We Have To Talk About Karen White Who Sexually Assaulted Four Women In Prison And Identifies As Trans
If we don’t discuss this, those who wish to use the case of Karen White to demonize the entirety of the Transgender community, will.
It has long been preached that accepting transgender women into female places poses a risk to women and young girls. Preachers, politicians and conservative talk-radio hosts alike have all issued ominous warnings to their audiences. They leverage the ignorance of their fans against transgender people, shaping an ill-informed opinion based entirely on rhetoric and lies. We’ve dealt with this, as trans people, in every public space from bathrooms and locker rooms to sporting events and prom titles. In any event, we’ve had the benefit of facts on our side. Historically, there has never been an incident of a Transgender woman committing a violent sexual crime against another woman in a bathroom, a locker room or over not being allowed to be named Prom Queen.
The reality is, most of us are too preoccupied with our fear of retribution and violence, ourselves, to do much more than speak openly against the bigoted hyperbole… Has the bathroom issues on senate floors made it easier for you to walk into one in a restaurant without the niggling of anxiety behind the wall of your chest? Have you found yourself avoiding the use of public, gender specific spaces to avoid the potential of confrontation or humiliation? Sadly, we’ve been struggling with this long before it became a topical issue.
The case of Karen White coming out of the United Kingdom, which, unlike the USA, extends more rights and compassion to transgender people, is extremely disturbing but will be relevant to all of us who exist on the Trans spectrum. It will be used against us. It will be developed into a narrative of our collective characters and used to persecute us by proxy.
Karen White, 52, sexually attacked four women while incarcerated in an women’s detention facility. Prior to her detention, she informed the administrators that she identified as transgender, which resulted in her placement in the gender specific facility. She also claimed that she was not sexually attracted to women and did not possess the ability to achieve arousal. She lied.
Yet, this wasn’t Karen’s first attack. While going by the name Stephen Wood back in 2003, she was charged with another violent rape of which she plead guilty. Worse, just two years prior, she was jailed for sexually assaulting a minor. Her latest brutal attacks that landed her in prison happened in 2016, where again she plead guilty to two counts of rape involving another woman. Karen White was a known serial rapist.
It was only after the assaults became public record that people who knew Karen prior to her incarceration- including a female ex-lover- informed authorities that Karen only started identifying as a woman in 2014 despite never having received an official assessment or diagnosis by a qualified physician to confirm gender dysphoria. She had worked previously as a Drag performer, but her friends stated that she did not indicate, at any point, that she was transgender.
Karen White is most likely not Transgender at all, but a cross dressing cis-gender male who abused the system to gain access to a women’s prison where she could continue the long established pattern of predatory behavior. White deceived the court system, playing on their legal loopholes to achieve this and the system took everything she said at face value… despite her violent history toward women.
This is gross negligence by the justice system who never asked for supporting documentation, clinical records nor considered her past as a threat to women and children. This is a hard statement for me to make, because in America, we have thousands of transgender women guilty of non-violent crimes sitting in male prisons and being subjected to rape, discrimination, harassment and violence every single day by cis male inmates. Trans women in male prisons live in a state of perpetual fear for their lives. Some have even killed themselves to escape the torture. Indeed, in American, the Bureau of Prisons rolled back Obama era policies that protected transgender women in custody. Now, transgender people are assigned to prisons based solely on the identified state of their genitals. This is in spite of some transgender women, like me, being medically incapable of surgically transitioning due to the threat to my health. The attempt to surgically or even chemically transition would almost certainly end in death due to a genetic defect that predisposes me to heart attacks and strokes as a result of clotting- a risk that would only be elevated by hormone replacement therapies.
The case of Karen White is a devastating blow to all transgender women who might one day stand before a Judge because her actions have handed religious zealots, radical feminists and political conservatives a stick to beat us with. We already suffer incarceration in disproportionate numbers.
As a consequence of this case, the onus of responsibility isn’t being laid at the feet of those who executed poor decision making, but instead upon the entire transgender community. Recently, journalist Janice Turner of The Times referred to transgender women in female prisons as “Foxes in Hen Houses.” She did not condemn Karen White as an individual, but used Karen White to launch an attack on transgender people in the legal system. We’re being painted with the same brush as Karen White as she is being paraded about as an example of what we- me and people like me, are capable of- and asserting to others that we all have the same intent; To harm women and young girls. Turner lashed out against the legal system for making women vulnerable to us, labeling us predators.
Turner generated a lot of support, feeling her anti-trans stance is now legitimized- even Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling supported the article on twitter, much to the dismay of her transgender fans- who are not rapists. Actually, the abuse of transgender women stand only to escalate as a result of Karen White’s brutal crimes against women.
Karen White should pay the consequences for her crimes, all of which have left innocent women and children permanently scarred for the rest of their lives. We should not minimize White’s offenses, but we must ask that blame be placed where it belongs- With Karen White and the system that allowed a documented threat into an environment where she could harm more women. The blame should not be directed toward the transgender community.
Still, Women’s rights advocates and anti-trans Parliament members are suggesting an overhaul of the system which could see, just as we do in America, trans women placed in male prisons once again, despite their crimes or the severity of them. Parliament may now put the lives of thousands of transgender inmates at risk because of the actions of one- who wasn’t likely transgender at all.