A woman in prison in Virginia is finally suing so that she'll be placed in a women's facility. She's been housed with men even though her birth certificate says she's a woman, she lives as a woman, a medical exam said she's a woman...:
Myers says she suffered "invasion of privacy" and "various degrees of sexual harassment" in the dorm, and was repeatedly denied accommodation for related medical issues. At times, Myers--who requires use of a wheelchair--says she was forced to crawl on the ground to access her bed and shower. Once, the suit claims, a male official with "notebook and camera" visited Myers to "look at any tattoos Myers had . . . ordered Myers to disrobe completely . . . then proceeded to take photographs, both close up and full body shots, of her body including her chest and pelvic regions." In 2008, she says she contemplated suicide.
We discuss possible definitions of "man" and "woman" and slippages between those categories, how no one identifier is perfect, but we'll have to add another reason why someone might be identified with a certain sex: pig-headedness. That's the prison's reason, at least:
That year, Myers began making efforts to be transferred away from Deerfield and into a female facility. Four years after entering Deerfield, Myers says that she was physically examined by a prison nurse to determine her sex. "No penis visualized," the report concluded. "Impression abnormal genital anatomy--plan nothing to do." Later, Myers says she was subjected to repeated strip searches and body cavity searches by male corrections officials. In 2009, she had her birth certificate sent to a prison counselor to prove her sex at birth. Myers says the counselor was "shocked" that the document listed her as female. This year, Myers says she underwent several more genital exams in the prison. According to the suit, one Department of Corrections doctor "seemed to still be in 'shock' from the first exam to not find a penis but rather a vagina." In August, Myers underwent a blood test; her suit claims that her "hormone levels clearly reflect that of a biological female."[...]
The rationale provided by prison officials: "at the time of your sentence, you were assigned to a male facility."
Clearly, that settles it.
Something tells me that Myers won't be getting much sympathy from people outside prison anyway. Any proportionality when it comes to responding to crime has been lost in our culture and replaced with "If you broke the law, then you have to take whatever the hell we throw at you." Consider the only comment I could find on this story on a major news site (from UPI's page, in its entirety):
Just one more reason to obey the law!
Perhaps it's a result of the sluggish economy, that people aren't feeling all that generous anymore with anything, much less their sympathy. Or perhaps as these two wars drag on, killing hundreds of thousands of people for no good reason, we've stopped seeing suffering as an inherently bad thing. Or maybe people are just getting more sadistic and when someone commits a crime it's assumed that they volunteered themselves to be society's punching bag.
Whatever the reason, it doesn't bode well for the future of America. A culture that accepts such levels of cruelty against other societies and other people within its society is really just asking for more cruelty to be acted on itself.