Tara Hudson and the betrayal of female prisoners

by Rosie Redstockings

selmapatty

It was announced this afternoon that Tara Hudson has been transferred to a female prison.

I will use male pronouns in discussing Hudson – not because I wish to be provocative or offensive, but because I’m sick and tired of putting women at risk in order to appease male feelings. It’s time for the truth.

Hudson is a man. A 5’10” man, with a penis, what he describes in his escort ad as a “7 inch surprise”. He has a history of violent crime – 8 prior convictions, including for battery – what the judge described as a “worrying criminal record”. Last December, Hudson was drinking at a bar in Bath, when (in the words of the prosecutor, Neil Treharne):

“After being asked to pay her tab and leave, the victim Mr Dyer pushed a glass away from Hudson, fearing she would pick it up and assault him. The court heard that she lunged forward to grab it, was restrained by Mr Dyer, and then headbutted him in the face.

He suffered an injury to the nose and a sore chest and had to have £1,500 worth of treatment on his teeth.”

Hudson has had plastic surgery that makes him look convincing like he is female – he has opted for large breasts and long blonde hair. Based on the photos that have been circulating online, he passes convincingly, though he seems to be emulating a very hyper-sexualised, submissive, pornified image of womanhood: a man’s idea of what it means to be a woman.

When I first saw the change.org petition being circulated online, I was sympathetic to Hudson’s situation. Male prisons are violent and terrifying, because men are violent and terrifying. Gender non-conforming men (who may or may not call themselves trans) are at risk of sexual violence in prison, and feminists are uniformly opposed to male sexual violence, whoever the victim. All vulnerable men should be protected from any sort of violence while in prison, and Hudson is no exception.

BUT

Hudson’s supporters do not just want him to be protected from male sexual violence. They’re not happy for him to be placed in a separate male facility, or segregated from the rest of the prison population – as police officers are, for instance – they want him in a women’s prison. They want his gender identity to be validated.

Hudson is a sympathetic case. He is attractive, and looks convincingly like a woman. He may have a violent history, but he has no history of sexual violence. He may or may not pose a risk to female inmates – we simply don’t know. It’s easy for his supporters to dismiss radical feminist concerns as laughable – “what? You really think this person is a rapist??” Radical feminists are usually dismissed in this way. We’re paranoid, man-hating, illogical, bigoted. Critics can fall back on well-worn stereotypes about TERFs and their hateful opinions.

But I fear that Hudson is only the beginning. It used to be that a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) was required for trans women to be transferred to women’s prisons (the transferees are always trans women of course, never trans men). To be granted a GRC, the applicant has to prove that they have been living as the opposite sex for at least 2 years. Hudson doesn’t have this – he hasn’t had surgery, he is not legally recognised as being a woman. The decision to house him with women is based entirely on the fact that he looks very feminine, and so has attracted a great deal of public support. That’s it.

Women should be frightened and angry. Today we have come one step closer to granting men unfettered access to the female prison population. Even the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists acknowledge that men are likely to abuse this new liberty:

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 17.49.20

Because why the hell wouldn’t they? Why are we pursuing a system that relies on the integrity and self-control of convicted sex offenders?

What really frightens me are the numbers. According to the most recent figures, in June 2013 there were 10,498 men serving time for sexual offences in the UK prison pop (compared with 77 women). In the same month, the total female prison population came to 3,853. That means that the number of men in prison for sexual offences is ALMOST THREE TIMES the total number of women in prison.

How many of those men would be prepared to call themselves trans, if it meant they could be transferred? With no requirement to get a GRC, or take hormones, or have surgery?

Even if only 1% of imprisoned sex offenders decided to feign transition and were transferred, women’s prisons would comprise 2.6% male sex offenders.

If 10% decided to do it, then 21% of prisoners in women’s prisons would be male sex offenders.

Never underestimate that lengths that violent men will go to in order to abuse. Today’s decision paves the way for more and more of these men to get what they want. Today it was Tara Hudson – a passing trans woman, taking hormones, with no history of sexual violence. Next it will be a trans woman who doesn’t pass. And then a trans woman who has never taken hormones. And then a trans woman who has raped women.

And the people at risk – the people who have never been mentioned in the media, who have been invisible throughout this whole debacle – are the women in prison. The majority (81%) of these women have not been imprisoned for violent offences; more than half (53%) have experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse as children; they are disproportionately likely to be poor, non-white, and to have suffered violence at the hands of men.

These women have been betrayed by liberal feminism.

Advertisements

32 thoughts on “Tara Hudson and the betrayal of female prisoners

  1. Agree completely. There’s a wonderful phrase that applies here “male pattern of violence”. The type of violence that men only mete out. Only a small percentage of them. But that it’s only men that do. Like headbutting somebody in a bar who won’t pay for your drink. 🙄

    There’s a comment on a post on Gender Trender somewhere, that I would never be able to find again, by a person who worked in a US prison and describes the system in her/his prison. For men who are likely to be victimized in the prison there was a separate section. So if Hudson was put in a facility like that not only would he be safe more or less, but he would also not be stuck in solitary confinement. So there is a system that could be used.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I live in the USA (Chicago) and can confirm that there are indeed segregated wings in men’s prisons for men likely to be victimized. The USA has 2,000,000 people in judicial custody and half of them are in prison. (The other half are on parole or probation.) It is just amazing how small the English prison system is compared to the American system.

      Like

  2. Thank you for a great article. The stats on rape have been skewed too. Woman on woman rape is supposed to be on the increase because trans men are now, legally, counted as women. The reality of men in previously women only spaces is scary. Those spaces were hard fought for by feminists – yet men have won the legal right to invade them in a heartbeat!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Reblogged this on oopster74 and commented:
    If you’re in prison, then you’re in prison for a reason. Prisons aren’t happy family picnics, they’re hard places. Tara has a history of violence it seems, and no one is debating that prison is where she should be for the crime she’s been convicted of, but, to put her in a male prison when she is so obviously female looking is putting her at risk of rape, sexual assault and violence and all manner of things. You ask what’s to stop a non-trans woman claiming to be trans to transfer to a women’s prison? I honestly don’t know, but its hard highly unlikely, and I would imagine that if you went to prison perceived as a man, then you would end your prison sentence perceived as a man, prison isn’t a place where you want to show any weaknesses, and transitioning within prison would be seen as a weakness. That being said, if Tara is taking hormones (and I imagine she would be), then her “surprise” as you put it, would be next to useless unless she were actually using it on a regular basis. So, what’s to stop her from attacking another inmate sexually or violently? The other inmates for one. She will be outnumbered by non-trans inmates, and if word got around that she was doing things she shouldn’t, the inmates would sort her out before the prison system got chance. It’s not right that that would be the case, but that’s just how prisons work. I don’t have a grc, the paperwork is like “War and Peace” and the costs involved are ridiculous (plus I’ve been out of the medical side got about ten years so would have to wait 14 months to get back in it just to get the medical reports needed). If I were ever sent to prison, then I should get sent to a female prison, but without the grc, it could be a men’s prison. I’m just glad that I’m never likely to actually be sent to prison, but people get sent to prison for all manner of things, some unintentional things like car accidents etc.

    Like

    1. The place for men is men’s prisons, in a segregated unit if necessary. It is also untrue that taking female hormones automatically means that a male can not get an erection. If this were the case, we would be handing them out to every sex offender on the planet.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Tara is not a man, Tara is a woman, and the law recognises her as such, or recognises her intent. We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this I think.

        I didn’t say taking female hormones automatically stopped erections, it is still possible, but most pre-op mtf’s will not want to use their penis for anything other than to urinate with, take it from the horses mouth.

        Like

      2. OOpster74,

        …except for the fact that this guy is a male escort and clearly using his penis for more than urination.

        Speaking of the “horse’s mouth” did you read about the male-to-trans in AZ who was arrested for meeting up with folks in an attempt to sexually abuse their horses? He was busted talking about his intent with someone who was actually an undercover police officer. There is no bottom to this depravity.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Transsexual female escort, probably to raise funds to pay for surgery because society looks down on trans people and that’s sometimes the only work option available. I’m not defending prostitution, but it’s a fact and the prostitutes need help and support.

        No I didn’t hear about the Arizona thing, you tend to get stories like that in the gutter press and I’ve no time for them, although our prime minister is said to be fond of pigs.

        Like

      4. Yes, people in prostitution need help and support— to LEAVE prostitution, not perpetuate it. Yes, society should be doing more to help survivors leave.

        The argument that there is nothing else they can do is ridiculous. Every day, people in far more dire circumstances, from far more troubled backgrounds, head off to work and do what they need to do to survive, even if it is working 10 to 12-hr days, 5-6 days per week. Yes, wages in “legitimate” jobs have not kept place with inflation and clearly should go up. We need to raise min wage. No one should have to work more than 40 hrs per week to make ends meet at a modest standard (small apartment, enough food, used car, medical care, and a few modest creature comforts.)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I agree, but getting a job in the first place, especially in the UK where you now have to show a passport or birth certificate to prove you have the right to work in your own country just to appease Daily Mail readers who are paranoid that muslamic terrorists are coming to steal our jobs and give us all cancer are coming to the UK (seriously, that sound stupid but that’s what some people think). If you can’t get medical treatment then you have to pay for it, and especially in the USA, a lot of trans stuff isn’t covered. Btw, the US medical system is messed up! You don’t have an issue having publicly funded police, military, fire brigade, but when it comes to your health, that would be verging on communism and we can’t have that!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I agree that medical care should also be a covered service in the USA. The value patients get for their dollars is pathetic in the USA because it is all profit driven. Many people are agitating for single payer health care systems like the ones common in Europe. The insurance companies are just expensive and unnecessary middle men. And what happens when people can’t pay? The people who can pay absorb their costs anyway so why not just make it official? The USA needs to just cover everyone inside its borders. We are 100% on the same page there.

        Like

      7. The one thing that really bugs me about the USA health system, chances are when you need it most, you won’t be able to afford it (or you’ll be covered till the end of your policy then either cut lose or see your premium sky rocket!). In the UK, our health system isn’t free, even though most think it is. We all pay for it through the national insurance scheme a little out of our incomes every payday. The amount we pay is determined by our income, and doesn’t go up if we need treatment. The burden is shared throughout the country. If (currently as they’re looking to change it) as a US citizen you need to visit the hospital as an emergency (you call it the ER, we call it A&E – Accident and Emergency), then you won’t pay anything for treatment. If you break your leg and need a cast – no charge, if you crash your car, need airlifting to a specialist unit – no charge. How much would that cost you on top of your insurance premiums in the USA? We may speak the same language, but we are very different cultures.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, Oopster74, clearly he DOES have his equipment and uses it regularly as a male escort. As you mentioned, he hasn’t had sex-reassignment surgery. (And before the language police come and get me: Yes! “Sex-reassignment surgery” is a misnomer, since sex can not be literally reassigned. The surgery is cosmetic in nature. A man with an inverted penis now called a neo-vagina is still a man with an inverted penis now called a neo-vagina.)

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Oopster, you seem like a thoughtful, nice, person, and I cannot comment on your gender dysphoria or otherwise.
      But you MUST STOP imagining people like Tara are ANYTHING LIKE YOU. if they were, they would not be in gaol.
      The prison service has already reported a rise in violent males claiming gender dysphoria , and it is their not unfounded reasoning that this is for a reason. NOT genuine dysphoria either.
      We have a saying in medicine, that if you hear hooves, expect a horse, not a zebra.
      Furthermore, since this individual is an escort I imagine their penis gets plenty of use and is ergo plenty functional, in a sexual capacity.
      Back to zebras. When somebody is prone to male patterned violent acts, then the salient word is male.
      Really, it’s about time the trans community stopped giving a pass to these nefarious bastards, genuinely trans or not, otherwise how will you EVER expect females to trust you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What little I know of her. She’s lived as a woman since she was 18, and was most likely on puberty blockers before that judging by her appearance. She’s working as an escort, why is she working as an escort? Possibly because she can’t get a job because without a grc she’ll have to “out” herself for every job and when there’s the amount of people going for every job that there is now, she’s got little chance, so she may see being an escort as her only option and possible only way to find her treatment, trust me, every trans person has considered this (as well as suicide) at one point in their life. Presuming that she’s a violent potential rapist is ignorant, it would be like saying all feminists are men haters, yes, that will be true for some trans people and it’ll be true for some feminists, but to tar all with the same brush id ridiculous. The law has to treat everyone equally and fairly. Do you really think she’ll want to draw anymore attention to herself than already has been? If she’s got any sense she’ll get her head down, be a “good prisoner” and get out on good behaviour, hopefully this will be the wake up call she needs to change her ways. Lastly, in case I missed it, we don’t know the circumstances of why she assaulted the barman, he could’ve provoked her and she snapped, you get a lot of shit when you’re trans and it’s far too easy to get paranoid.

        Like

    1. The idea that transwomen work as sex workers because they are desperate is a pernicious fiction. I have observed that lot of transwomen work as escorts because it’s an affirmation of their femininity.

      And keep in mind this dude lives in UK, where SRS is paid for by the NHS. No desperate fund-raising needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello! This is a great post. I just wanted to add that you say “Hudson is a sympathetic case. He is attractive, and looks convincingly like a woman” but I don’t believe this is wholly correct.

    The mainstream media repeatedly used the same two pictures of Tara in which he looks young, demure and unthreatening. However, if you look at the majority of photos of him he clearly looks very different. See here for example: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/462695/Glamour-model-adult-sex-change-bloke-TV-channel

    It is clear that the media and/or the people orchestrating the PR (propaganda?) campaign have purposefully selected pictures to portray a specific image, assumedly in order to elicit a sympathetic response from the public. The reality is of course that any women unfortunate enough to have to share facilities with Tara in prison will be under no doubt that this person is male and be forced to deal with any consequences that may bring – whether that’s actual violence or fear of violence.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great article. I would like to point out that in real life this individual does not in fact pass as female. I believe the photos given to the media were deliberately chosen to influence the publics perception.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I work in the prison system, and I can say that what I know supports your arguments.

    Unfortunately, trans people have a high rate of suicide in prison and there has been a number of cases of this over the past year. The same is true of many vulnerable groups that get incarcerated, though. It means we need much better mental health provision in prison, not to change the system so that biological males can be incarcerated with females. There are too many cases of sexually violent male criminals claiming to be trans to risk that (I know this personally). Also, I don’t know why the hell a GRC is sufficient to put someone in an opposite-sex prison because as far as I know, prison is segregated according to sex not gender. It would be pretty impossible to segregate according to gender because gender isn’t a definite thing. I guess the UK government thinks that a GRC means someone has changed sex.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s