Lord Patel: Insider Gender Identity 2

This is part two of a series looking at a document produced, with their input, on prisoners with a transgender identity. No women’s groups were included in discussions about making prisons mixed sex. You can read part one here. 👇

Lord Patel: Inside Gender Identity 1

Part 1 also contains a link to the full document.

I am not going to cover all the details in the document, in this post, because they are repetitive and the arguments are familiar. Notable are the absence of any women’s rights voices Three trans-identified prisoners were consulted. The transgender community are portrayed as a vulnerable group, despite the massive institutional power they have attained in the past decade. The report relies, heavily, on U.S. data to accentuate the theme of vulnerability. The U.S Prison system is far more brutal, than that of the U.K., which lends more credence to arguments about the vulnerability of trans-identified males. The report also makes good use of research covering the whole of the LGBTQ + “community” without disaggregating the data to reveal how much is based on gay males or Lesbians. {I will return to this document to cover some of the issues about access to medication and competing mental health diagnoses, within the transgender population. That needs a post in itself and is the one area where I think claims of vulnerability stand up to scrutiny for *some* of those with a transgender identity.}

There are lots of claims about ”transphobia”, in the U.K. Prison estate which turns out to mainly focus on not using preferred pronouns or lack of access to make-up or wigs.

High rates of participation in prostitution are blamed on family rejection or employment discrimination. Mental health issues are blamed on ”minority stress” rather than considering if vulnerable individuals are latching onto a transgender identity. There’s also a note of nervousness in the foreword as if the authors sense the tripwires built in to the, ever evolving, transgender ideology.

In this post I am going to look at whether any contributors considered the impact on female prisoners. Note that the document itself refers to trans-identified males as ”females” and vice versa. Who was it that said the word ”woman” would never be enough?

Quite early in the report the authors make the extraordinary claim that modern medicine is too pre-occupied with treating health issues as if they only relate to men or women.

The truth is that medicine treats men as the default human and women’s health is much neglected. This topic has been covered by many feminists including by Caroline Criado-Perez in her book ”Invisible Women”.

The consultation is also intended to provide insight into the health needs of imprisoned trans-identified males /females and some of the contributors express frustration at the level of attention afforded to the sexual (“genderal”) politics of prison allocation. I am old enough to remember when changing female only prisons to mixed sex would have resulted in a rather robust, public, debate. Instead much of this has been achieved by consultations, such as this one, which excluded women’s groups.

The guidance put out in 2016 advised prisons that transgender offenders should be accommodated in the estate that accords with their “gender identity”. Those with a Gender Recognition Certificate already must be housed according to their ”legal gender”. This new instruction allowed for males, without a GRC, to be located in the female estate.

Many of the commentators welcomed this clarity. I will spare you the comments about non-binary prisoners and how to accommodate ”gender fluid” people. Some of the more activist contributors were critical of the binary nature of the prison system. 🤷‍♂️. One brave soul raised a question about transvestites, unaware, presumably, that we can no longer talk about sex offenders with a history of transvestic fetishism.

This was typical of the published responses. Staff welcome the move away from requiring a GRC, to a policy of self-identification, and think we should be less preoccupied with female penises.

The report betrays some inconsistency about the index offences for the majority of trans-identified males. The use of ”female” applied to male prisoners is, no doubt, strategic. Who was it that said the word ”woman” would not be enough for the trans-language grab. They have also appropriated ”female”. It does mean you have to remember we are talking about males; who are responsible for 99% of sex offences and whose victims are 88% female. Here is one quote based on research from the United States which is immediately contradicted. So which is it? Are they more likely to be sex offenders or not?

Attempts to get data, disaggregated, to demonstrate the offending pattern of trans-identified males are hampered by the practice of recording male crimes as if they were committed by females. Women’s rights groups have been forced to put in endless freedom of information requests to try to assess the risk. A task that should not have fallen on women, most of whom are unpaid.

Here is the outcome from an FOI response. The MOJ seem to have changed to a different software format which I had to download. The data released is here 👇. For comparison the figure for sex offenders, held in the male estate, is 18%. This figure is approaching 50%. All the more alarming if you consider that men with a GRC will have their crimes recorded as ”female” crimes. Either we have a problem of sex offending in this demographic or sex offenders are using the loopholes allowed by self-identification. Which ever it is, and I suspect it is a bit of both, we have a problem.

Source for the above 👇. I had to go to some lengths to access this and download new, open source, software. I am sure this is motivated by egalitarian principles and not to make it more awkward.

Scroll down to Transgender Prisoners

Now we have some context let us return to our focus group. Some of the contributors did raise concerns about male sex offenders in the female estate. I had not even thought about men trying to avail themselves of anti-libidinal medication, to deal with their sex drive, while in prison. Apparently it’s a thing!

Another interviewee raised a similar concern, only to be immediately undercut by the next commentator, in what I imagine was intended to be a reassuring comment. Men don’t need a penis to sexually offend is not allaying my fears for these, vulnerable, women.

One would have thought the research should have been done before inflicting men in female prisons but hey that’s just me! Next we get some revealing statements about why so many thought it was a solution to place trans-identifying males in with women.

There is a breathtaking lack of awareness about the sexism involved in projecting stereotypical expectations on women. They are treating women as validation aids /support humans. As if we are the universal mother!

Some did express reservations, however, once again it is the concerns of the ”trans female” that are centred and lack of a warm reception is not framed within the context of women’s safety or dignity.

All of which reminds me of this statement, by James Barratt, a gender identity specialist. This was revealed in a court transcript, involving a male prisoner who won a legal challenge to be moved to the female estate. Before I tell you what his index offences were this is how women who object are described:

Yes! You read that right he anticpates any woman who objects will be ”The sort of women who enjoy conflict” 😳. So let us look at ”Karen’s” index offences and parole assessments. Manslaughter, released on licence (to a female bail hostel, by the way) and within five days had attempted to rape a woman. (It was a vicious assault).

Just in case you think it could not have got any worse. Here’s the ”mitigation” for the attempted rape put forward. Whilst Mr Spurr did advocate for detention in the male estate his explanation for the rape beggars belief. Personally I think the motives outlined here point to a specific type of risk which may present from these prisoners. He was jealous of her being a woman.

After all this the reason a male (attempted) rapist was moved to the female estate was because he needed to ne with his ”peers” and the women were needed to act as therapeutic aids. If this does not make your blood boil what will it take? 🤦‍♀️.

My digression to cover this case is because the above prisoner, Karen Jones, was invited to the House of Lords, by Lord Patel, to advise on the treatment of transgender prisoners. I have no idea if he was one of the prisoners who were allowed to input to Lord Patel’s work, developing policy which directly affects female prisoners.

I will look at this document to cover some of the issues raised about competing mental health issues, in this demographic, in another post.

You can support my work here : 👇

Researching Gender Identity Ideology and it’s impact on women and gay rights. I do this full-time and am unwaged. Any help to keep me going is gratefully received. Only if you can spare it and , irrespective, I will keep my content free.


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