A Democrat state senator, Kevin Parker (NY), lectured a female constituent, “Rebecca” (not her real name) that male criminals claiming they’re trans are not “men with ill intentions.” The statement came in a written response to a letter that Rebecca wrote, urging the politician to vote “no” on bill NY S51002.
According to Women’s Declaration International (WDI) USA, the bill would “enshrine and protect so-called 'gender identity' into all areas of public life in New York State.”
The bill was passed on July 1st, 2022, and days later, WDI USA sent signatories a call for an action campaign to write to politicians. Rebecca, who recently had to be “redistricted'' to Senator Parker's district, had a personal reason for opposing the bill.
“I’m a lifelong left-leaning feminist and fierce advocate for women’s rights. I'm also the mom of an autistic trans-identifying (or ftm-identifying) child whom we were advised to transition over three years ago by mental and medical health professionals,” Rebecca told 4W. She says that the research she and her husband did on the “impacts of giving hormones to children” led to their discovery of the “incredible harms that autistic females and other mentally-vulnerable children” like her child were facing “in the name of ‘inclusion.’"
In her letter, Rebecca states the “so-called ‘gender identity’ harms women,” mentioning the loss of women’s single-sex spaces, the takeover of female sports, inaccurate criminal/medical records and the rape of female inmates by male criminals in female prisons.
In response to Rebecca’s letter, Senator Parker wrote that she was “mistaken,” as there were no men in female prisons. According to him, male inmates who say they are trans “are, in fact, women, many of whom have gone through an all-encompassing, lengthy, and life-threatening transition.”
Further on, Parker stated that those not allowed to “identify with their proper gender” would suffer from “severe gender dysphoria,” which he described as “a state of emotional distress caused by how someone's body or gender assigned at birth conflicts with their present gender identity.” The senator then claimed that this emotional distress causes “dysfunction, debilitating depression, and for some people without access to appropriate medical care and treatment, suicide or death.”
To 4W, Rebecca said that she had sent her letter to Parker via email, fax and snail mail, and that she had also called his office several times. “One time,” she added, “his office said that he did not sign bill S6677, to make it easier for males to be placed into women's prisons, because the issue is ‘complicated.’ But it seems like he has definitely changed his mind on that.”
Quoting a suggestion by a lifelong radical feminist Lauren Levey, who is also vice-president of WDI USA and a New York resident, the letter stated that the Democrats’ efforts to keep abortions legal won’t save the party if they persist in erasing females.
According to Kara Dansky, president of the American chapter of the WDI, Article 8 of the Declaration on Women's Sex-Based Rights makes it clear that women deserve to be housed in single-sex facilities, including prisons. This is essential to the aim of ending male violence against women, and it is consistent with Rule 11(a) of the Nelson Mandela Rules, which states that "[m]en and women shall so far as possible be detained in separate institutions; in an institution which receives both men and women, the whole of the premises allocated to women shall be entirely separate."
But the Senator addressed Rebecca’s concerns about transgender individuals being a threat to women in prisons by quoting a 2017 unnamed survey. It found that 95% of transgender and non-binary people incarcerated in New York state reported that they were “verbally harassed and called derogatory names by corrections department staff.” He also claimed that “physical violence is widespread and transgender people are nearly ten times more likely to be sexually assaulted than an individual in the general prison population,” which he took from another survey.
“I felt deeply dismayed that Senator Parker's letter focused on the mental health harms to trans-identifying males without any consideration at all about the mental health of NY's most vulnerable incarcerated women - who are disproportionately victims of sexual abuse,” Rebecca said.
Earlier this year, in January, The Times published a piece about a Dundee University study, which found that male prisoners in Scotland, who said they were trans during custody, are “switching back” to identifying as men after being released from prison.
Several female prisoners interviewed by the researcher, Dr Matthew Maycock, spoke of men housed with them who “transitioned” during custody and then reverted back to identifying as men after leaving the female estate. “While some believed prisoners born male had switched for sexual opportunities,” says the piece, “there was also a view that some had abused the system to get an easier time in jail.”
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