On Sunday, Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) President Ryan T. Anderson noted that his bestselling book warning against transgender activism, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, had disappeared from Amazon. On the same day, The New York Post published Anderson’s op-ed opposing the Equality Act, a pro-transgender bill.
“I hope you’ve already bought your copy, cause Amazon just removed my book ‘When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment’ from their cyber shelves…. my other four books are still available (for now),” Anderson tweeted.
He shared the link to his author profile on Amazon. That page lists four of his previous books: What Is Marriage? Mand and Woman: A Defense, Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination, and A Liberalism Safe for Catholicism? Perspectives from The Review of Politics. The page had previously also listed When Harry Became Sally.
The link for When Harry Became Sally still exists, but the book’s web page has been scrubbed.
PJ Media reached out to Amazon, asking if the book’s deletion was a mistake and demanding a rationale for the removal if it was not. Amazon did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment by press time.
Anderson told PJ Media that Amazon did not reach out to him to explain why it removed his book from the website.
“I actually don’t know much at all. I only found out because people trying to buy it told me it was gone,” the EPPC president said. “And not just like it’s out of stock. The pages are down. You can’t buy a used copy. You can’t buy the Kindle [version]. You can’t get the Audible version. My publisher reached out yesterday for an explanation, and no response from Amazon yet.”
When Harry Became Sally hit the shelves on February 20, 2018. Anderson recalled that The New York Times op-ed page attacked the book twice while The Washington Post ran a hit piece “that they then had to entirely rewrite to fix all the errors. It was obvious the critics hadn’t read the book.”
“People who have actually read my book discovered that it was a thoughtful and accessible presentation of the state of the scientific, medical, philosophical and legal debates. Yes, it advances an argument from a certain viewpoint. No, it didn’t get any facts wrong, and it didn’t engage in any name-calling,” Anderson told PJ Media. Indeed, the book approached the topic of transgender identity seriously and from a scientific perspective, explaining the dangers of transgender “treatments” and the science behind biological sex.
Anderson noted that “a who’s who of experts” praised his book, including “the former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a longtime psychology professor at NYU, a professor of medical ethics at Columbia Medical School, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University, a professor of neurobiology at the University of Utah, a distinguished professor at Harvard Law School, an eminent legal philosopher at Oxford, and a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton.”
Yet, when it comes to the transgender activists’ cancel culture, “none of that matters. It’s not about how you say it, it’s not about how rigorously you argue it, it’s not about how charitably you present it. It’s about whether you dissent from a new orthodoxy,” Anderson argued.
The book’s disappearance came at a suspicious time, as well.
“Three years after publication, in the very same week that the House of Representatives is going to ram through a radical transgender bill amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Amazon erases my book opposing gender ideology from their cyber shelves,” Anderson told PJ Media. “Make no mistake, both Big Government and Big Tech can undermine human dignity and liberty, human flourishing and the common good.”
Indeed, the book appears to have disappeared right after The New York Post published Anderson’s op-ed opposing the Equality Act, which would open women’s restrooms, changing rooms, shelters, and sports to biological males.
The timing of Amazon’s disappearing of my transgender book is, uh, timely…
My op-ed in today’s @nypost is on the Equality Act vote this week. (Didn’t know my book would be removed when I wrote the op-ed.) https://t.co/SPt7nf9ERW https://t.co/jUKwdPm9mm
— Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanTAnd) February 22, 2021
Amazon has long relied on the scandal-plagued far-left smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a gatekeeper on its charity platform AmazonSmile. The SPLC routinely accuses mainstream conservative and Christian organizations of being “hate groups,” putting them on a list with the Ku Klux Klan.
As I reported both here at PJ Media and in my book Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the SPLC fired its co-founder, Morris Dees, amid a decades-long sexual harassment and racial discrimination scandal. After Dees was fired, former employees came forward, admitting their complicity in the “con.” The SPLC’s “hate group” list not only exaggerates the number of “hate groups” by listing defunct or essentially non-existent groups along with the KKK, but it also tars the reputations of law-abiding mainstream conservative and Christian organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC), Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and ACT for America.
In 2012, a deranged man targeted FRC for a mass shooting, aiming to kill everyone in the building and place a Chick-fil-A sandwich by his victims’ heads. He told the FBI he targeted FRC because of the SPLC list. The SPLC has paid millions to settle defamation lawsuits, particularly one involving a Muslim reformer the SPLC branded an “anti-Islamic extremist.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos admitted that relying on the SPLC is “an imperfect system” to blacklist organizations from AmazonSmile, but he has not reversed that policy.
In addition to attacking conservative and Christian organizations, the SPLC promotes transgender activism. Even as far back as 2012, the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance magazine pushed a lesson for K-12 students entitled, “Do Something! Transforming Critiques of Gender Stereotypes into Activism.” By 2017, Teaching Tolerance set out to dispel six “myths” about transgender identity. In 2019, the SPLC attempted to demonize opposition to transgender activism and Drag Queen Story Hour by connecting it to white nationalism and neo-Nazis.
The SPLC also attacked Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham for “speaking to a hate group that brands ‘trans’ activists as guilty of harming children.”
The SPLC seems intent on silencing dissent on transgender issues, and Amazon’s relationship with this far-left group is very concerning.
When Harry Met Sally is also not the first book Amazon has targeted. Last June, Amazon banned Regnery Publishing from purchasing ads to promote the book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Like Anderson’s book, Irreversible Damage took a scientific approach in criticizing transgender ideology, focusing on the idea that transgenderism has become a “social contagion” affecting a broad swath of American teenage girls and warning that various transgender “treatments” will leave girls permanently scarred.
Facebook has suspended public figures’ accounts for criticizing President Joe Biden’s transgender policies, branding such criticism “incitement.”
People who suffer from gender dysphoria (the condition of persistently identifying with the gender opposite their biological sex) do indeed face harassment and deserve compassion. However, the idea that these people should embrace a transgender identity, that they should undertake medical interventions to permanently alter their bodies, and that society must remake its rules regarding biological sex to kowtow to transgender identity is rightly controversial.
Tragically, transgender activists harass anyone who disagrees, and powerful organizations are moving to silence dissent, from the SPLC to Amazon.com.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.