Rikers Rape Case Shows Female Prisoners Are the Voiceless Victims of Gender Ideology

COMMENTARY Gender

Rikers Rape Case Shows Female Prisoners Are the Voiceless Victims of Gender Ideology

Jan 29, 2024 3 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Jay W. Richards, Ph.D.

Director, DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is Director of the DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family and the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow.
A department of correction prisoners bus passes the Manhattan District Attorney's office in New York City on April 3, 2023. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

The anonymous plaintiff Rose Doe—a former female prisoner in Rikers’ Rose M. Singer women’s jail—says she was groped and raped by a male prisoner in 2022. 

Subjective states of mind don’t trump biology. Every civilized society separates female and male prisoners.

How can we ignore biological differences when it comes to prisons, where the men in question are criminals?

The first flashpoints to erupt in the gender wars have involved activists awakening a sleeping giant—millions of parents across the political spectrum. 

Mostly thanks to outraged parents, the resistance against gender ideology scored its first major victories in 2023.

States passed dozens of laws prohibiting secret “gender-support plans,” protecting women’s sports or restricting gender drugs and surgery on kids.

There are, as yet, no such victories for another class of victims who lack a natural political constituency to protect them: female prisoners. 

There have been thousands of stories in the last two years of schools that “socially transition” kids behind their parents’ backs, males joining female sports teams and teens harmed by “gender-affirming” drugs and surgeries. 

Thank God this disturbing trend is being spotlighted.

But the media should pay more attention to the plight of women behind bars.

>>> The Fight Against Gender Ideology Needs Strong Parents, Leaders, and Laws

The latest such victim is revealed in a lawsuit just filed against the New York Department of Correction.

The anonymous plaintiff Rose Doe—a former female prisoner in Rikers’ Rose M. Singer women’s jail—says she was groped and raped by a male prisoner in 2022. 

The suit alleges the perpetrator told a prison mate he claimed to be “trans” just so he could gain access to women.

And, as is common in these cases, the perpetrator had allegedly racked up enough offenses to provide fair warning of what was to come.

A correction officer even allegedly coached the defendant on how to get transferred. 

Two female guards are also named as defendants, for ignoring complaints about the male prisoner in question.

No doubt, given these details, some will propose a Solomonic solution: Authorities should ensure only “true trans” men enjoy the company of women prisoners and weed out the cynical, sex-starved fakers.

Such a policy may seem clever, but it’s bound to fail. 

According to gender ideology, a person might be born in the wrong body and so be “assigned male at birth” but “identify as” a female.

Hence, the only criterion for determining a person’s “gender identity,” per orthodoxy, is to ask.

There’s no blood test, brain scan or infallible battery of questions that could allow a prison doctor to separate the trans wheat from the cheater chaff.

If a man says he identifies as a woman, that’s enough. No extra verification is needed.

I don’t want to belabor this argument, however, lest we miss a crucial point. 

For far too long, we have allowed ourselves to be gaslighted into conceding what we all know.

Out of misplaced compassion and confusion, we avoid affirming the real, observable, biological differences between males and females.

Instead, we talk about “gender diversity” and “natal males” and “gender identities” and “sex assigned at birth.” 

We should have compassion for anyone so distressed that he or she wants a whole new body.

But justice requires us to drop the gassy euphemisms and state the obvious: Just because a man—whether sincerely or cynically—“identifies” as a woman doesn’t magically make him one.

As New Jersey learned the hard way, a man who identifies as a woman can even impregnate two fellow female inmates.

Subjective states of mind don’t trump biology.

Every civilized society separates female and male prisoners.

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Why? It’s not because of a supposed “internal sense of gender” but because of innate biological differences between them.

We know that men are, on average, larger, stronger and more violent than women.

We know that men commit almost all rapes. 

Because of these differences, common sense dictates boys and girls should have separate bathrooms.

We know this when it comes to Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Technical High School and Dalton—whatever their misguided policies may be and even though most male high schoolers aren’t rapists.

So how can we ignore biological differences when it comes to prisons, where the men in question are criminals?

Unwittingly, many who support putting men who identify as women in female prisons concede this point.

They argue that such men are at much greater risk for rape and violence if they remain in male prisons.

That’s no doubt true.

And it’s precisely why—however we accommodate such men—we should not subject women prisoners to the same risk.

This piece originally appeared in the New York Post

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