CeCe McDonald And Bei Bei Shuai
Posted by Jimi on June 6, 2012
Today I was presented with two very interesting examples of the War On Women. While they are very different examples I have chosen to discuss them both in one post merely to illustrate the blatant sexism being presented. Both CeCe McDonald and Bei Bei Shuai are victims of a system which has not evolved quickly enough to keep up with societal changes.
In the case of CeCe McDonald. from everything I am able to gather, this is a clear case of self-defense. She was accosted and attempted to run away and was pursued. It was only once her assailant caught up with her again, she took the scissors out of her purse and stabbed at him. There is no excuse for the actions of Dean Schmitz and while I am sorry he died as a result of these events, it was his own hatred and bigotry which resulted in his death. Not only did he initially confront CeCe, he then proceeded to chase her as she was running away. If anyone had any sort of intent or premeditation in this situation it was definitely Schmitz.
Now that McDonald has been imprisoned, in a male prison to boot, there is a petition and movement about to get her transferred to a woman’s facility–which by all means is far more appropriate for her in terms of comfort and safety. However, we are faced with a situation, as I stated before, where the system has not moved forward fast enough to adapt to the changed in society. While I agree she should be in a women’s facility, I can already see the major argument against it being the “real” women prisoners will not be comfortable having her there. However, as Daz over at The Dixie Flatline stated:
The way I see it, she’s legally female (may differ by country/state) and should be in a female prison. If other female prisoners feel uncomfortable about that, well they should maybe have considered such matters before choosing to perform actions which might land them in prison and in the company of people who make them feel uncomfortable.
Upon reflection I can see the merits of his argument indeed. CeCe has been living as a female, identifies as a female and should therefore be treated as one in all aspects of her life. Moreover, her chase needs to be revisited and retired. With such an obvious case of self-defense there was clearly some bias present on the side of the prosecution and the members of the jury.
The events of Bei Bei Shuai are quite different, however still an attack on a woman by a government system which created laws to protect women and are now using those same laws in order to put women in prison. For those not familiar, a quick summary of the events are that Bei Bei was pregnant and attempted suicide. Despite valorous efforts the child was lost and she is now serving time for the death of the baby. Now, I have signed the petition on Change.org to free her because due to the events that led to her suicide attempt she was clearly not in a mental state to be held accountable for her actions. Her boyfriend, and father of her child, dropped on her out of the blue he was married and left her to go be with his family. That is a very tough situation to suddenly be put into, trying to come to terms with the betrayal as well as the prospect of being a single mother.
Bei Bei was prosecuted under laws which promised to protect pregnant women who were assaulted and lost the fetus as a result. * These laws were very much needed, despite the seemingly conflicting nature of them. The women who were assaulted were not making the choice to terminate their pregnancy, this is where the difference lies for determination of whether or not the fetus is a living being/separate entity. Bei Bei should be freed from prison and allowed to seek out the mental care she needs to come to terms with everything which has transpired. This woman has already been through enough and should not have to spend the rest of her life in prison because some prosecutor decided he needed to pad him win column.
* I realize I am not terminology correct when it comes to describing what is inside a woman when she is pregnant and I make no apologies for it. I use the various terms interchangeably. I am very much pro-choice and fully support women who make the choice to have an abortion.
- Black Transgender Woman CeCe McDonald to be Housed in Male Prison – COLORLINES (colorlines.com)
- Woman sentenced to 41 months imprisonment in a men’s jail (thefword.org.uk)
- Leslie Feinberg Arrested In Solidarity With CeCe McDonald (bilerico.com)
- You: After Suicide Try Kills Fetus, Woman Faces Life in Prison (newser.com)
- Attacked For Being Themselves (thedailybeast.com)
- Bei Bei Shuai charged with murder of her foetus after a failed suicide attempt – video (guardian.co.uk)
- Indiana prosecuting Chinese woman for suicide attempt that killed her foetus (guardian.co.uk)
- black victim of hate crime faces murder trial for killing white supremacist in self-defense (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)
- Free CeCe, the girl who lived! (edinburghanarchists.noflag.org.uk)
- Bei Bei Shuai Released from Jail; Still Faces Trial for Baby’s Death Following Her Suicide Attempt While Pregnant (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- CeCe McDonald’s Right to Self-Defense (beaconbroadside.com)
- Woman who ate poison while pregnant loses appeal (sacbee.com)
- Some Confucian Compassion for Bei Bei Shuai, Please! (uselesstree.typepad.com)
- the women we leave behind (writingbetweenfriends.com)
- Ind. woman whose fetus died in suicide try freed (kansascity.com)