Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, will likely fare well in prison because “true rape” is mostly a myth, according to a column published by The Daily Beast on Thursday.
Manning was sentenced to 35 years for leaking U.S. secret documents on Wednesday. She is expected to serve her time at the Fort Leavenworth military base in Kansas.
In a column published by The Daily Beast on Thursday, author Mansfield Frazier said Manning was likely to be “treated quite well” based on his own experiences in prison. He said the popular image of widespread prison rape was untrue.
Though Frazier admitted federal reports showed more than a third of transgender former inmates were sexually assaulted in prison, he claimed this statistic wasn’t measuring incidents of “true rape.” Inmates who were closeted often falsely said they were raped to hide their sexuality, he claimed. Frazier said closeted homosexuals were “one reason for high recidivism rates.”
Indeed, the vast majority of experienced convicts know that “true” rape is not a common occurrence in prison. That doesn’t mean that homosexual sex doesn’t occur—it certainly does. But it’s really not that unusual for a new prisoner to show up on the compound and begin walking around the yard in pants far too tight. Before long they drop the soap in the shower, get a little close to another naked man, and then— simply because they’ve never been able to come to terms with their own sexuality—tell anyone who will listen (but, interestingly enough, they usually never complain to the guards) that they were “raped.” And a week or two later it could happen again, and then again.
Responding to a critical commenter, Frazier doubled-down on his claim that some men wanted to be raped. In the comments section, he wrote:
True rape against anyone is horrible, and I would never condone it. But, there are some guys in prison who set themselves up for “rape” again, and again, and again. All they have to do if they don’t want to participate in the sexual activity is to go into protective custody … but men many don’t. Why?
Nearly one in 10 prisoners report having been raped or sexually assaulted by other inmates, staff or both, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Inmates who identify as gay or bisexual are particularly vulnerable. More than one-third of gay and bisexual male inmates said that they were victimized in prison.
UPDATE: The column was later edited and the paragraph about “true rape” was removed.