Go ahead, violate the Geneva Convention

The ACLU gets the whole thing completely wrong and backward, starting with the headline.

A New York Jail Forced a Trans Woman Into a Men’s Facility

As opposed to what, ACLU? As opposed to forcing women to deal with a man in their facility.

Jena Faith’s experience in the Steuben County Jail was a living nightmare.

The military veteran spent four weeks in the jail awaiting trial last spring. She was initially housed in the jail’s women’s facility without incident, but things changed when officials suddenly transferred her to the men’s facility, despite the fact that she is a woman.

But he’s not a woman, so there is no “fact” that he’s a woman. He’s a man who wants to be or identifies as or presents as or thinks of himself as a woman.

And how confident can we be that his being housed in the jail’s women’s facility was really “without incident,” given the ACLU’s appalling blindness to the needs of women? How confident can we be that even assuming it was without overt or violent incident, all the women locked up with this man were perfectly at ease with the situation?

During the weeks that Jena spent as a woman in a men’s jail, she was routinely targeted with physical and verbal harassment from other incarcerated people and guards. On her first day in the men’s facility, a fellow incarcerated person started touching her body and blowing kisses at her, making her feel scared and uncomfortable.

If that’s true it’s bad. Jails should prevent physical and verbal harassment by guards or inmates or both. It doesn’t follow however that the women in the jail should pay the price for men’s physical and verbal harassment.

On August 22, the New York Civil Liberties Union, along with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and the law firm BakerHostetler, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jena. It argues that what happened to her is a violation of numerous state laws designed to protect the rights, dignity, and humanity of trans people.

What about the rights, dignity, and humanity of women? Why does Jena’s fantasy identity trump all those women’s actual literal physical sex, which makes them a target of men? Why does the ACLU think that the way to protect a man who says he’s a woman from violent men is to force women to protect him? What if it turns out that he’s a danger to them? How can the ACLU possibly be so sure that will never be the case?

While Jena’s experience was harrowing, it’s not unique. Across the state, trans people are often held in jail and prison facilities that are not consistent with their gender, even though state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and courts have held that it’s discriminatory to refuse to treat a person consistently with their gender identity.

How many trans men are there who clamor to be housed with the men? Any? Any at all?

If you were a trans man would you clamor to be housed with the men? I sure as hell wouldn’t. Why? Because I’d expect to be toast if I were so housed. (That shouldn’t be the case. Jails shouldn’t be dangerous for the inmates. The solution however is not to make women the shields.)

In part because they are housed incorrectly, trans people are exposed to overwhelming levels of abuse and harassment while behind bars, and they are far more likely than cisgender people to be targeted for the worst types of violence and mistreatment.

Trans people? Or trans women only? I suspect it’s the latter, and I suspect the ACLU does this trick knowingly.

Meanwhile have a bit of Geneva Convention:

Geneva Convention III
Article 25, fourth paragraph, and Article 29, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provide that in any camps in which men and women prisoners are accommodated together, separate dormitories and conveniences shall be provided for women.
Geneva Convention III
Article 97, fourth paragraph, and Article 108, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provide that women prisoners of war undergoing disciplinary punishment or convicted of an offence shall be confined in separate quarters from men and shall be under the immediate supervision of women.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 76, fourth paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides that women accused of an offence “shall be confined in separate quarters and shall be under the direct supervision of women”.

Maybe in his head Jena Faith genuinely thinks he’s a woman, but whether he does or not, women still have the right to be safe from him.

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