I just feel like no matter what, prisons are bad for everybody. They aren’t just bad for trans people—they’re bad for all people. It wouldn’t be fair for me to make it seem like it was so hard for me, just as a trans women, because I’ve been around a lot of people who don’t deserve to be in prison at all. Prison is hard for everybody. We’ve all got our personal issues and have to do what we need to do to survive in there and be strong.
It’s not the right approach for people to sensationalize this story and say: You were a trans woman in a men’s prison. Because at the end of the day, all prisons are bad for all people—trans, cys, gay, straight, Black, white, Asian, brown, purple, polka-dotted, striped, zebra, alien or whatever.
Yes, I had my issues. I dealt with extra discrimination and extra scrutiny. I had to deal with things that other people wouldn’t have had to deal with in prison because I was a trans woman in a men’s prison. Of course, it was upsetting, and it was hard.
But I was blessed to have the support of a team that was willing to support me in this fight against the system. Not everyone in there had that—not everyone had support or someone to help them or be there for them, to protect them or understand them or get them in touch with the right resources. I was blessed to have that.
So yes, I can say how hard it was for me, but what about the people in prison who are there wrongfully or for petty charges or because of the criminalization of everything? There are men and women who have been in there for days, years, even decades—what about them?
Female-assigned intersex kids’ vaginal canal size is also assessed by doctors, to ensure that it’s long enough to fit a penis inside of it. Doctors might surgically construct or re-construct vaginas, which can result in a host of health problems and necessitate multiple, multiple surgeries. This is especially the case since most intersex kids have these surgeries very young, and when their bodies grow into their adult forms, more surgeries are necessary to keep their vagina size in proportion. Non-surgical methods are also used to increase or maintain vaginal length by regularly using medical dildos to stretch the vagina over months and years. (It’s kind of like braces for your vagina, but much, much worse.) Just like there are no standards for how long a clitoris “can” be before it’s classified as a penis, there aren’t absolute standards as to how long a vagina is for it to be of “normal” length.
I had a dilation procedure performed for almost every exam I had with intersex doctors from the time I was 8 until I was 16, so that they could check how long my vagina was as I grew. I absolutely hated these procedures. I mean, imagine a man as old as your father or your grandfather, who you don’t know, inserting a medical dildo into you each time you saw him, knowing that you can’t question the doctor’s orders and just accept that you have to undergo these uncomfortable procedures for your health. Imagine a decade or so later, realizing that these procedures did nothing to track your health, and had everything to do with grown men feeling good about the fact that you could fuck some dude someday like a “normal girl”. That all those traumatizing procedures weren’t actually medically relevant at all, and it actually was within my right to refuse those examinations.
I didn’t know any of that at the time.
I also had no idea that I wouldn’t want to ultimately have the kind of sex they assumed I’d be having, adding yet another layer of this-was-totally-unnecessary/messed-up to my history.
Other kids shouldn’t have to go through this. Other adults shouldn’t have revelations some day far into the future that what was happening to them WASN’T okay, and their traumatic feelings ARE valid, and the whole system of how intersex people are conceptualized and “treated” IS entirely fucked.
And it’s gotta change. We’ve gotta change it.
—-Claudia at Autostraddle
I just read this article and was reminded once again how invisible the intersex community often is… we need to signal boost this shit to let people know that this kind of “medical treatment” is NOT okay.
Intersex oppression is patriarchy, it is heterosexism, it is misogyny; it is simultaneously violent and invisible.
A new study published by the American Psychological Association (APA) confirmed what we all have suspected for years when it comes to Black boys—that they are viewed as older and less innocent than their white counterparts. The research also points out they are more likely “perceived” to be guilty and face a far greater amount of police violence when accused of a crime.
Water is wet.
"As an author. I usually don’t give my opinion, but I must. It’s no wonder why in certain instances news outlets referred to Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis as “men” when describing them–when in essence, they were just young teenagers. If Black boys are seen as older, then society does not see their innocence, therefore bypassing the need to protect them. They also have a further burden of being seen as more responsible for their actions when their white counterparts are seen as not being responsible for theirs."
My mom and I were discussing this a while ago. Even people who seemingly are allies to the black communities kept calling the boys “men.” Like if somehow a white man shooting an innocent black man weighed less on their conscience than black CHILDREN.
I don’t know what asshole invented the idea that teenage girls are the cause for all evil, but I really hope that person never has to raise one. I don’t want him to see her dissolve in his fingers as society tells her to eat less, be thinner, be the damsel in distress, be something for a man to fix, be different but not too different, be special but never ever a special snowflake - I don’t want him to watch as she realizes that no matter what she loves, she’ll be made fun of for it. She can simply like her coffee from Starbucks and suddenly she’s vapid and thinks herself poetic. She’ll want to play video games but be called a fake nerd, particularly if she poses in any remotely flirtatious way because for some reason despite the entire community playing games with poorly dressed women they still hate it when a real girl wears less clothing, she will be seen as trespassing in a specifically male space - but when she falls in love with a female-based television show for children, she’ll watch as men step on themselves to sexualize it. If she wants old-fashion romance she’s seen as being naive but at the same time is told to keep herself ‘pure’ for some dude that might not hurt her. If she admits to being anything, she makes herself a target. She will be told her worth is based on how much a man values her. She might love to cook but she’ll hate being asked to stay in the kitchen, she might love to read but get told she’s too introverted by half the population and ‘not that special’ by the other. If she loves to go out and party, she’s ‘just another college co-ed,’ if she loves to spend her friday nights watching anime, she’s a shut-in. God forbid she be proud of something: the words “I’m different from other girls” are a death sentence because we live in a society that doesn’t want to see women like that, a society that doesn’t like the idea maybe we all are actually different and not carbon copies of each other, maybe we all would like to feel unique and loved and worth knowing - maybe the real problem is that she will be raised to believe being a girl means silicone and photoshop and dying as a way to move forwards a plot - and she doesn’t want to be seen as that. When she says “I’m not like other girls,” she means she’s not like the girls she sees on tv, these invented two-dimensional creatures that say one line and then get chased down by monsters.
She can try all she likes. She’ll be shut down at every single fucking turn. What she doesn’t know is that they’re getting her ready for when she’s grown up because she’ll be so used to being stepped on she’ll just give up. Why respect women when you don’t even respect little girls?
And when she is burning up, when she mentions that her insides are volcanoes and her skin is too thin to contain them: she will be told she is hysterical, that she’s doing it for attention.
I don’t want him to watch as she shuts down, as she learns to live as a paradox, I don’t want him to see her rip herself to shreds in order to be perfect, I don’t want him to realize that there’s no way she’ll get help because she’s only doing what she’s told.
Teenage girls aren’t the downfall of society, society is the downfall of teenage girls. /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)