“Keep Prisons Single Sex” is hiding the real problem

Rebecca Gellman
5 min readNov 9, 2023
KPSS is fake outrage and the Gender Criticals know it.

If you have been observing the Gender Critical sphere long enough, you’ll know that one of their strands is this notion of “Keep Prisons Single Sex”.

It is of course, not an issue they truly care about. Especially, since their definition of sex has been manufactured explicitly to price trans women out of womanhood, and no other reason, and doesn’t bare any relation to real-world definitions by which we identify people.

Indeed, we have seen very recently, that any claim made by a Gender Critical that purports to care about a particular demographic should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Recently at a “Gender Critical” rally (of sorts), a 16-year old trans girl was told by a Gender Critical transphobe to “go and wank somewhere else”. When called out on this behaviour, they then attacked the trans girl with their umbrella.

Those new to the Gender Critical cult should bear in mind that it is a repeated mantra of the Gender Critical to claim to be “safeguarding” impressionable teenagers from the “Gender Ideology”, and stopping Trans Rights Activists (or TRAs as they call us) from “sexualising” children.

And then this one tells a 16-year old to “go and wank somewhere else”.

This fits with their perception that trans people don’t really exist. They see us as either fetishists, or mentally ill fetishists. But certainly, the claims of trying to protect teenagers from the “sexualisation and violence” are obvious bunkum.

And so the KPSS problem. The subject of prisons is a fertile ground for an appeal to emotion, while calling upon the listener to abstain from thinking.

The idea runs that because trans women are nothing but manly male man men (not true), and because manly strong brutish manly man men can pulverise tiny delicate flowers of women just by thinking about them (also not true), it follows in Gender Critical logic land that a trans woman in a woman’s prison is a danger to cisgender (“biological”, in Gender Critical speak) women.

It is at this point in the discussion that you are required to surrender your critical thinking processed and become outrage. NO. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT. JUST BE ANGRY.

You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?

As long as the chromosomes match….

The problem with this whole “the brutish trans woman will attack the delicate flower”, beyond the outrageous sexism and the presumption that all XX-people are convicted of minor crimes and all XY-people are convicted for multiple rape, is that it reduces the caring about sexual and violent assault to a small demographic of victims.

It is not only untrue, but wholly disingenuous to suggest that sexual assault doesn’t occur in prisons where all the inmates have the same karyotype. It also does an incredible disservice to the victims of such violent and sexual assault. But worse than that, it provides an excuse to ignore the problem.

A still from an animation series where the character (representing Gender Criticals) considers incompetent and/or complacent staff allowing sexual assault to happen in a supervised facility, and wonders if that is the fault of transgender rights.

When I was at school, I had a friend whose father was a prison officer. He had a catchphrase of sorts: “You go to prison as punishment, not for punishment”.

I’ve always found this phrasing enlightening for two reasons: it re-enforces the idea that prison is something you should want to avoid. It should be a bad time in the sense that you shouldn’t want to go to prison, or look forward to being there. It should be a place that makes you want to avoid it at all costs.

At the same time, it re-enforces the idea that you’re not there to receive extra punishment either. Caricatures are abound in television shows and movies, purporting a view of prisons as places where inmates are routinely sexually assaulted, with inmate-to-inmate punishments occurring for transgressions of rules set by whatever passes as “prison elders”.

Thankfully, I have never been to prison, and I don’t intend to do anything that might suggest I should go. But regardless of the truth of these depictions, no prisoner should be expecting to be mistreated — neither at the hands of other inmates, nor those of the prison officers.

Yes, prisons should be a miserable existence, but not to that extent. When these behaviours are permitted, we reduce prisoners to the point of eradicating their humanity, and presume them to be beyond redemption. Moreover, we tar all prisoners with the same brush — the desperate parent who committed one crime in a last-ditch attempt to look after their children is considered just as deserving of “a good raping “ as a serial murderer. It’s a sick and twisted view of the prison system. And it’s one the Gender Criticals support.

This is where “KPSS” should really cause the anger: the Gender Criticals don’t care about violent or sexual assault as long as the victim and perpetrator have the same karyotype. You will never see a Gender Critical campaigning for prison conditions in general to be improved; for sexual and violent assault to be eliminated in their entirety from the prison system.

I won’t question whether there is a serious problem with the UK prison system. We’ve seen from recently released prison statistics that it is — with the majority of sexual assault in women’s prisons committed by — unsurprisingly — cisgender women.

But this is begging a question: How on Earth has such a travesty been allowed to continue so long? Where is the outrage at prisoners being mistreated by the system that is supposed to keep them “clean”? Where is the outrage from the Gender Criticals at those cisgender women? If they are claiming to be feminists, surely they should be riling against the prison system that allows such inhumane treatment of women, right?

But no. You won’t see that outrage, because it will never exist.

In truth, the Gender Criticals require a broken and violent prison system to persist. They need it as a plausible backdrop for which to say “it’s clear that trans women need to be kept out”. If we actually reformed the prison system and eradicated all sexual and violent assault, there wouldn’t be an issue. And there’s where their allegiance really lies.

As with every Gender Critical, the entire narrative has been manufactured to attack trans people. The true intent is not to protect anyone, it’s to cement the idea that trans women are dangerous: “Look! They’re so dangerous, this is why we keep them out of women’s prisons!”.

Once you’ve abandoned your critical thinking abilities and got angry that a manly man male is in a prison with a delicate flower, you forget that you’re being a misogynist. You forget that you’re giving a pass for male-on-male rape, or female-on-female rape. You’re too busy attacking trans women and pretending you’re some kind of social justice warrior. And so the cycle is complete.

Conclusion

There is a problem with prisons. Not just the UK either; it’s a global pandemic that perceives prisoners as subhuman, regardless of the scale of their crimes. But the Gender Criticals want you to look past that, and get angry at trans women. They don’t care about the violence, they just want to use it as a means to put trans women on the receiving end of any attack they can feel proud of.

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Rebecca Gellman

A nerd, software engineer and trans woman, fed up with the lies pushed by the so-called Gender Critical movement. Also on Mastodon: @GellmanRebecca@home.social