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[Gender] [Abuse] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
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Transgender Struggles in Segregation

I'm a 40 year old transgender prisoner activist. I've been held prisoner by the state of California for 20 years, including 10 years in Pelican Bay SHU and am currently confined to Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU), awaiting transfer to Tehachapi SHU for the past year.

I was initially placed in ASU for "refusing to double cell" and put in disciplinary segregation for objecting to random housing assignments with sexually violent predators because I am a transgender female on hormone therapy. I was placed in punitive, inhumane conditions, simply for exercising my constitutional right to personal safety.

Subsequently I was charged with "battery on a peace officer" for spitting on the lieutenant in ASU. Then I was physically assaulted by Correctional Officer Llamas, who falsified a report charging me with "battery on a peace officer" because I stuck my arm out of the food port on my cell door; he pepper-sprayed me and twisted my arm for demanding to see his supervisor.

I am an experienced jailhouse lawyer and am currently pursuing two federal civil rights lawsuits: 1) concerning medical neglect at Pleasant Valley State Prison, and 2) inhumane conditions and sex discrimination at RJDCF-ASU.

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[Gender] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 12]
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Medical Science Skewed Under Patriarchy

Greetings komrades,

I received ULK July, no. 9 and I disagree with part of your response to the prisoner that wrote on gender. You stated that the prisoner's characterization of women as "very emotional" beings is actually a good example of sexist views.

However this is a topic I have long ago done research in. Medical science in fact states that men think with the left side of their brains which is the logical and reasoning side, and women think with the right side of their brains which is emotional and sentimental. Thus this is not a sexist view but a medical one.

This means if medical science is correct then that would mean that female officers are more emotional than male officers, which of course doesn't make them more dangerous than male officers. Both male and female officers are illogical because the system which they adhere to is illogical. It is also an established fact that some of these hoochies that been dogged one too many times by males on the streets who become guards all of a sudden, because they lack the education to gain better employment, will exercise their piggish authority over male prisoners with a wrath, just because they can.

However that's not to say that male guards don't do the same when they remember that their lunch money was taken away one too many times in high school by thugs, thugs similar to the ones they now have authority over.

To summarize, the job of Gestapo in any U.$. concentration camp sucks, but women guards should never be allowed to work in men's prisons. They're just slightly more useless than their male counterparts. When something serious pops off they all run for cover in fear for their lives. Courage is not a criteria to become a correction pig. "A man who controls his emotions controls his destiny. The one that doesn't is unstable in all his ways."

MIM(Prisons) Responds: Although it may be scientifically too soon for us to say that men and wimmin are completely alike, we must remember that all studies about nature vs. nurture (in this case brain chemistry vs. socialization) are done under hundreds of years of patriarchy. It is impossible to determine how humyns ultimately behave with no outside influence, because we are very deeply affected by the culture we grow up in.

At this point in time under the patriarchy, it is counter productive for revolutionaries to make sweeping proclamations about innate characteristics of men and wimmin. This debate is a distraction from the real issues, and plays into enforcing gender stereotypes. However, this comrade gets it right when he says that "both male and female officers are illogical because the system which they adhere to is illogical." No matter the emotional tendencies of any persyn, they will behave in illogical ways when put in an illogical position. In order to prevent the wrath of any CO, we need to eliminate the illogical job in an illogical society. This can only happen by eliminating capitalism and the profit motive, which will in turn get rid of the prison system.

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[Gender] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 9]
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Response to Gender Issue of ULK

I am writing to let it be known that I had no problem receiving the January 2009 issue of ULK. It is such an honor and a privilege to be a recipient of such a fine publication.

While reading the latest issue of ULK I noticed something that made me stop and think really hard. That something was that throughout the entire newsletter there was some type of mentioning of women in nearly every issue. I point that out because I have a story to tell about how women are making life harder for prisoners.

Before I go any further with this please let me say to my fellow comrades that I love women to the utmost. The way they smell, the sound of their voice, the way they look, the way they walk, everything; I'm the furthest thing from a sexist anyone can imagine. Let's face the facts though, women are some very emotional beings. Emotions that when not contained or kept in check could prove to be very detrimental to a person such as myself.

When dealing with women working in a men's prison, one has to be very careful about what they do, and what they say. Because you never know when you'll become a victim of one of her emotional outbursts.

Case in point: One morning on return from gym call, as I headed to my cell for an institutional count I had asked the female officer in the booth over the intercom was she going around for count to which she replied, "no". I was going to my cell to wash myself since I was all sweaty from playing basketball in the gym, and I could not take a shower before lunch call because the showers don't cut on until 5 o'clock. I had asked that female officer, was she coming through for count, out of respect because I knew that there was a slight possibility that she would, being that we can't cover our cell door windows, and I knew that I would be washing myself. Out of respect for women I did this. So when she told me no, that she wasn't coming around for count, I went to my cell, got completely naked, and proceeded to wash myself.

You can imagine what happened next. Unknown to me, the very same female officer walks right past my door to count me while I'm standing there completely naked washing my body. It wasn't a problem to me but I didn't want this lady thinking that I had disrespected her. So after count was cleared I went looking for her to apologize. I couldn't find her for the rest of that day. I thought that maybe she was called to another unit to work.

The following day however, I was called to the sergeants office, and was told that I had a write up for being naked in my cell, stroking my penis in an up and down motion during count time when this particular female officer came past my cell door to count me. What? I was outraged. I tried calmly to explain the situation to the sergeant, but if you're a prisoner you already know that a prisoner's word versus an officer's word is no good, and whatever that officer says is what it is. I felt completely defenseless. I was, because I knew that no matter what I said or did this facility's disciplinary board was going to find me guilty. I tried though. I tried to get them to understand the situation, but these people are truly stuck in their ways even when the truth, and facts are right before their eyes.

In the disciplinary hearing the hearing officer stated in their summary that they find that this act was not intentional, but still found me guilty. Resulting in the punishment of $10 taken out of my account (money that my people send me, I only get $20 every other month), 45 days segregation time, loss of telephone privilege for 30 days, 10 days credit time less, 40 hours extra duty time, and one month limited draw (meaning that I can only spend $10 a week instead of 40). On top of all that I've been red-flagged to be placed on I-CON (intensive control) which is being placed in segregation for at least 6 months, because this is my second high level offense within the last 6 months. The first one was refusing to produce a urine sample for a drug test. I got that because I couldn't piss on demand.

I've shared this story with you comrades so that you can see for yourself just how easy it is for a female working in a prison to cause so much hardship for a prisoner. On the outside looking in you just see that I'll be doing a lot of months in segregation. You don't recognize what effect that has on me and my family. Because now that I'm in segregation visits are now behind the glass, meaning that I can't hug my sons, mother, and sisters if they choose to come see me shackled, handcuffed, and chained up behind a glass window. Now my people think that it's a waste of money to have to pay for write ups, using money that could've been well spent somewhere else; resulting in them not really wanting to send me money anymore. I also have another charge added onto my DOC record which will be looked at by a judge being that I'm trying to get back into court. Now the judge is going to see that I can't behave myself in prison, why should he really grant me a motion for appropriate relief if I'm unable to control myself in prison? That's what he's going to be thinking. Now my chances of getting a motion granted are even smaller.

These are just a few ways that my life and the lives of my family and loved ones are affected by a female coming to work emotionally distressed. Nothing I can do about it either. That's the sad part. All I can do is live my life one day at a time with hopes that I'll be released from captivity earlier than the 2020 release date set for me.

Throughout my entire life women played a significant role in how things went for me, some good, some bad. It just goes to show that that saying is true, "women, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em."

MIM(Prisons) responds: First we want to dispel some mistaken ideas about what sexism is. This prisoner suggests that because he loves women he is not sexist. But sexism has nothing to do with what one likes or loves. Sexism is the systematic view that women are in some way inferior to men. And in the case of this prisoner, his characterization of women as "very emotional beings" is actually a good example of sexist views. We're not trying to say this prisoner is unusual in his sexism. In fact, right now we all live under a patriarchal system that teaches us sexist views from birth, and that's not something we can just wish away. It's more important that we work on fighting systematic oppression than attempting to change an individual's well ingrained attitudes and views. But we mention this here because it is important for everyone to see how their views run counter to the goals of our overall struggle against all forms of oppression.

We do not doubt the truth of this story about the female officer mistreating the writer. But there is nothing in the incident that suggests that female officers are more dangerous or emotional than male officers. The pages of Under Lock and Key are filled with accounts of male officers taking advantage of prisoners' (both male and female) position of powerlessness to abuse them, file false accusations, and even take sexual favors. Male officers can be just as emotional and illogical as female officers - in both cases this is more about abusing power than some inherent irrational nature. Giving people positions of power in the Amerikan criminal injustice system encourages this sort of behavior.

What is interesting about this prisoner's story is the demonstration of a womyn exercising gender power over a man. This is not because this womyn was irrational and emotional, but instead because of the systematic position of powerlessness faced by (mostly male) prisoners in Amerika, and the relative power enjoyed by the guards (both male and female). Behind the bars men as a group end up gender oppressed, but on the streets they enjoy gender power over wimmin. The common theme of gender in the issue of Under Lock and Key that this prisoner read was meant to demonstrate this and put gender oppression in the context of the Amerikan criminal injustice system.

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[Spanish] [Gender] [Washington]
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Prop 8 - Matrimonio Homosexual, Opresión de Sexo, y Confusión Política

Por MIM, Noviembre 2008.

Para los comunistas, no hay que pensar en el asunto de matrimonios homosexuales porque es algo sencillo, pero en realidad no es tan útil. Oponerse a la opressión quiere decir que nosotros nos oponemos a restringer matrimonios y derechos que van juntos con ciertos grupos de gente. Pero no es
un asunto en que nosotros los comunistas nos enfocaremos y organizaremos alrededor como una reforma para los pequeños borgueses. Sin embargo, nosotros
quermos hablarles a la gente sobre esta lucha porque los movimientos
en favor de los derechos homosexuales no están eficazmente atacando
la opresión de sexo, mientras que los más oprimidos en gran parte
se han opuesto al movimiento, frecuentemente por las razones
emocionales. Una discusión es útil para ganar esos radicales quienes
están envueltos en los movimientos de derechos homosexuales por las
razones correctas, mientras desalentamos reacciones incorrectas por
los oprimidos.

La proposición 8, la papel de la iniciativa en California que ha
enmendado la constitución del estado para prohibir matrimonios del
mismo sexo, es una iniciativa fundamentalmente reaccionaria que
quita derechos de un grupo de gente basado en sexo. Mientras que
claramente podemos decir que proposición 8 es erronea, nosotros no
gastamos tiempo haciendo campaña en contra porque nuestros
prioridades ahora son pelear por los derechos de los oprimidos, y
como grupo en general no consideramos a los Estadounidenses raros como
parte del mundo oprimido, y la campaña en contra de la proposición
8 fue demasiado enfocada en lo que es necesario para unir una
mayoria ciudadanos Estadounidenses contra esta proposición, ellos
evadieron una educación sobre opresión de sexo (porque eso era
necesario para ganar lo más posible de los Estadounidenses). Estamos
contentos de mirar bastante gente sin una experienca política
previa saliendo a las calles y las iglesias para protestar el paso
de proposición 8, como también es bueno tener gente envuelta en
acciones políticas, denunciando educación religiosa contra y
influencia religiosa en política, proposición 8 ha destado
sirviendo un buen propósito educacional para el público.

MIM ha hablado por largo tiempo sobre la sexualidad como una parte
del sexo, y opresión de sexo. Pero también tenemos claro que en los
paises imperialistas, los ciudadanos gozan privilegios de sexo
relativos con el resto del mundo. Esto es en parte porque el sexo
está tan amarrado con los privilegios de nación y clase, y en parte
porque la difícil posición de opresión que concede mujeres y
hombres del primer mundo cosas como acceso ha anticonceptivo
probados en mujeres y hombres del Tercer Mundo, entre otros
privilegios. Además, matrimonios no son un asunto de vida o muerte
para la mayoría de la gente. La excepción es para los imigrantes
buscando residencia legal en los Estados Unidos, ironicamente uno
de dos derechos asociados solamente con matrimonios que el estado
sancionó uniones civiles no pueden ofrecer (el otro es la capacidad
de meter impuestas federales juntamente) ya que el matrimonio no
es una pregunta de economía y sobrevivencia para la mayoría de la
gente, esto tiene más que ver en revolver derechos dentro de la
aristocracia laboral y pequeños burgueses.

La atención que la proposición 8 ha recibido por todo el más
comparada con otras proposiciones es distinguido. Mientras los
derechos de matrimonio no son un asunto de vida o muerte, o al
menos una calidad significante en pregunta de vida para la mayoría
de la gente, estaban dos iniciativas de voto en California
relacionado con las prisiones que son bueno mas inmediato para la
libertad y derechos de los oprimidos en el estado. Proposición 5
hubiera proviedo, ampliado y mejorado tratamiento de drogas para la
gente condenada por ofensas de drogas, reduciendo la populación en
prison y ayudando gente con problemas de drogas.

No pasó abrumadamente. Esta proposición era demostrablemente más
barata y más saludable para la gente que la prision, pero no ha
existido protesta pública contra su cuida. A la inversa,
proposición 9 paso, quitandole a los prisioneros el derecho de
opciones sobre libertad condicional y reduciendo las
oportunidades para una salida temprana. Otra vez, una proposición
muy cara para el estado, y demonstrablemente mala para la gente
porque terminos de prisión más largo no resulta en mejores
ciudadanos en las calles.

Las iniciaticas de prisión tienen un impacto nacional de opresión
mientras que la prohibición y opresión de matrimonio impacta el sexo.
Es importante que no ignoremos opresión de sexo cuando nos
enfocamos en opresión nacional. Pero nosotros necesitamos reconocer que la opresión nacional es la contradicción principal en
los Estados Unidos, y los efectos de esta opresión son mucha más
urgente que los matrimonios. Ellos se relacionan con la vida,
educación, y libertad fundamental porque más y más Africanos y
Latinos están encerrados en prision.

Nuestra crítica de la campaña de proposición 8 regresa a su meta. Ahora
mismo la mayoría de estadounidenses se oponen a los matrimonios
homosexuales. Entonces cuando enfocarnos en esta reforma dentro del
sistema imperialista, resulta que la gente tiene que complacer para evitar discusiones de verdaderos asuntos sobre opresión de sexo o haciendo cualquier conexión a la opresión nacional. Una compaña que provee la gente con más correcta y usable material educacional huberia sido un uso progresivo y más útil al contrario a los millones de dolares ya gastados en esta campaña.

Religión es contra ciencia.

Proposición 8 nos da una oportunidad para señalar claramente que no
es bueno todo el tiempo en el lado de la mayoría. Como en el
caso de los intereses económicos de los ciudadanos Estadounidenses,
en el presente los intereses de sexo de ciudadanos Estadounidenses
relacionado con el matrimonio homosexuales son reaccionarias para
la mayoría. Por cierto, California es exceptionalmente progresiva
en este asunto, prácticamente cada otro estado con excepción de
Massachusetts hubiese pasado esta inciativa de voto sin
complicación, y otros estados pasaron aún mas prohibiciones
restrictivas sobre gente homosexual sin reacción pública ahora
siendo vista en California. Esto quiere decir que por el momento no
tenemos la mayoría en el lado de la pregunta. Sobre un asunto como
este que es sobre derechos entre los pequeños-burgueses nosotros
creemos que en el plazo largo se resolvera correctamente. Pero
este asunto claramente se muestra algunos problemas la educación
política bajo el imperialismo. Notablemente más el papel jugado por
la religión es promoger misticísmo y está en contra la ciencia.

La religión juega un papel grande porque a los estadunidenses les
importa tanto el tema de matrimonios homosexuales. La iglesia mormona
convenció a sus feligreses de donar millones de dolares a la campaña
de proposición 8. Otras iglesias se juntaron a la alianza por la
proposición 8 y también trabajaron duro para que pasara. Es la
irracionalidad de la religion la cual empuja posiciones políticas
ridículas como enseñar creacionismo en las escuelas, condenando
gente homosexual al infierno y negandoles la oportunidad de casarse, y
continuando la afirmación sobre la supremacia de la raza blanca,
hombres, y casi cualquier religion excepto el Islam.

Nadie verdaderamente puede articular una buena razón porque
el matrimonio debe ser reservado solo para cierta gente. Algunas
personas religiosas tratan de juntarlo con la procreación, pero si
eso fuese verdaderamente el caso entonces deberíamos tener pruebas
de fertilidad antes permitir que cualquiera se case, y tal vez
deberíamos requerirles que se divorcien si no producen niños.
También deberíamos tener que negarles a los padres adoptivos acceso
a matrimonio, aunque sean derechos. Algunos fanáticos religiosos
afirman que la gente homosexual estarán amenazando sus
matrimonios, aunque nadie parece disponible de ubrallar hacia algún
desastre por familias derechas en Massachusetts donde compañeros
homosexuales han estado casados por algunos años ahora.
Fundamentalmente, este debate sobre matrimonios tiene que ver con los
sentimientos religiosos de la gente. Pero los sentimientos no
deben ser parte de la politica.

Son los sentimientos subjetivos de uno que llevan al homosexual
estadounidense a mirar proposición 8 como el asunto más
importante. Al poner esto como su prioridad principal, ellos están
diciendo que están decididos a hacer lo que sea para ganar, como
gusta ir a guerra con paises tercermundistas, y desafortunadamente,
lo que es esencialmente una batalla por la igualdad, fácilmente se
desliza entre un pleito en contra del oprimido porque en el
contexto en donde la batalla continua. Mientras que los derechos de
la mujer han sido mucho más comunes de los movimientos contra-
Islamica, existen bastantes ejemplos de extremos pro-homosexuales,
pro-imperialista invasión o propaganda.

La iglesia mormona está deteniendo el progreso con su misticismo,
las Talibanes están cortando pesadamente al imperialismo con sus
propios y la diferencia es nacionalidad. La verdad, es un
acercamiento cientifico de organizamiento y estrategía militar lo
que está detrás del éxito de los Talibanes, pero el misticismo todavía
está porque, y la aristocracia de sexo ha estado atacandole por una
década. Es por esto que llamamos al movimiento homosexual de
derechos de agarrar el materialmismo dialectivo, antes de hacer más
para movilizar la ya funatica contra-Islamica movimiento en este
país.

Como lo dijimos, la no-sobre proposición 8 movimiento no solamente
obtuvo la pregunta nacional mal, pero el ensució sobre sexo
también al complacer a la aristocracia paternalista de sexo. La
proposición 8 partidarios enseñaron bastantes anuncios de
televisión diciendo que, "los niños iban a ser enseñados sobre
matrimonios homosexuales en la escuela elementaria si los matrimonios
homosexuales no era prohibidos." Esta táctica de espanto
aparentemente trabajó como las encuestas lo demuestran la opinión
pública cambóo para soportar la proposición 8 después que los
anuncios de televisión empezaron a correr. En vez de contraatacar
esto con anuncios que niegan, los niños aprenderían sobre
matrimonios homosexuales como la no-sobre 8 campaña lo hizo,
nosotros diríamos qué no sería algo malo para los niños aprender
sobre matrimonios homosexuales en las escuelas al menos a la
extensión que ellos aprendan algo sobre matrimonio. No solamente el
movimiento en prop 8 sacrificaría las naciones oprimidas en
California o el medio Oriente pero ellos reforzan el sistema
tributario de opresión contra sus propios hijos en orden de ganar
este privilegio por una elite pequeña.

Estadisticas de la mayoría.

Otro importante aspecto de proposición 8 y las instituciones de
matrimonio es la posición del presidente electo Barack Obama y el
partido democrático. El debate vice-presidencial de Palin/Biden demostró
los dos cadidatos compartiendo unos momentos de unidad, el más
notable alrededor de sus compartida convicción que el matrimonio
solamente debe ser entre una mujer y un hombre. En realidad
políticos más jovenes como Barack Obama probablemente no le importa
sobre la definición de matrimonio, pero políticos del partido de la
principal corriente tienen que tomar posiciones en asuntos como
estos en donde la mayoría de Estadounidenses soportaran, y una
gran mayoría de Estadounidenses se oponen al matrimonio de
homosexuales.

Esto pone a menos soportadores de Obama en una posición difícil
cuando la campaña de proposición 8 empezó llamadas robóticas a los
votantes tocando una grabación de Obama diciendo que él cree que el
matrimonio solo debe ser entre una mujer y un hombre. Obama salió
en contra de proposición 8 al final, pero por razones técnicas, no
porque él soporta matrimonio de homosexuales. Todos esos demócraticas
de California quienes fueron por Obama claramente no votarán en contra
proposición 8.

Por cierto, resultados de encuestas y estudios sobre quien votó por
la proposición 8 muestra que algunos tradicionalmente progresivo
(lee: votantes democratas) partes de la ciudad de San Francisco
votó por proposición 8 mientras que algunas creen que son más
tradicionalmente conservadores (lee: votantes republicanos)
abrumadoramente opusieron proposición 8. Esto no debería ser una
sorpresa cuando nos damos cuenta que clase y nación son mucho más
importantes consideraciones en general en los puntos de vista
políticos de la gente bajo el imperialismo hoy. Gente blanca rica
no les molesta darles derechos de matrimonio a los homosexuales
ciudadanos estado nidenses, pero ellos no van a dejar salir esos
negros usadores de droga fuera de la prision. El otro lado de esto
es que naciones oprimidas por los estados unidos tienen les cuesta
mirar la importancia de oponerse a la proposición 8 y
generalmente votó en favor de la prohibición del matrimonio.

Mucha gente oprimida hasta toman un acercamiento reaccionario de
este asunto. Si la gente blanca rica está de acuerdo con esto, este
debe ser otro intento por ellos para corremper nuestros jovenes.
Esto negó el progresivo carácter de esta batalla en nuestro dado
contexto. Entonces, mientras debemos defender los derechos de
matrimonio para las homosexuales para contraatacar esta confusión
entre la gente oprimida. No es una campaña que hará algun golpe
serio contra la opresión en este momento.

Opresión de sexo es parte del imperialismo.

La lucha contra el imperialismo envuelve pelear contra clase, nación y
opresión de sexo. Tenemos que escoger nuestras batallas para obtener
el más grande impacto en terminar la opresión y evitar promover
nacionalismo blanco sin querer, o soportar causas solo porque
sueñan progresivas. En el caso de la proposición 8, es mejor tener igualidad
de sexo bajo el imperialismo el cual es generalmente una meta progresiva,
pero no es algo que nos pondrá más cerca a un final de todas las
clases, nación y opresión de sexo en este momento.

Cuando peleamos para reformas dentro del imperialismo, como la
batalla para terminar la censura de correo que mandamos a los
prisioneros, hacemos eso por dos razones. 1. Educación al exponer
las reglas reaccionarias del imperialismo, y 2. ganar algo de
espacio para los oprimidos para sobrevivir y organizar. Solamente
el derrocamiento del imperialismo y el establecimiento del
socialismo bajo la dictadura del proletariado nos moverá
significativamente hacia el final de clase, nación y opresión de
sexo.

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[Gender] [Southport Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 12]
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Gender Oppression and Health Care

I am the author of the article “Psycho-sexual Warfare vs. Political Prisoners” that appeared in Under Lock & Key (September 2008). There are a few issues that I forgot to include in that article that a lot of comrades could learn from. We all know that guards regularly pay for access to prisoners' sexuality in a variety of ways, but there is another “prison game” that goes on behind these walls involving the dehumanizing and exploitation of prisoners by the medical staff. Let me explain.

Here in the Southport Correctional Facility, which is the oldest SHU in the state of New York, the medical staff including nurses, provide medical treatment to prisoners based on non-medical factors like money, looks, favoritism and sexual favors. There is a group of nurses who only provide medical treatment and attention to their so-called “jailhouse husbands” which they select based on how much money the prisoner has, looks, and the willingness of the prisoner to comply with brainwashed behavior by providing sexual favors such as masturbating in front of the nurse, hand jobs and even to a lesser degree blow jobs.

This might sound minor and even funny to some people, but let me explain why this form of psycho-sexual warfare “game” might be the most serious of them all.

There is a group of about 10 nurses here in Southport, including nurse Jil Jilson and nurse Angela Gorg who actually go around this prison picking and choosing which inmates they want to exploit and receive sexual favors from, as if they are picking which slave to own, and whatever prisoner they decide to choose, will be the prisoner that they give top priority to when providing medical attention and treatment.

Now, sit back and think about this for a second. There are 800 prisoners in Southport, each of these 10 nurses have their own “jailhouse husband” who they give top priority to when deciding who to provide medical care to. That means only 10-15 prisoners out of 800 prisoners actually have their medical needs addressed on a daily basis. All of these nurses work closely with guards and top ranking officers to gain access to prisoners who meet the sexual, exploitation and brainwashing objectives.

This also means that over 90% of prisoners will have their serious medical needs go unaddressed for a long period of time because they don’t meet the “criteria” of these gender oppressors which also means that over 90% of these prisoners will have their medical conditions worsen over time and some even suffering permanent injuries due to the deliberate indifference of these nurses which is supported by top ranking prison officials and medical staff.

This is a deadly game that is played in most prisons and is another form of exploitation, manipulation and coercion that these gender oppressors use to further degrade prisoners and reinforce their which supremacist ideas.

I currently have a federal lawsuit pending against top-ranking staff in the Southport medical and dental department, which I hope will fully expose these type of psycho-sexual warfare/gender oppression games.

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[Gender] [George-Greene Regional Correctional Facility] [Mississippi]
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Gender Responses to ULK 6

Recently I received the ULK No. 6, January 2009. This issue had many items of interest that are very familiar to me. First, I would like to speak towards the gender oppression situation. This is a sad fact both in prison and outside of it. I am a 53 year old male in Greene County Correctional Facility which is a state prison aka South MS Correctional Institute. In this gulag the majority of our warders are female. The reason for this is given as men are apt to have a criminal background or a poor credit rating, possibly both. Poor credit supposedly makes the males more apt to take bribes. Hence, a great security risk.

In this prison the female wardens observe all of the bodily functions from showers, to excretion of bodily wastes. During shakedowns they observe our being strip searched by male warders. Placement in the holding tanks for minor infractions, one is usually stripped down before being locked inside the cage. Females wander by and eyeball the prisoner while making derogatory remarks. At times while exiting our dining hall I have seen females strip males in the open, in front of the entire population, supposedly looking for smuggled food. This is contemptible.

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[Gender] [ULK Issue 6]
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ULK6 Intro: The Gender Issue

This issue of Under Lock and Key focuses on the topic of gender. Usually when people think about gender oppression they think in the black and white terms of wimmin being oppressed and men being in power. But the reality is a lot more complex. For instance, in prisons, which overwhelmingly house men, gender oppression takes on a special form where men experience gender oppression regularly at the hands of male and female guards and at the hands of other prisoners.

Gender oppression is one component of imperialism, and it is a particularly difficult topic for those living in the First World where the majority enjoy gender privilege but also experience gender oppression. Overall MIM(Prisons) sees First World wimmin and men as mainly oppressors, not oppressed, when it comes to gender. Globally we find gender privilege in the Amerikan men who buy wives/prostitutes in other countries. This leisure time privilege is connected to economics, with men’s greater access to jobs and positions of power around the world. With First World wimmin we see gender privilege in the form of contraceptive testing on Third World wimmin and nannies who allow First World wimmin to raise healthy children while experiencing great leisure time. In addition, gender and economics intersect creating the ho relationship where First World wimmin benefit from their access to rich men thanks to closed borders. Pornography that elevates the white womyn also allows, what we call the “gender aristocracy,” to benefit from leisure time financially through the entertainment industry. While it’s clear that First World men have more gender privilege and power than First World wimmin, overall both are oppressors on a global scale relative to Third World men and wimmin. As a group, the First World of all genders are more united than ever in their exploitation of the rest of the world.

Yet, even within the U.$., there are groups that fall closer to the gender oppressed including those without citizenship, children and prisoners. In prisons, guards use their power to gain sexual access to prisoners (both male and female). And among prisoners there are some, generally sanctioned by the guards, who also enjoy sexual access to other prisoners. This sex between prisoners comes with a significant power differential because of the nature of imprisonment. That’s not to say that sex outside of prison is free of power. MIM(Prisons) upholds the MIM position that no sex under the patriarchy can be fully consensual as long as there are power differentials between people. In other words, all sex is rape under patriarchy. There may be different types of coercion - the overt physical overpowering of someone is a very different kind of rape than the couple who both want to have sex. However, we can not downplay the importance of things like money, looks, education, political power, and other things which lead someone to “consent” to sex. Desire is fucked up under capitalism and we can’t pretend things are equal when they are not.

An article in Under Lock and Key #1 took an in depth look at gender and rape in prisons:
“To help sort out the gender status of biomale prisoners, a recent Department of Justice report gives us the surprising statistics that, “In State and Federal prisons, 65% of inmate victims of staff sexual misconduct and harassment were male, while 58% of staff perpetrators were female”. (Here we are discussing the 52% of reported sexual violence in prisons where the captor assaulted captive. The rest were inmate-on-inmate assaults, addressed more below.) (1) In the general population 97% of sexual violence reports are wimmin victims and the perpetrator is generally male (around 98%). The instance of female perpetrators is actually a higher rate in instances of assaults on males, estimated at around 14%. (2) Much higher than female assaults on wimmin, but nowhere near the 58% of assaults on prisoners of any biology.

“With 93% of the u.$. prison population being male, we would expect a much higher percentage of assaults to be against males than females, even if rates of assault for wimmin was higher. But assuming 97% of victimization is of bio-wimmin as it is on the street, you’d only get 29% of the absolute number of assaults being against men in prison. So we’re seeing a ratio of male to female victims on the order of 2 times the general population. In other words, if wimmin are five times as likely to be assaulted in prison than they are on the street, then men are 10 times as likely.

“Unfortunately, the study does not breakdown the statistics of female on male vs. female on female assaults. But even if we assume that all of the 35% of staff sexual assaults on wimmin in state and federal prisons are perpetrated by wimmin, that leaves another 23% of the perpetrators who are females attacking males (assuming one-to-one incidents, which was the vast majority). Even if you want to argue that no male guards ever sexually assault female prisoners, you see a significantly greater rate of bio-wimmin engaging in sexual violence against males in prison compared to the general population. Since female assaults on males in the general population are much higher than female assaults on females, we would be better off assuming the opposite. If we assume a proportional breakdown you’d be comparing 58% female perpetrators against bio-men in prison against the 14% on the street. If that weren’t bad enough, we must factor in that females are still only a minority of prison staff, accounting for 22% in the federal system. (3) So that 58% of assailants is coming from maybe a quarter of the staff that happen to be bio-wimmin. These are the statistics that back up our line on Lynndie England that it could have been any amerikkkan womyn sexually assaulting Iraqi bio-men. And if we acknowledge that Iraqis under occupation are much more powerless and oppressed than amerikan citizens, then these statistics speak even louder to say that amerikan bio-wimmin are the enemies of the oppressed.”

Just as the labor aristocracy usually outdoes the imperialists in its racist oppression, here we see an extreme example of the gender aristocracy outdoing men in gender oppression.

While discussing how to define gender that same article went on: “.....Prisoners (of both genders) and youth (of both genders) are reporting more sexual assaults than wimmin over all. If being young or incarcerated is really twice as risky as having female genitalia as the report rates suggest, then not only are there other considerations to determine someone’s gender status, but there are factors that are much more important than what genitalia a persyn is born with. Below we will see how age and incarceration intersect to create one of the most gender oppressed groups in the united $tates.

“MIM has established the basis for gender as purely gender in a persyn’s physical development, age and health status. Therefore, when nation and class are not major complicating factors, such as within the amerikan labor aristocracy, these are the basis for gender differences.

“However, the greatest differences in gender are found between the imperialist nations and the Third World people. Therefore when we talk about the spectrum of gender oppression we place most First Worlders on the male end of the spectrum, regardless of biology. We have demonstrated how First World bio-wimmin benefit by the patriarchy elsewhere. (4) The picture of bio-wimmin as sexual assailants in prisons above only adds to this argument....”

The fight against gender oppression must be waged directly in a battle against sexual assault and psycho-sexual warfare, and also as a part of the larger fight against imperialism because the patriarchy is intimately tied up with the capitalist system. In this issue we have an article about pornography in prison and why we oppose its censorship but at the same time we also oppose pornography in general. We take a global view comparing what some called the “feminism” of Sarah Palin with the real world slaughter of children in Gaza this month. We also have several responses to an article on psycho-sexual warfare in prisons that was printed in ULK4. That article inspired a lot of prisoners to write in about their experiences with the various ways that sex is used as an oppressive tool in the context of the prison system: guards paying for access to prisoners sexuality in various ways, guards manipulating prisoners by offering sex, guards using sex to pit prisoners against each other, and guards just using sex to straight up harass prisoners. Some of those stories appear in this issue.

The lumpen get a bad rap when it comes to gender for not fitting into pc-white cultural norms, which is exacerbated by white-owned entertainment companies that make their money selling images of the oppressed nations that exaggerate the negative to white consumers. The experiences of gender oppression faced by millions of oppressed nation men are an educational opportunity that we see far more potential in than a college course in so-called feminism or a “Take back the Night” rally. We welcome further responses and analysis on this topic and encourage our comrades who want to study this issue in depth to get a copy of the MIM Theory 2/3 on Gender and Revolutionary Feminism.

Notes:
(1) U.S. Department of Justice. Sexual Violence Reported by Correctional Authorities, 2006. August 2007. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/svrca06.htm
(2) Whealin Ph.D., Julia M. National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Fact Sheet: Men and Sexual Trauma. http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain/ncdocs/fact_shts/fs_male_sexual_assault.html?opm=1&rr=rr88&srt=d&echorr=true
(3) http://www.bop.gov/news/quick.jsp
(4) How does the gender aristocracy benefit? http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/gender/garistocracybenefits.html

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[Gender] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 6]
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Sexual harassment at women's prison in Missouri

I am writing you to report a misuse of power within the walls of the DOC. A tragedy between a woman of power and a woman without power.

I'm being held captive for 20 years at 85% in an institution where our biggest fear of sexual harassment not only lies at the feet of the male officers but also at the feet of a female officer. I'll admit we've had a few male officers disappear in my time due to sexual harassment, but nothing has ever been done to right the wrongs of this particular officer I'm speaking of, for fear of being locked in the hole for a long period of time for a formal investigation. Therefore no one has ever filed suit against her for her actions.

I recall my friend being searched one night after leaving the chow hall. No big deal except this officer ran her hands across my friend's very petite breasts. My friend told the officer what she had done and the officer laughed and said "you don't have any to touch."

Later that same evening, the officer caught my friend in the bathroom and used the fact that my friend was on room restriction for an excuse to make my friend strip out. The officer didn't follow the normal procedure and make my friend cough and squat. She just wanted to see her breasts. The officer has my friend grab her own nipples while the officer placed her hands over my friends hands to lift her breasts up, supposedly searching her for a cigarette or lighter. The whole ordeal was demeaning.

We brought the situation to the attention of the Sgt who was on duty and we were told that if we wanted to file charges against the officer she was going to file charges against my friend for assault because when my friend reenacted what had happened for the Sgt, my friend touched the Sgt's hand in the process, therefore end of story.

Both officers still work here and misuse their power. Someone has to do something or I fear it will never stop. I myself am risking hole time just by writing this letter to you but my outrage concerning this matter outweighs my fear of the hole so let my story be known.

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[Gender] [ULK Issue 6]
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Prop 8 - gay marriage, gender oppression and political confusion

For communists, the gay marriage issue is a no brainer, but not really useful. Opposing oppression means we oppose restricting marriage and the rights that go along with it to certain groups of people. But it's not an issue communists will focus on to organize around as a reform for the petit-bourgeoisie. However, we do want to talk to people about this struggle because the pro-gay rights movement is not effectively attacking gender oppression, while the most oppressed have largely opposed the movement, often for the wrong reasons. A discussion is useful to win over those radicals who are in the gay-rights movement for the right reasons, while discouraging incorrect reactions by the oppressed.

Proposition 8, the ballot initiative in California that amended the state constitution to ban same sex marriage this year, is a fundamentally reactionary initiative that takes away rights from a group of people based on gender. While we can clearly say that Prop 8 is wrong, we did not spend time campaigning against it because our priorities right now are around fighting for rights for the oppressed, and as a group overall we do not count queer Amerikans as part of the world's oppressed. And the campaign against Prop 8 was so focused on what is necessary to rally a majority of Amerikan citizens against this proposition, they avoided useful education about gender oppression (because that is what was necessary to win over as many Amerikans as possible). We are pleased to see so many people without much previous political experience taking to the streets and the churches to protest passage of Proposition 8, as it is good to have people getting involved in political actions, speaking out against mis-education, and learning from this activism. As an exposure of religious anti-science and religious influence on politics, Prop 8 has been serving a good educational purpose for the public.

MIM has long talked about sexuality as a part of gender, and oppression against people based on sexual orientation as a part of gender oppression. But we are also clear that in imperialist countries, citizens enjoy gender privilege relative to the rest of the world. This is partly because gender is so tied up with class and nation privilege, and partly because of the gender strand of oppression that grants First World men and wimmin things like access to contraceptive devices tested on Third World men and wimmin, among other privileges. Further, marriage is not a matter of life or death for most people. The exception is for immigrants seeking legal residence in the U.$., ironically the one of only two rights associated with marriage that state-sanctioned civil unions can not offer (the other is the ability to file federal taxes jointly). Since marriage is not a question of economics or survival for most people, this is more about shuffling around rights within the labor aristocracy and petit-bourgeoisie.

The attention that Proposition 8 has received across the country relative to other propositions is telling. While marriage rights are not a matter of life and death, or even a significant quality of life question for most people, there were two ballot initiatives in California related to prisons that are far more immediate to the freedom and rights of the oppressed in the state. Proposition 5 would have provided expanded and improved drug treatment for people convicted of drug offenses, reducing the prison population and helping people with drug problems. It failed overwhelmingly. This proposition was demonstrably cheaper and healthier for people than prisons. But there has been no public outcry against its failure. Conversely, Proposition 9 passed, taking away prisoners rights to parole hearings and decreasing opportunities for early release. Again, an expensive proposition for the state, and demonstrably bad for the people as longer prison terms do not result in better citizens on the streets.

The prison initiatives have an impact on national oppression while the marriage ban impacts gender. It is important that we not ignore gender oppression when focusing on national oppression. But we do need to recognize that national oppression is the principal contradiction in the U.$. And the effects of this oppression are much more pressing than marriage. They relate to family livelihood, education, and fundamental freedom as more and more Blacks and Latinos are locked up in prison.

Our criticism of the No-on-8 campaign comes back to their goal. Right now the vast majority of Amerikans oppose gay marriage. So by focusing on this one reform within the imperialist system, the No-on-8 people had to pander to this majority by avoiding discussion of real issues of gender oppression or making any connections to national oppression. A campaign that provided people with more correct and useful educational material might have had an even lesser chance of winning, but at least it would have been a progressive use of the millions of dollars spent on this campaign.

Religion is anti-science

Prop 8 does give us the opportunity to point out clearly why it is not always good to be on the side of the majority. As with the case of the economic interests of Amerikan citizens, currently the gender interests of Amerikan citizens related to gay marriage are reactionary for the majority. In fact, California is unusually progressive on this issue - virtually every other state except Massachusetts would have passed this ballot initiative without a fight. And other states did pass even more restrictive bans on gay people without the public backlash now being seen in California. This means that we don't currently have the majority on the right side of this question. For an issue like this that is about rights within the petit-bourgeoisie we expect that in the long term it will be resolved correctly. But this issue does clearly demonstrate some problems with political education under imperialism, most notably the role played by religion in promoting mysticism and anti-science.

Religion plays a big role in why Amerikans care so much about gay marriage. The Mormon church convinced its members to donate millions of dollars to the campaign for Prop 8. Other churches joined the alliance for Prop 8 and also worked hard to get it passed. It is the irrationality of religion that pushes ridiculous political positions like teaching creationism in schools, condemning gay people to hell and denying them the ability to get married, and continuing assertions about the supremacy of white people, men, and just about any religion but Islam.

No one can really articulate a good reason why marriage should be reserved for only certain people. Some religious people try to tie it to procreation, but if that were really the case then we should have tests for fertility before allowing anyone to get married, and perhaps should require couples to get divorced if they don't produce children. We'd also have to deny adoptive parents access to marriage, even if they are straight. Some religious zealots claim that gay marriage will threaten their marriage, though no one seems to be able to point to any disasters for straight families in Massachusetts where gay couples have been marrying for a few years now. Fundamentally this debate about marriage is about religious people's feelings. They don't feel comfortable with gay marriage and they feel it would denigrate their marriage. Hopefully all those No-on-8 activists are seeing clearly why feelings should not be a part of politics.

It is one's subjective feelings that lead a gay amerikan to see Prop 8 as the most important issue. By putting this as their top priority, they are saying they are willing to do what it takes to win, like even go to war with a Third World country. And unfortunately, what is essentially a fight for equality, easily slides into a fight against the oppressed because of the context in which the battle is going on. While wimmins' rights has been a much more common cry of the anti-Islam movement, there are many examples of rabid pro-gay, pro-imperialist invasion propaganda.

The Mormon church is holding back progress with their mysticism, the Taliban is hacking away at imperialism with theirs and the difference is nationality. Really it is a scientific approach to organizing and military strategy that is behind the Taliban's success, but the mysticism is still there, and the gender aristocracy has been attacking it for a decade. This is why we call on the gay rights movement to take up dialectical materialism, before they do more to mobilize the already rabid anti-Islam movement in this country.

As we stated, the no-on-prop 8 movement not only got the national question wrong, but they messed up on gender too by pandering to gender aristocracy paternalism. The Prop 8 supporters ran a lot of TV ads claiming that kids were going to be taught about gay marriage in elementary school if gay marriage was not banned. This scare tactic apparently worked as polls showed public opinion shifted to support Prop 8 after the TV ads started running. Rather than counter this with ads that deny children will learn about gay marriage as the No-on-8 campaign did, we would say that it would not be a bad thing for kids to learn about gay marriage in school at least to the extent that they learn anything about marriage. Not only will the no-on-prop 8 movement sacrifice the oppressed nations in California or the Middle East, but they bolster the patriarchal systems of oppression against their own children in order to win this privilege for a small elite group.

Demographics of the majority

Another important aspect of Prop 8 and the institution of marriage is the position of President-elect Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. The Palin/Biden Vice Presidential debate saw the two candidates sharing a few moments of unity, the most notable around their shared conviction that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. In reality younger politicians like Barack Obama probably don't care about the definition of marriage, but mainstream political parties have to take positions on issues like this that a majority of Amerikans will support. And a vast majority of Amerikans oppose gay marriage.

This put a lot of Obama supporters in an awkward position when the Prop 8 campaign started robo-calling voters playing a recording of Obama stating that he believes marriage should be only between a man and a woman. Obama did come out against Prop 8 in the end, but for technical reasons, not because he supports gay marriage. All those California democrats who went for Obama clearly did not vote against Prop 8.

In fact exit poll results and studies on who voted for Proposition 8 show that some traditionally "progressive" (read: voting democrat) parts of the city of San Francisco voted for Prop 8 while some areas that are more traditionally "conservative" (read: voting republican) overwhelmingly opposed Prop 8. This should be no surprise when we realize that class and nation are far more important considerations in general in people's political views under imperialism today. Wealthy white people don't mind giving marriage rights to gay Amerikan citizens, but they are not going to let those Black drug users out of prison. The flip side of this is that oppressed nations in Amerika had a hard time seeing the importance of opposing Prop 8 and generally voted in favor of the marriage ban.

Many oppressed people even take a reactionary approach to the issue. "If rich white people are cool with this, it must just be another attempt by them to corrupt our youth." This negates the progressive character of this battle in our given context. So, while we must defend the right to marry for gays to counter this confusion among the oppressed, it is not a campaign that will make any serious blows against oppression at this time.

Gender oppression is part of imperialism

The anti-imperialist struggle involves fighting against class, nation and gender oppression. We have to pick our battles to have the greatest impact on ending oppression and avoid inadvertently promoting white nationalism or supporting causes just because they sound progressive. In the case of Proposition 8, greater gender equality under imperialism is generally a progressive goal. But it is not something that will get us closer to an end to all class, nation and gender oppression at this time.

When we fight for reforms within imperialism, like the battle to end censorship of mail we send to prisoners, we do so for two reasons: 1. Education by exposing the reactionary policies of the imperialists, and 2. gaining some room for the oppressed to survive and/or organize. Only the overthrow of imperialism and establishment of socialism under a dictatorship of the proletariat will move us significantly towards the end of class, nation and gender oppression.

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[Gender] [ULK Issue 6]
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Pornography and censorship

In general pornography is censored in prison as a means of exercising control over prisoners for no purpose other than the exercise of power. Porn certainly doesn’t lead to any security problems in prisons nor does it threaten the power structure in any way. And we know that prison guards of both male and female sex use gender and sexuality to oppress prisoners. In response to our article in ULK 4 on this topic we’ve received overwhelming response from prisoners describing many cases of guards using sexuality to control prisoners. But this doesn’t mean that porn serves any progressive purpose for prisoners.

We oppose pornography because it is all about reinforcing gender oppression. Pornography is part of the capitalist romance culture which conditions people to have sick gender relations. From MIM Theory 2/3 Gender and Revolutionary Feminism, “One of the ways that the sexuality of male supremacy is institutionalized is through pornography. Robin Morgan has said, ‘Pornography is the theory, rape is the practice.’ Pornography is the media of sexual objectification and violence against women. Its message is ‘a lie about women, that we exist to pleasure and service men and that our deepest pleasure lies in enslavement and subordination…’”

Also from MT 2/3, “The supporters of the right to pornography are the advocates of the right to degrade women and sell them as such. In other words, pornography has no value if it shows women doing empowering, important, meaningful things. Its value is tied to portraying a bitch ready to be raped. MC0 suggests that those who uphold this 'right' are the same people that argue prison is humane and rehabilitation works.”

Even if pornography is censored in prison, pornography will still be present outside of prison, perpetuating and reinforcing the gender oppression in our society. MIM(Prisons) opposes porn in society at large, but right now we oppose censorship even more than we oppose porn. Neither pornography nor political literature should be allowed to be censored by the prison staff, who are employed as arms of the state. For this reason we are willing to ally with porn manufacturers against censorship in prison while holding that pornography should not be protected by the First Amendment under a Dictatorship of the Proletariat where speech is protected to serve the interests of the majority of the world’s people. We are fighting against censorship in prison, not in favor of ensuring access to pornography.

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