that our perception of their gender is right and theirs is not.
Respect is not a social agenda.

Jill said...

That is sad in a way. Then again, guess who is going to have to pay for the repair and or sex change? Us? Jeez!!

Jana said...

This reminded me of James Earl Ray, I pulled up the Wikepedia info on it, and this is what is said: "Ray died in prison on April 23, 1998, at the age of 70 from complications related to kidney disease, caused by hepatitis C probably contracted as a result of a blood transfusion given after a stabbing while at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. It was also confirmed in the autopsy that he died of liver failure."
So, he got free medical treatment for something he caused in prison, personally I'd have let this one bleed to death on the floor of his cell.
How about Charles Manson? What if he had gotten blood poisoning from cutting that swastika into his forehead? Should the state pay for his treatment since he very likely didn't have medical insurance?
If this transgendered person felt the need to castrate himself, it would have been to his benefit to do so before he committed a crime and ended up in prison. I feel sorry for him having the kind of internal insanity that caused him to do this to himself, but perhaps his attorney should have spoken up better for him and gotten him into mental health treatment. Damn attorneys anyway.