California To Begin Putting Male Rapists Into Women’s Prisons: “Gender Is a Social Construct”

180
California To Begin Putting Male Rapists Into Women’s Prisons: “Gender Is a Social Construct”

California has begun putting male rapists who identify as female into women’s prisons as part of new radical inclusivity and diversity rules.

According to reports, women’s prisons in California now welcome transgender inmates regardless of their crime, and even offer flavored condoms to inmates.

Fox News reports: Amie Ichikawa, a women’s rights advocate and former inmate of the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), spoke with Fox News Digital about California laws that she said are being exploited by biological men pretending to be transgender, resulting in what she describes as “cruel and unusual punishment” for California’s biological women. 

In 2021, SB 132, signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and also known as the Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act, came into effect. The law allows male inmates, including convicted sex offenders, to declare themselves “women” and be housed with females. Since then, Ichikawa has been flooded with letters, emails and phone calls from incarcerated women being harmed by the law that Ichikawa believes to be a human rights violation. 

The number of biological men infiltrating women’s prisons is not clear because, Ichikawa said, the state refuses to publish such data and gives men the option of acquiring a new state identification number to reduce stigma. Among the first transfers under SB 132 were murderers, kidnappers, rapists and sexual abusers, according to documents reviewed by Fox News Digital. 

Ichikawa now runs a non-profit, Woman II Woman, and maintains daily contact with incarcerated women who she said have become sitting ducks for rape and sexual assault. She was also featured in an Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) documentary series called Cruel & Unusual Punishment: The Male Takeover of Female Prisons, which exposes the fallout of policies that open women’s prisons to male offenders, as told by female inmates, along with insiders and whistleblowers from the correctional world.

Ichikawa said women are feeling “like they’re being erased and that they do not matter at all,” removing any semblance of women’s rights that exist inside prisons.  

The state of California spent over $3 million on male-to-female related transgender care between fiscal year 2016 and July 14, 2023, according to a public records request from the California Correctional Health Care Services obtained by Ichikawa and reviewed by Fox News Digital. This includes $180,354.05 for 11 breast implants, $184,140.78 for two facial feminization surgeries, $223,568.24 for 69 patients to have laser hair removal and $2,452,043.60 for 35 patients to have vaginoplasties. 

“Actually seeing these people [trans-identifying] come in and have tip-top medical care… they’re getting cosmetic surgeries and women are not getting their teeth capped or breast reductions when they’re triple F’s,” she said. “But you can come in as a trans-identified person and get full body laser hair removal. There are all kinds of things on the menu that are available… Under the Transgender Health Care Guide, there really are no limits.”

Andrea Mew, storytelling manager at IWF and co-producer of the Cruel and Unusual Punishment series, said SB 132 contributes to the erasure of womanhood and further complicates what should be a simple understanding of what basic sex is. She warned that this issue is only going to proliferate if something isn’t done now, pointing to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice in January that instructed prisons across the country to provide inmates with so-called gender-affirming medical care. 

“What happens in California often becomes the model for the rest of the nation, so spreading awareness about these things before they become commonplace in every other state is crucial,” she added. “Additionally, of course, [we need to be] making sure definitions are very defined, making sure we understand what a woman is, keeping that language tight and defined state by state by state.”

In addition, Ichikawa said CCWF. where she served five years for a drug-related kidnapping, mounted contraceptive dispensers full of colorful, flavored condoms in every dayroom last February. This was in line with a bill passed in 2013, AB 999, which required all prisons to furnish condoms under California Penal Code 6500.

“They’ve only started issuing them or installing condom dispensers very recently… but they’ve been in men’s prisons since 2013, because they have penises, so it makes a little bit more sense,” she said. “But, there’s no denying the fact that this is obviously because of the implementation of SB 132 that these are needed.”

Sex is illegal in every prison, meaning sex between inmates or sex with guards is strictly prohibited and there is no consent, because prisoners are seen as state property. In turn, prisoners can’t consent and any sex act is considered rape, even if it is consensual. But, Ichikawa said there’s both rape and consensual sex happening in California state prisons.  

The CDCR told Fox News Digital it is “committed to providing a safe, humane, respectful and rehabilitative environment for all incarcerated people, including the transgender, non-binary and intersex community, and is working to implement Senate Bill 132, The Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act.” 

“All requests for housing based on gender identity are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary classification committee chaired by a Warden and made up of custody, medical and mental health care staff, and a PREA Compliance Manager,” the statement said. “This committee will review all case factors and the individual’s history to make a recommendation for approval or disapproval of the request.”

“In addition, under Penal Code 6500 CDCR is required to expand the availability of condoms in all state prisons, including female institutions,” the statement added. “Per regulations, incarcerated people are strictly forbidden – with the exception of permitted family visiting – from engaging in sexual activity.”

Sadly, Mew explained, a lot of people and many organizations in the U.S. don’t want to touch an issue like women’s prisons, because it deals with people who have committed crimes. 

“But, just because you have committed a crime, you are still deserving of your womanhood and especially when you take into consideration that these policies like SB 132, they’re meant to make a certain segment of the population more comfortable,” she said. “But, why make one segment of the population more comfortable when you are directly making the other segment of the population extremely uncomfortable.” 

“This is a huge human rights issue and from the very beginning, I’ve just seen it as something that shouldn’t be polarized politically,” Ichikawa added. “Everybody should be equally concerned about this, and it doesn’t seem like they are. These women are really voiceless, they don’t have the ability to speak out, they’re not safe to speak out. Even if they try, they’re penalized. There’s retaliation that takes place from staff and the trans-identified prisoners.”

Ichikawa said inmate complaints often don’t make it to the next level and if they do, they must be completely exhausted administratively before they can file a lawsuit. In addition, she said there are not a lot of lawyers that want to work with this segment of the population. 

“When you do write an inmate complaint and you say this person put their penis on me… it’s crossed out [by staff] and says, ‘A woman with a penis,’” she said. “It’s overwhelming because it’s not just affecting the individual who wrote that, it affects that entire population because her roommates are going to know, the people in the hallway are going to know, the people in the unit are going to tell people at work, and everybody is going to be negatively impacted by these things.”

“If this isn’t challenged, exactly what’s happening to women inside our state prisons is going to happen to us out here,” Ichikawa warned. “This is an agenda for female erasure and women in the free world aren’t really equipped to deal with the level of complete negligence and uncaring erasure that’s happening inside.”

Ichikawa said there needs to be more requirements, beyond self-identification, that come with these kinds of transfers, since laws like SB 132 are in place. 

“There has to be a modification where everybody in the system is treated with respect, agency and dignity, not just 1% of the population, which creates a privileged group and in an incarceral setting, that’s absolutely dangerous.”

Unlike in men’s prisons, women aren’t separated by security level or the nature of their convictions and 92% of female inmates in California have a history of being battered and beaten. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in a February 2022 report, of the prisoners housed in male facilities requesting transfer to female ones, 33.8% are registered sex offenders and 25.8% were convicted of a sex offense. 

Mew and Ichikawa both questioned how women are supposed to be rehabilitated and say there could be drops in recidivism rates if women are re-experiencing trauma in prison and rapes go underreported.

“How is that going to usher them back into the free world comfortably and ready to be productive members of society?” Mew asked. 

“Every time somebody is attacked, it negatively impacts the whole population,” Ichikawa said. “It impacts the whole population and they’re all having group PTSD.”

“Imagine trying to talk about your traumas or your sexual assaults or the abuse that you’ve endured and there’s a rapist in the group, this is going to be really difficult,” she added. “You can’t really communicate or start the healing process when you are in a permanent state of hypervigilance and you’re not being offered the one right you have, which is to rehabilitate.”