Late Friday afternoon, Target apologized for pulling Abigail Shrier’s book, “Irreversible Damage: the Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” and said it has placed the book back in its online store.
After receiving a complaining tweet from just one person, Target removed a book — “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” by Wall Street Journal contributor Abigail Shrier — because it is spreading “transphobia.”
The back-and-forth between the critic, known only as @BlueIris04, and Target’s support account, @AskTarget, was screen-shotted before the complainant, whose Twitter name references “ACAB,” which stands for “All Cops Are B*******,” made his or her account private, TheBlaze reported.
“I think the trans community deserves a response from [Target] as to why they are selling this book about the ‘transgender epidemic sweeping the country,’” wrote the critic. “Trigger warning: Transphobia.”
Target replied: “Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We have removed this book from our assortment.”
A quick search on Target.com shows Shrier’s book has been removed.
The book, “Irreversible Damage,” was released in June. Conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro and Dennis Prager have interviewed Shrier about it. In addition, popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who recently signed an exclusive deal with the streaming service Spotify, has faced intense backlash for hosting Shrier on his show.
“Spotify has now held 10 meetings [with] employees to debate whether to pull the episode — about a book that presents the mainstream idea that all this gender transition for teens is too much, too fast with too little oversight,” Shrier said in late October.
In June, Faithwire reported on retail giant Amazon barring the publisher of Shrier’s book, Regnery Publishing, from purchasing ads to promote “Irreversible Damage” on the website.
Shrier has been repeatedly accused of “transphobia” by left-leaning LGBT activists. That, however, is not at all the author’s intention.
“I wrote specifically about the sudden, severe spike in transgender identification among adolescent girls,” she explained in a recent column for Quillette. “I fully support medical transition for mature adults. And I have no desire to be a provocateur. … Nor do I have any prurient interest in others’ social lives.”
What I aim to do, as a journalist, is to investigate cultural phenomena, and here was one worth investigating: Between 2016 and 2017, the number of females seeking gender surgery quadrupled in the United States. Thousands of teen girls across the Western world are not only self-diagnosing with a real days-horizon condition they likely do not have; in many cases, they are obtaining hormones and surgeries following the most cursory diagnostic processes. Schoolteachers, therapists, doctors, surgeons, and medical-accreditation organizations are all rubber-stamping these transitions, often out of fear that doing otherwise will be reported as a sign of “transphobia” — despite growing evidence that most young people who present as trans will eventually desist, and so these interventions will do more harm than good.
The notion that this sudden wave of transitioning among teens is a worrying, ideologically driven phenomenon is hardly a fringe view.
In October, Shrier spoke with podcast host Megyn Kelly about this phenomenon among adolescent girls.
Who is defending Shrier?
Several thought leaders have called out Target for its decision to pull Shrier’s book from its digital shelves.
“The efforts to smear my friend Abigail Shrier and to disappear her book (hi, Target) is despicable — and a sign of what’s to come,” wrote journalist Bari Weiss, known for her dogged coverage of free speech issues. “I regret that I didn’t speak up earlier on her behalf, that I also thought to myself: is this the hill I want to die on?”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch-American activist and feminist, also came to Shrier defense: “To my horror, I’ve learned that Abigail Shrier’s book has been removed from Target. I’ve read it. Every grown-up who is in a position of looking after teenage girls (parents, teachers, therapists, religious leaders, coaches, etc.) should read this book.”
Helen Joyce, a journalist who specializes in gender identity issues, called Target’s decision to pull Shrier’s book “outrageous.”
“A random Twitter user asked Target to stop carrying a book they found offensive, so, because everything is so normal and cool right now, Target went ahead and did so,” commented former New York Magazine writer Jesse Singal.
Chad Felix Greene, a gay conservative commentator who identifies as transgender, said he was “moved” by Shrier’s book, “Irreversible Damage,” because it “shares real stories from LGBT people, lots of transgender people like me.”
“Why would you remove her book, ‘Irreversible Damage?’” Greene asked. “Should I do all my shopping from Amazon now?”
As he pointed out, thanks to the backlash from Target’s decision, Shrier’s new book shot to the top-100 list on Amazon within just “a few hours.” Greene added: “When we stand up to the bullies and fight back together, things happen!”
Shrier, for her part, spoke out Thursday: “Does it bother anyone that woke activists and spineless corporations now determine what Americans are allowed to read?”