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Justice for women demands honesty about the nature of sex

The transgender movement now endangers women in prison


Justice for women demands honesty about the nature of sex

It is a truth that should be universally acknowledged: A government solution ought not to create injustices greater than the original problem it corrects. Sadly, the Biden administration’s Department of Justice violated this principle in a potentially devastating way.

Earlier this year, the DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Prisons released its Transgender Offender Manual. The 14-page document updates bureau policy in the care for people who identify as transgender. At face value, the program’s goals can elicit a Christian’s compassion and support: objectives like decreasing the risk of suicide and protecting certain inmates from victimization.

But the bureau’s “solution” is to permit males who identify as female to demand access to federal prisons for women. The worldview implications of this policy are profound, but the policy isn’t just an affront to beliefs about the goodness of God’s created order. The rule systematically violates the dignity, safety, and constitutional rights of incarcerated women.

President Joe Biden and his administration seem oblivious to the irony. Just last year, the president promised to honor women by “investing in their opportunity, security, and well-being.” A few years before that, he commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act by noting, “It’s the single-most significant and direct way to measure the character of a nation—when violence against women is no longer societally accepted, no longer kept secret; when everyone understands that even one case is too many.”

Even one case is too many. The administration’s eloquent promise collapses when—under President Biden’s leadership—the government imposes a framework by which a male felon’s gender dysphoria leads to a woman’s post-traumatic stress disorder, pregnancy, or rape. It’s worth looking at the states where this flawed and misogynistic policy has already been applied.

In Washington state, National Review reported on a “serial killer whose victims were all women and a registered sex offender who raped a female minor before [transferring] to the [women’s] prison.” A former female inmate describes witnessing and hearing multiple male inmates—convicted felons—who identify as women, sexually assault female inmates. The details are haunting and explicit.

After California codified this folly into law in early 2021, hundreds of men announced their dysphoria and applied for a transfer to women’s prisons. Since then, several current and former female prisoners have filed a lawsuit challenging the law.

No policy meant to affirm certain populations should deliberately violate the rights, dignity, and privacy of other vulnerable populations.

In the lawsuit, the women report their fear, anxiety, and PTSD as a direct result of being forced to share close quarters with men. Some of the women forced to share a cell with a man report making sleep schedules so that a woman is always on watch to try to prevent rape by their new male cellmate.

Some prisons have even changed their protocols—arming staff with new, stronger pepper spray and riot control measures, believing the incoming male inmates are stronger and more violent than women. Because some female inmates are now having sex with their new, fellow male inmates, the women’s prisons have procured condoms and changed the contraceptive policy to make them available to all female inmates. And the taxpayer is footing the bill.

Our justice system is imperfect. That’s a statement that elicits agreement from across the political spectrum. But our justice system strategically separates men and women and treats them differently based on the commonsense belief that these categories are different, distinct, and knowable. Women, on average, are less likely to have committed violent crimes and, on average, display great motivation for early release due to a desire to reunite with their children.

Tragically, many women who end up behind bars bring a history of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment perpetrated against them by men. Notably, the male patterns of violence and sexual offense are not lower in the subset of men who identify as female than in the overall population of men. So, no matter how a man identifies, he remains more likely to intimidate, overpower, harass, abuse, and violate women’s safety and dignity.

The Justice Department’s decision to amplify and apply California’s error is systematically unjust. No policy meant to affirm certain populations should deliberately violate the rights, dignity, and privacy of other vulnerable populations. No desire to “dial back the so-called culture wars” permits Christian believers to live by lies and endorse a worldview or a policy that calls a man a woman.

While most readers don’t serve as prison wardens, civil rights advocates, or the government bureaucrats required to enforce this rule, each still should seek justice. The goodness of God’s design may not be a “truth universally acknowledged” this side of heaven, but it’s a truth that should strengthen our resolve to live not by lies.

And so, with creativity and courage, we embrace the goodness of God’s design for women and men—in our homes, offices, schools, churches, and neighborhoods—and, when needed, in our prisons.

Kristen Waggoner

Kristen Waggoner is CEO, president, and general counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.


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