Prison castration: Why is nobody talking about this?

I really can’t convey just how disturbed I am by this story. This disturbance has many levels.

The crux of the story seems to be that a trans individual in prison was not given any treatment or therapy and had to resort to cutting off her testicles with her own fingernails. Now she’s suing the department of corrections.

The WIlly didn’t seem to think it important to talk to the Plaintiff so I can’t really speak to any of Rebekah Katherine’s personal statements about her gender, her history, or her treatment (or lack thereof) while in prison. But I highly doubt that a criminal who is simply attempting to defraud the system would go so far as to mutilate themselves so brutally. So I’m going to go on the assumption that she is indeed a male to female transsexual.

Of course you could argue that anyone who would go to that length is just insane, regardless or gender identity issues. Even if that were the case, do those with mental disorders not deserve medical treatment for them?

Trans individuals are under constant threat in our legal system (not to mention our country). Besides simple oppression, prejudice and scorn, their safety is quite in jeopardy in a male prison. Even WW uses the “he” pronoun throughout the article despite the wishes of the individual, never even addressing this choice. I see very little respect for human life anywhere in this piece, which just backs up initial assumptions of how trans people are treated, not just in prison, but in this town.

But what is truly disturbing are the comments my fellow Oregonians have left. No matter what we think of Rebekah Katherine: criminal, freak, faker, nut job, man, woman, she is a human being deserving of respect, life, and health. None of these seem to have been attended to in jail and they continue in this article and in the comments. One even goes so far as to call for the subject to be euthanized…i.e. murdered. While another says: “Well since he/she is no longer hung – perhaps he/she should be!” Robbery and assault are serious crimes, of course, but as far as I know they still don’t carry the death penalty.

And then, of course, there’s this fantastic example of misogyny:

This reminds me of a joke

When asked what was the most painful part of having a sex change from a man to a women, the patient replied. It wasn’t the breast enhancement, it wasn’t the penis removal, it was when they stuck that tube in my ear and sucked out half my brain.

A few responders (very few) actually raise some similar points and might actually have something beating in their chests, but I’m pretty incredulous that no one from WW chose to respond to many of these quite cruel and offensive comments. Why is no one outraged about this?

5 comments to Prison castration: Why is nobody talking about this?

  • praenomenal

    I am. I am not even outraged all that much by the prison, as I dont know what is going on there. But the comments have been vile.

  • qpdx

    Exactly, even if you didn’t think prisoners deserved medical treatment these comments really are horrendous.

  • hermtownhomy

    I’m outraged. Outraged that anyone with an ounce of common sense would invest this much emotion and energy trying to convince society that it’s our collective responsibility to bow to every percieved “need” of some derilict loser who chose not to live within societies rules. Put this same energy and emotion into crime victims and you will soon realize that the number of crime victims and what has happened to them far outweighs any percieved human rights violations you want to focus on with losers like this. He/She/It chose Her/His path. Her/His crime victims did not chose to be victims.

  • HayleySpeck

    Hormone shots would have cost the Department of Corrections less than a dollar a day and would have eliminated the worst of this woman’s body dysphoria, likely preventing her from taking such extreme measures. Witholding treatment like they did was not only cruel, it was stupid and counterproductive.

    That being said, I was shocked by the sheer quantity of vitriol directed at this poor woman. I expected better of Portland.

  • qpdx

    Dostoyevsky, Winston Churchill and Pearl S. Buck have all said something to the effect of “Society can be judged on how well it treats its prisoners…” So how do we appear here?