Conservative commenters are reacting with predictable outrage and ignorance after video surfaced of Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren saying at a Sunday campaign rally in Marshalltown, Iowa: “We have to stop putting trans women who are incarcerated into prisons with men where they are at risk. It is our responsibility.”
Warren’s statement reflects a larger reality: 10 out of 16 police departments with holding facilities examined by the National Center for Transgender Equality have no specific guidelines on whether to place trans individuals with other women, men, or separately.
As a result, many trans prisoners are either placed into solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for their own “safety” or placed with the general population where they’re 10 times more likely than straight cisgender prisoners to face sexual assault.
But the conservative right doesn’t think trans women really exist. They see trans women as “biological men identifying as women” for the sole purpose of terrorize women’s spaces and their bodies. As such, they think that trans women only desire entry into women’s prisons so they can rape cisgender women.
Republican and Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) responded via Twitter, “I’m guessing the trans women population in prison would skyrocket under a Warren Presidency.”
His comment follows a similarly ignorant comment he made in February 2019 in which he said, “I don’t want the next national emergency to be that some Democrat president says we have to build transgender bathrooms in every elementary school in America.”
Similarly transphobic right-winger Donald Trump Jr., a man who thinks trans athletes want to abuse cis women and steal their sports trophies, re-tweeted video footage of Warren making the pro-trans statement and added, “No further comment necessary.”
Trump Jr. and Gaetz weren’t the only conservatives making a bogeyman out of Warren’s comment. One even accused Warren of making up a non-issue because she couldn’t criticize the economy.
Here, again, @ewarren advocating putting trans-identifying bio men in women’s prisons.
How can she care so little about the lives of incarcerated women that she would put them in such danger?
This is rank elitism and it is hateful. https://t.co/1L4Rkspclz
— Abigail Shrier (@AbigailShrier) January 14, 2020
I don’t know about the stats in the US, but in the UK, 48% of trans women prisoners are sex offenders.
I think we have a duty to keep female prisoners safe, and one way of doing that is to keep males, especially sex offenders, out of women’s prisons.
Warren is batshit.
— Terra Firma 🏴 (@TerraFirth) January 13, 2020
This is unheard of!! All men, may claim to be Trans; just to be put in, with the women! Is she kidding!! How about, co-ed prisons, or building, new prisons, just for them…Huh, Warren! Forget it!! Ridiculous!!
— Valerie Ann Walker Colpritt (@VColpritt) January 13, 2020
Trans women are identify as men….they want to be men then they should not be with women when incarcerate. Sounds like Elizabeth Warren wants to pick and choose what makes a crime and have a pillow for making the consequences soft.
— JoAnna Davignon (@davignon_joanna) January 13, 2020
Good to know Warren has her priorities straight! I have been up nights lately worrying about where trans women are incarcerated.
— Ted Dodson (@ted_dodson) January 13, 2020
Warren anti Natural Born Females
Advocates for Trans males into
Don’t worry the Real Women inside the Walls
Will take care of business https://t.co/Nj82OBRUYn
— ilola09 (@ilola09) January 13, 2020
What a moral disaster Warren is. So put trans “women” into prisons where they may put actual women at risk? From the people who brought you: trans “women” in bathrooms with little girls.
The leading Democrats are totally deceived on this stuff, and I will never understand it. https://t.co/nvxNWQObPe
— Griffin Gulledge (@griffingulledge) January 13, 2020
I guess when you can’t talk about a bad economy… https://t.co/eS2KKQ6j8C
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) January 13, 2020
Despite conservative claims, Warren is addressing a real issue that affects a vulnerable minority. She also knows that trans women and allies are among her base and this social justice issue matters to them as well.