Bias Watch

“Feminists” claim child molester is transgender because her mugshot isn’t feminine enough

Krystal Jackson
Krystal JacksonPhoto: mugshot

Anti-transgender activists on Twitter are now saying that a woman who committed a sex crime is transgender because, they argue, the alleged molester’s mugshot doesn’t look like a cis woman.

Krystal Jackson, 39, is a teacher in the Kings Canyon Unified School District in California who was arrested this past Friday, accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy three times. She is facing four counts of rape, as well as several other charges connected to the alleged sexual abuse of the minor.

Related: Now conspiracy theorists are claiming the YouTube shooter was a trans woman

Local reporting has not said that Jackson is transgender or given anyone any reason to believe that she is. And a woman who claims to have grown up in the same town as Jackson said that she is “a cis hetero woman.”

But that’s not stopping anti-transgender activists from insisting that Jackson is transgender. The activists are commonly referred to as TERFs – transgender exclusionary radical feminists. They do not share the same ideology as most of the rest of the feminist movement and work with the religious right to oppose transgender civil rights.

“Does this mean HE gets to be placed in women’s prison??” wrote a Twitter user who goes by “Mel,” referring to Jackson with “he” and apparently arguing under the assumption that Jackson is transgender and should not be housed in a women’s prison. “Yeah, but Self ID is SUCH a grand idea.”

A woman who said that she grew up in the same town as Jackson, Jennifer Rossotti, tweeted that Jackson is cisgender, but Mel doubled down.

“My tweets bring all the misogynists to the surface,” Mel claimed. Her tweets have since been made private. “FFS, this is a biological man who raped a child!!! So bloody sick of the crap.”

Mel wasn’t the only one. Another Twitter user, Donna Wallace, said that rapists always have penises. That is not true under California law, which defines rape as an act of sexual intercourse without consent.

“Does it hurt a bit, passing this off as a female sex crime?” user Tania wrote in response to an ABC journalist’s tweet on the arrest.

Another user with the handle @sickofgenderwoo and whose name includes support for noted anti-transgender author J.K. Rowling – both common signs of transphobia on the platform – wrote that “it’s obvious” that Jackson is transgender, although they didn’t say why.

One person claimed that looking closely at Jackson’s mugshot reveals a scar from a tracheal shave, a procedure some trans women undergo to reduce the prominence of an Adam’s apple. To others it just looked like a shadow from a wrinkle.

Others have been responded by pointing out that using looks or gender stereotypes to assess whether someone is a cis or trans woman is misogynist in itself and that using trans identity as an attack on an alleged sex offender is transphobic.

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