How to Erase Male Violence: Lessons from Edna Mahan Women’s Facility
It was recently revealed that there are 27 convicted male transfers being housed in New Jersey’s only prison for women, Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women (EMCFW). Among them is a sadistic trans-identified male serving a 50-year sentence for the brutal murder of a sex trafficked immigrant woman.
Perry Cerf admitted to raping and killing Flor Andrade and was found driving her car and wearing her clothing. Cerf, who now is listed as a “female” and uses the name “Michelle Hel-Loki* Angelina,” told of drinking the woman’s blood “so I could allow this person to live vicariously through myself.” He was transferred to EMCFW despite a long history of violence against women.
*(In Norse mythology, ‘Hel’ is the name of the goddess of death; Loki is a cunning trickster with the ability to change his shape and sex.)
Additionally, two women inmates have become pregnant while in prison as a result of relations with Demitrius Minor, a man who began identifying as a woman called “Demi.”
Another man who has been transferred to EMCFW is Jimmy Brooks, a serial child sex abuser who is also listed as a “female” and whose record shows 10 counts of sexual assault against a victim under the age of 13.
Still another male transfer is Brandon Heaton, who is serving time for possession of child pornography. Once again, Heaton’s biological sex is listed as “female”, and like Brooks, Heaton has not even bothered to adopt a female name. Neither have two other transfers, Jeydon Lowe, and Zachery (Dewayne) Hoger.
Another transfer is Neil Labranche, who is serving a 30-year sentence for the fatal beating of a man with cerebral palsy and is now going by Nikita May Selket. Leslie Wilson, born Glen, gunned down two police officers in pursuit of a “bloody revolution” and is serving 30 years to life.
The policy allowing men to falsify their sex and be transferred into EMCFW was implemented in June 2021 following a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU of New Jersey sued the New Jersey Department of Corrections on behalf of a man who went by the pseudonym Sonia Doe in court documents. Doe, having been abused in a men’s correctional facility, won the right to be placed in EMCFW, effectively designating women as human shields for male violence.
Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women has a decades-long history of male staff beating and sexually abusing women inmates. A report released by the Department of Justice in April 2020 detailed shocking instances of violence by staff against women inmates in what was described as a “pattern” of abuse.
The DOJ report stated that the corrections department “fails to keep prisoners at Edna Mahan safe from sexual abuse by staff,” and Edna Mahan suffers from a ‘culture of acceptance’ of sexual abuse, which enabled abuse to persist “despite years of notice and efforts towards change at the state level.”
Abuses against women continued for decades and over 70 reports were lodged of staff-on-prisoner violations. For example, a 1999 lawsuit filed by two women suing the then-state corrections commissioner, superintendent and a corrections officer cited 10 incidents and stated that the Edna Mahan administration was aware of such occurrences since 1990.
The DoJ found that “Edna Mahan have been aware that their women prisoners face a substantial risk of serious harm from sexual abuse, and they have failed to remedy this constitutional violation.”
The abuse has been so severe that a man who self-declared a female gender identity was last year transferred out of EMCFW. Raequan “Rae” Rollins was one of several inmates assaulted by guards during a routine “cell extraction” conducted to search for contraband in January 2021.
The officers wore riot gear, carried pepper spray canisters and shields, and moved in formations from cell to cell. Inmates told local media they believed it was a coordinated attack.
One woman, Desiree Dasilva, was hospitalized with a broken orbital bone. Another woman described how she was punched in the head 28 times while pressed face-first against the wall. Inmate Ajila Nelson said a group of officers beat and punched her, stripped off her clothes, and one male officer grabbed her breast and put his “fingers into my vagina.”
Yet mainstream media outlets reported how “prison guards kicked and punched a transgender woman” while the history of male violence against women at Edna Mahan was often mentioned as ancillary to Rollins’ narrative.
Rollins, a man who declared a female identity, was transferred out of a violent prison system after one incident while women were systematically abused and ignored for decades. Rollins filed a lawsuit in March and swift action was taken. He was moved out of EMCFW and temporarily held in a men’s prison before being transferred to SCI Muncy, a women’s facility in Pennsylvania.
In response to the attack on Rollins, 31 guards were suspended within the month, including the prison’s top administrator, 22 correctional officers and nine supervisors, and a formal investigation was opened. NJ Spotlight News reported on reforms, including body cameras for prison staff, an overhaul of policies, and employee training sessions.
In women’s prisons across the United States, male prison staff rape and violate female inmates, whether through calculated strip searches or by targeting vulnerable women for pimping. According to a fact sheet from The Prison Policy Initiative, some 70% of guards in women’s federal facilities are male. Court records show correctional officials have “subjected female inmates to rape, other sexual assault, sexual extortion, and groping during body searches,” the non-profit asserts.
“Male correctional officials watch women undressing, in the shower or the toilet. Male correctional officials retaliate, often brutally, against female inmates who complain about sexual assault and harassment,” it added.
Moreover, a majority of women incarcerated in US jails and prisons are themselves survivors of sexual or physical trauma, or both. According to a 2016 report from the Vera Institute of Justice, 86% of incarcerated women have a history of abuse; 77% have a history of intimate partner violence; this, in turn, contributes to high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, leading women’s rights advocates to describe this phenomenon as a “sexual abuse-to-prison pipeline.”
Women in prison are among the most marginalized demographic in society, and placing them at further risk of violence from male inmates is such an outrageous injustice that on its face it resembles retaliation.
In a particularly cruel twist, Edna Mahan has silenced a discussion of male violence by adding more men to the mix, rather than addressing the conditions that placed women at risk. From one cohesive and demonstrable argument — namely, that men target vulnerable women and therefore single-sex spaces are necessary — the women’s movement finds itself forestalled by discussions of men’s safety and feelings.
This strategy fractures the focus on the institutionalized nature of male violence against women and reduces it to the level of individual subjectivity. It is this shift in perspective from women’s reality to a male-directed subjectivism that has allowed for this double-cross.
The focus of the conversation has shifted entirely, from the coordinated attacks on incarcerated women by men to the victimhood of men who claim a female identity. On their own authority alone, men are able to propel themselves to the category of the most marginalized, while women are saddled with providing endless data to support claims of systemic abuse at the hands of men.
“Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us,” wrote Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu in The Art of War. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
By dragging the definition of ‘woman’ into the realm of the abstract, gender identity ideology ultimately strives to steer women towards a dependence on male authority and away from centering their own lives and reality. When women are treated as a subjective experience, a metaphysical thought experiment, male dominance in the physical realm is not only blurred out of focus, but permitted to intensify.
In the gender identity philosophy, men are the most oppressed women, and women are not only privileged, but can become the oppressors of men — especially if they dare to center their own concerns or refuse to entertain men’s fantasies. Furthermore, many of the founding fathers of gender identity ideology were sexologists who championed male entitlement and argued that deviant and predatory male sexual behavior was unfairly maligned.
Those who are critical of gender identity ideology frequently lament that predators are taking advantage of a system otherwise designed to protect a vulnerable community.
But such a view is naive: the system is working exactly as it was intended. Gender identity erases male violence against women while simultaneously obfuscating the language necessary to address it. In its activism, the movement eradicates safeguarding boundaries and slanders as bigoted any who advocate measures to protect women and children from men.
The first violation of the gender identity con is that it supplants women’s reality with a male-directed subjectivism. This is not a knock-on effect, but rather a main tenet that has been present all along.