Target has removed Abigail Shrier's timely and well-researched book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters from their selection after what appears to be a few complaints from transgender activists on twitter.
A twitter account with roughly 1,300 followers that uses an Antifa slogan, ACAB, in their handle, tweeted to Target, "I think the trans community deserves a response from @AskTarget @Target as to why they are selling this book about the "transgender epidemic sweeping the country" Trigger Warning: Transphobia"
Target responded saying, "Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We have removed this book from our assortment."
Shrier replied: "Target.com just made my book disappear. Does it bother anyone that Woke activists and spineless corporation now determine what Americans are allowed to read?"
Another account with around 2,600 followers tweeted, "In 2016, @Target, you released a statement affirming your support for transgender customers. @AskTarget why you're selling a book notorious for its harmful rhetoric against us? Historically, harmful products have been pulled from the shelf, and this should be, too."
Encouraged by their success and the immediate reaction by Target, dozens of fellow activists celebrated in the tweet threads, while the ACAB account protected their tweets.
Shrier's book, Irreversible Damage, has a nearly 5-star rating on Amazon with 82 percent positive reviews and is number 1 in LGBT demographic studies as well as a best seller in several other categories. I read this book and walked away feeling informed, frustrated and deeply moved.
Shrier interviewed people from all across the spectrum, from parents of trans teenagers, including a progressive lesbian couple, to transgender adults and influencers, to experts and medical professionals in the field. This is a remarkably honest and well-researched book that does nothing more than tell the story of young women who jumped into transition too quickly, encouraged by the transgender movement.
This book is necessary because it provides a different point of view on what has become a monolithic public narrative that challenges what LGBT activists demand is the only acceptable position to hold. It tells the story from the point of view of both transgender people and the families of transgender people. It is compelling, moving and incredibly informative. Opposition to this point has relied exclusively on labeling it "tranphobic" and "dangerous" based on this intolerance to differing views regarding transgender issues.
This is exactly the type of book that should be included in a diverse spectrum of arguments and information to allow readers to come to their own conclusions through reviewing available positions. To selectively remove arguments that do not support a single point of view is the exact opposite of what America is about. The power of a tiny, intolerant, but promoted minority to censor and demand the removal of challenges to their authority should be opposed by everyone who values freedom, open minded thinking and a free exchange of ideas.
The very notion of "dangerous" information is absurd on its face, but in this particular case it is laughably ignorant. Abigail's book provides profoundly moving stories of not only the struggle of those with gender identity to find themselves and build their lives, but how their families love and support them.
But alongside this is a deeply disturbing trend of young girls suddenly deciding they are transgender, often in small clusters of friends, and quickly engaging in physically dangerous practices like chest binding and obtaining testosterone injections from the internet. Many of these young women, years after having their breasts removed and living as men, regret their decision and wish someone had stopped them as minors from acting so impulsively.
Irreversible Damage is powerful reading for parents experiencing this exact scenario where out of nowhere their young daughters quickly fall into depression, anxiety and obsession over their "wrong" body and begin demanding they are actually boys. This book is necessary reading for anyone who wishes to understand and engage in the discussion on what transition means for minors and young women. It deserves to be as widely available as possible. As someone who experienced gender dysphoria myself, I can say this book brought tears to my eyes and I was grateful Shrier wrote it.
For Target to instantaneously remove a title because a handful of activists on Twitter complained is unbelievably short-sighted and actually dangerous. Empowering these intolerant voices does not help the transgender community and they do not represent us either. They are one perspective and they deserve to be heard, but they are not the final authority of what is acceptable for transgender people to read or for what anyone else is allowed to learn about gender dysphoria.
In the thread Target responded to, the person using the Antifa identifier bragged, "I will sensor every nazi, racist, homophobe, transphobe, antisemite, misogynist, terf, etc. until there are none left. Oh and by the way target not selling a book full of lies doesn't end free speech."
It should be reasonable to ask why a major corporation would remove a book on the demand of someone with this irrational and intolerant view of the world. Why do they get to censor anyone? Why are they the one's we must submit to? Shouldn't we fight back against closed-minded bigotry and reactionary book burning like this? Target must not allow itself to be controlled by people who boast of silencing others they alone find unacceptable.
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