Tuesday, 15 August 2017

No Contest: David Sharples vs Tara Hudson.

Musclebound David Sharples, pictured right, smiling,  attacked someone, as did Tara Hudson, like Tara Hudson he caused actual bodily harm, like Tara Hudson he was convicted of assault, like Tara Hudson he had previous, like Tara Hudson he had an alcohol problem. Unlike Tara Hudson he also had a drug abuse problem. Unlike Tara Hudson he also attempted to strangle his victim, apparently his hands were round her neck after she came round after his punch had knocked her out. Unlike Tara Hudson he also used hateful transphobic language, calling her a "freak".

Unlike Tara Hudson he did not go to a men's prison.

So it looks as though you are more likely to go to prison if you are trans, for a much lesser crime, than if you are a cisgender, heterosexual man. I'm sure no-one is very surprised about that, especially BAME people. Or maybe it is because David Sharples' victim is trans, maybe she doesn't count as a "real" victim, because she is a trans woman, and therefore, as Jenni Murray, Germaine Greer and a host of other trans-hating TERFs tell us, not a "real" woman? Maybe trans people are not "really" human? Or maybe we are less human? Maybe calling a trans person a "freak" is not a hate-crime?

Maybe because the victim of Sharples' crime is trans and the fact that Tara Hudson is a trans woman, and her victim was a white male, made the difference...? 

The fact remains that Sharples' attack on Tamzin Yates was much more vicious than Hudson's attack on the barman who don't serve her. Sharples' attack was also aggravated by transphobic hatred, as far as I know Hudson's attack was not aggravated by androphobia. Sharples didn't just punch once, (Tara was jailed for one single headbutt) he punched his victim multiple times, constantly screamed abuse at her, and in addition to putting his hands round her neck he grabbed her by the hair and literally threw her out of the flat by it. Remember Sharples is a 6 feet tall bodybuilder, while Tara Hudson had been taking feminizing hormones for six years.

One of the reaons why the judge gave Sharples a suspended sentence was that he had, in the intervening time, "turned his life around", something that Tara Hudson had presumably not done. But let's pause here for a moment. How much easier is it for a cisgender heterosexual man to turn his life around than a trans woman? There is no equivalence here. Everything is easier for him, he moved away, started a new relationship, got a new job. That is far easier for him to do than for a trans woman. 

Once again the cishet male is in a more advantageous position compared with the trans woman; structural, cultural privilege makes it easier for him to provide the judge with evidence that he has changed, the social exclusion of trans women, on multiple different levels makes that sort of thing so much harder for us. 

The moral: Trans people are more likely to be assaulted, and less likely to have their attackers punished with a custodial sentence. Conversely trans people are more likely to be jailed for lesser crimes, and much less able to be able to demonstrate "turning their lives around" in between times. 

No wonder transphobic hate crime, and other crime against trans people is so massively underreported.

It is lose-lose for trans women, win-win for cis men.

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