Of all the things that could be speculated upon concerning the Bradley Manning sentence, The Daily Beast thought it was pertinent enough to speculate on what will happen to Manning while in prison. In an article entitled “How Will Chelsea Manning Be Treated in Prison,” the author, Mansfield Frazier, speculates on how Manning, who recently identified himself as a woman, will fare in prison in regards to prison rape.
Frazier goes so far as to offer up certain sexual scenarios in which Manning could be engaged. He talks about how transgender males “marry” other, larger inmates which would “in all probability, be that big, dreaded prison dude known as ‘Bubba.’”
He talks about the possibility of prostitution, in which “Bubba would become a pimp, and both of them would be ‘prison rich,’” alluding to Manning becoming the prostitute “as the johns line up outside her cell.”
And the final, “highly unlikely,” scenario would be that Manning could undergo “sexual-reassignment surgery,” which would get Manning sent to a women’s facility.
The issue isn’t that Frazier makes the wrong calls or speculations, but rather, it’s that he makes these kinds of assertions, writes it, and gets it published by The Daily Beast. And shame on The Daily Beast for putting it out. The Manning trial is very serious piece of news with enormous amounts of political gravity. Articles like what Frazier has written demean Manning and the solid journalistic work he’s done into a spectacle, a circus act.
The piece and the subject matter, within the context it was written, is disgusting and outright disrespectful to a person who is considered a hero and patriot by many. The work isn’t compelling, and it doesn’t propel the substance of the Manning narrative.
The author of this article would like to indicate his awareness of the irony that by criticizing Frazier’s article, it only gives it more notice. But some things do need to be said.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.