Target Pulls Anti-Trans Book from Shelves

Supporters of author Abigail Shrier decry the store’s censorship

Writer Abigail Shrier is the newest subject of internet controversy, as Target pulled her recent book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, from its shelves yesterday. Shrier’s supporers call the act censorship.


“ just made my book disappear,” tweeted Shrier. “Does it bother anyone that Woke activists and spineless corporations now determine what Americans are allowed to read?”

Irreversible Damage, which sports a Ben Shapiro cover blurb, is a deep dive into what the book calls the “trans epidemic,” and offers data and advice for parents of children who may identify as trans. Similar to the rhetoric around J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans beliefs, Shrier offers examples of children who identify as trans and begin their transition process, only to deeply regret the choice.

“The efforts to smear my friend @AbigailShrier and to disappear her book (hi, @Target) is despicable—and a sign of what’s to come,” tweeted writer Bari Weiss. “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?”

Target chose to take Irreversible Damage of its shelves after a now-deleted tweet from user @BlueIris04 called the book transphobic. “In 2016, @Target, you released a statement affirming your support for transgender customers,” tweets another user, @_Alexa_Bee in a thread. “@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.”

“[C]isgender people need to stop positioning themselves as experts on lives they’ve never lived,” writes Amazon reviewer B.A. In response, another user replied, “Amazon should unpublish this one-star rating.” 

While people throw around the term “cancel culture” without prejudice online, it’s worth noting that Shrier’s book is #1 in LGBTQ on Amazon, and its controversy has allowed the author to make the rounds on Joe Rogan’s and Megyn Kelly’s shows, as well as pen an op-ed in Quillette.

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Katie Smith

Katie Smith is a Philadelphia-based writer. Find her on Instagram @saddy_yankee for cat pics.

6 thoughts on “Target Pulls Anti-Trans Book from Shelves

  • November 16, 2020 at 8:57 am

    This is but a taste of what’s to become of America. You’re freedoms are being chipped away through censorship. Freedom of speech, will become a thing of the past. March in step or, be persecuted for your ideas. By its own definition, liberalism buries itself in its own irony. Aren’t we allowed to speak out against pushing a particular agenda that isn’t aligned with our own moral codes? Apparently, free speech and freedom of the press is ONLY a privilege afforded to the “so called” liberal agenda.

  • November 16, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    target yet another cowardly business in an endless string of cowards. Worried they’ll lose their (confused) trans teen demographic.

  • November 17, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Many of us have not shopped at targut since they allowed trans bathrooms.And this is just another good reason to boycott this despicable and over priced store. In reality there is male and female and no in between,so ,get real snowflakes !!

  • November 19, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Hi from Europe, I hope my grammar is all OK:
    I’m extremely amazed at the phobia you guys display at people who just want to be free to follow what they want for their bodies and identities.
    The myth of generation snowflake is a harmful excuse with a vague origin which claims that younger generations are more easily offended than the older ones, that they are more progressive. I dissent, if you check the sources of this article, which are completely reliable and truthful, you will see that we aren’t that different in that sense, it’s just that each side expresses it stronger than ever before. You have despicable alt-right thugs, you have a vague group of anarchists who wreak havoc and you have activists who just seek truth, justice and equality for real, who want to eliminate bigotry.
    That’s the thing, William Childers, bigotry. Your opinion isn’t reasonable at all, for from a patriot point of view the notion that “All men are created equal” is embodied even within the fundamental values of America. The Declaration of Independence states that, I’ll quote and explain:
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    That is to say in this matter that trans people and whoever else who isn’t “conventional” regarding gender, sex and sexual orientation have the right to pursue their happiness by means of being the sort of person they want to, that it is the Government’s and institutions’ job to secure their freedom of identity.
    In no case should hate speech interfere with those people’s right to not be discriminated. I mean, I know that in the United States there is no such thing as a law against incitement of violence, because the First Amendment is very robust, and unlike with the Second Amendment (WTF America???) I do get it’s key for a democratic nation to defend the freedom of speech.
    It’s just that speech must be truthful, you can’t sell poisoned lies as legitimate stuff, people must know that they are intending to use their freedom to cause detrimental effects against minorities.
    So yeah, Target isn’t the only place where she can sell those books, choosing what to sell is up to a business, it’s called economic freedom, another key aspect of America (and of course it’s uneven, there are not the same opportunities). Target can choose not to insult people based on their identity or beliefs because that book can be sold anywhere else.
    I would also like to point something out about “trans bathrooms: never had I ever encountered such a nonsensical collocation. Like it’s so stupid, a trans woman is just a woman. Maybe she was born as a male, but she has always felt she is a woman, and that legally makes her as such. A “trans bathroom” is just an absolutely normal bathroom operating on a normal set of rules which is equally tolerant for everyone.
    Last point, there actually is something in between men and women, and I’m not speaking about bisexuals, I’m referring to intersex individuals. Biologically speaking, they are half men half women, they have intermediate genitals, intermediate chromosomes or whatever else which makes them not fit the traditional definitions of male and female sex. They receive discrimination and should be widely recognised, like not just s remark in a speech, but actually making everyone in the country aware of the definition, letting them know there are people born like that (in that case it’s not even a choice you know, no “snowflake” stuff as you call it).
    William Childers, leave ignorance once and for all and inform yourself before saying something ridiculous and receiving a lesson by a 15 year old.
    Yours sincerely,

    • March 23, 2021 at 10:54 am

      The point the author is making is that MOST the young girls who are transitioning are deeply regretting it because they in fact are not trans but just confused adolescents who are being steered by each other and society. There is nothing Transphobic about what the author is staying, in fact is seems highly reasonable and rational. Now if you feel these young girls should be free to make lifelong mistakes that they will deeply regret for the rest of their life but we should support them anyway that’s another argument unrelated to transphobia. Obvious some proportion of these girls will in fact be trans, maybe 20% and they should be supported but as of now the medical profession is not allowed to make any medical judgements other than to affirm these girls or they will probably lose their jobs and get sued.

  • May 28, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Watch AN ACTUAL KID THAT’S IN HER BOOk! Great video!
    This is why EVERY PLACE should ban this awful book. I’d be curious to see if she actually had permission from anyone in the book to use them. Also “misquotes” by a seasoned writer?!? Interesting…
    Had anyone sued her yet??


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