On Friday, Target confirmed to PJ Media that it had restored Abigail Shrier’s important book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze That’s Seducing Our Daughters, following backlash after Target.com removed the book from its inventory. The company appears to have removed the book after one solitary Twitter user complained. PJ Media had sent a press inquiry on Friday morning asking Target to account for its actions. Instead, the company reversed course.
“Yesterday, we removed a book from Target.com based on feedback we received. We want to offer a broad assortment for our guests and are adding this book back to Target.com,” Konnor Schmaltz, a Target spokesman, told PJ Media. “We apologize for any confusion.”
On Thursday, Target responded to a Twitter account with the handle BlueIris04.
“Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We have removed this book from our assortment,” the company posted.
Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We have removed this book from our assortment.
— AskTarget (@AskTarget) November 12, 2020
While the account BlueIris04 is restricted, The Federalist published a screenshot of the complaint.
“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.’ Trigger warning: Transphobia,” BlueIris04 tweeted.
Shrier, a Wall Street Journal columnist and the book’s author, condemned Target’s act of censorship.
“Target.com just made my book disappear. Does it bother anyone that Woke activists and spineless corporations now determine what Americans are allowed to read?” Shrier tweeted.
https://t.co/NRY9T9nAfA just made my book disappear.
Does it bother anyone that Woke activists and spineless corporations now determine what Americans are allowed to read? https://t.co/dbIbjm96Ll
— Abigail Shrier (@AbigailShrier) November 13, 2020
Conservative commentator Bethany Mandel asked Twitter, “Do you think it’s maybe a problem that you’re allowing a random twitter user to act as your manager?”
Do you think it’s maybe a problem that you’re allowing a random twitter user to act as your manager?
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) November 13, 2020
PJ Media pressed Target to explain the nature of Blue Iris’s complaint and explain the company’s actions.
“What did Blue Iris say in the complaint and why did Target respond by removing the book? What process does Target follow when it comes to banning books from its assortment? How would Target respond to complaints that the company is silencing views with which it does not agree?” PJ Media asked.
Rather than responding to these pointed questions, Target appears to have backed off.
Shortly after the release of Irreversible Damage this past summer, Amazon refused to let the publisher, Regnery Publishing, pay to promote the book.
In the book, Wall Street Journal writer Abigail Shrier builds on a scientific study revealing the “social contagion” of transgender identity affecting a broad swath of American teenage girls and warns that various transgender “treatments” will leave girls permanently scarred.
Among other things, it warns about chest binders (meant to hide a girl’s feminine upper-body features), which may lead to “fractured or bruised ribs, punctured or collapsed lungs, shortness of breath, back pain, and deformation of the breast tissue.” This is the least invasive kind of transgender “treatment” for teenage girls. Drugs like Lupron (meant to “block” puberty) and testosterone cause more damage, and various forms of transgender surgery are even worse.
Yet Amazon sent Regnery an email warning that the book “contains elements that may not be appropriate for all audiences, which may include ad copy/book content that infers or claims to diagnose, treat, or question sexual orientation. Hence, this campaign will not be allowed to be advertised.”
Ironically, the book warns that many teenage girls who are attracted to other women — lesbians — are particularly vulnerable to transgender ideology, which convinces them that they are “really” boys, and hence no longer lesbian. While pro-transgender content may convince young women to “question sexual orientation” in this fashion, Shrier’s book urges them not to do so.
Regnery noted that “if you search ‘transgender’ in the books category on the Amazon app right now, you will see a paid ad for LGBT pride month from a prominent publisher and a paid ad for a chest binder. Amazon has told us we are not even allowed to bid on that ad space for ‘Irreversible Damage.’”
Target became particularly notorious for endorsing transgender identity by opening its women’s restrooms and changing rooms to biological males who claim to identify as women.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.