the story i posted earlier today about bradley manning
his alleged transgender status
and how that may have figured into the ‘special’ treatment
he suffered had me outraged on so many levels.
first there was the outing of him by other than himself. a dangerous and irresponsible thing to do.
second, the intimation that being transgender had something
to do with his crises of conscience that led to his leaking
of materials to wikileaks.
third was the (i think likely) notion that he was
specifically entreated to ‘naked’ torture as means to
further denigrate him as a person, since, if bradley manning
is indeed transgender, his naked body on display as a taunt,
is infinitely more cruel.
where to begin?
being the mother of a transgender child, and friend to grown
women who also started life under the pronouncement “it’s a
boy” when the facts were otherwise, this story touched me
a person’s gender identity is their own to declare. no one
has the right to ‘out’ another person to a society which by
and large judges, deprives of basic rights or outright
attacks transgender folk. it is wrong to foist that sort of
danger upon another person.
the fact that his alleged gender identity issues were
‘leaked’ by someone other than himself to the media, altho
ironic given his status as a source of leaks, is none the
less an abombinable infringement upon his right to privacy.
his ‘secret’ didn’t seek to cover corrupt dealings of state
from which the whole of society might suffer consequence.
his privacy being in tact affected no one but himself.
then there was the intimation of his alleged gender issues
being the root of his crises of conscience. this implies
that he, being less of a ‘man’, simply couldn’t handle the
hard realities of war. the fact that women didn’t seem to
have such tender sensibilities, some of whom posed with
tortured men in abu ghraib prison, suggests that it wasn’t
his alleged ‘female’ identification, but rather a pathology
of disease from which he suffered, that led him to pull back
the curtain and reveal the true Oz.
pardon me! but if any human of ethics and morals sees
wrongdoing and looks the other way, this doesn’t make them
sane! altho in these times it might well be the norm.
finally, there’s the fact of his punishment before even
being tried, much less sentenced for a crime. isolation from
everyone but his tormentors for 23 of 24 hours of the day.
for many months! no guilty verdict, nor presenting of
evidence either against or for him. just punitive remand
into torturous custody. where it was suggested in the
article, his gender issues may have been known and used as a
means to further torment him.
my daughter is transgender.
she won’t take a bath without the tub full of bubbles.
she doesn’t like to think of the ‘boy parts’, much less have
to see them. when she first realised that she wouldn’t
simply outgrow them, she attempted to rid her body of them,
(thankfully i don’t keep sharp things in the reach of
it would be the worst kind of torture to her to be made to
stand naked before others. i can’t begin to imagine how hard
it would be if in addition to this she were being taunted,
derided and held against her will.
if bradley manning is questioning his gender, if he is gay
or even if he is a cis straight male, he has the right to be
tried for his alleged crimes, AND he has the right to be
treated with dignity even if found guilty of them.
the outrageous treatment he has suffered, whether
guilty or innocent, gay or straight, genderqueer or otherwise, is WRONG! and all the more so if done intentionally because of special knowledge about his inner circumstances.
and lest one think that his circumstance is only his, don’t imagine for a single moment that the same society that can do this to such a gentle soul as he wont do them to someone else.
i say to you, it happens once, the precedent is set …it will, if not stopped, happen again! maybe to you.
i say to you, we are all bradley manning!