If it wasn’t for the fact that she really quickly chimed in with where she wanted to go next with this panel, I would have thought the anchor’s face was one of horror at lawyer Richard Herman’s bullshit.
Trigger warning for transphobia and a rape joke, which I’ve already telegraphed in the title.
This… this is just fractally wrong.
This assumes several horrible things about Chelsea Manning’s case without evidence, or with ample counterevidence. First, it assumes that hormone therapy won’t be ordered despite recent court cases that calls rejecting hormone therapy “deliberate indifference” and thus a violation of the 8th Amendment. Second, it assumes that rape in prison is a normal, expected, natural consequence of being in prison — and that there’s nothing wrong with this. Third, it assumes that being raped repeatedly in prison is “practice” for “being a woman” — while rape does happen significantly more often to women than men, it does not make up the entire fabric of their lives. Fourth, this plays entirely into gender binary ideas that women are submissive and men are dominant, which the other issues amplify. Fifth, this assumes that Manning simply wants to be a woman, rather than that it would cure a dissonance that might eventually lead to depression or suicide if untreated — which circles back around to the first one, insofar as hormone therapy might be deemed medically necessary. And I’m absolutely certain there are more layers I haven’t yet thought of in the minimal visceral reactions I’ve had in the few minutes writing this post.
The suggestion that being raped in prison is “practice” for being a woman is possibly the most immoral, reprehensible thing I’ve ever heard anyone say in pretty much ever. My horror is redoubled that it is made as a joke on the country’s leading news station, at the expense of someone who was convicted of the crime of copying documents that your government didn’t want other governments to see, and will go to jail as a result — as though that isn’t apparently punishment enough for the act of leaking information, and the expectation of prison rape is a feature, not a bug.
I’m absolutely agog at this — how does CNN plan on addressing this assholery from their invited guest?