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Target relents, quickly returns transgender-critical book to online shelves

The book, "Irreversible Damage," is by writer and Wall Street Journal contributor Abigail Shrier.

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A Target store in Minnesota
A Target store in Minnesota
(Education Images/Getty)
Updated: November 14, 2020 - 11:33pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Big-box retailer Target this week hastily returned to its online store a book critical of transgender culture, just several hours after it announced it was pulling the book due to complaints. 

The book, "Irreversible Damage," written by writer and Wall Street Journal contributor Abigail Shrier, is a look at what Shrier calls the "trans epidemic," a tide of transgender ideology sweeping through groups of young girls throughout the U.S. 

This ideology, which Shrier argues is pushed by educators and medical officials, results in "life-changing interventions on young girls — including medically unnecessary double mastectomies and puberty blockers that can cause permanent infertility," the book's description states. 

"A generation of girls is at risk," the description claims, with the book purporting to offer advice on "how you can inoculate your child against [transgender ideology] — or how to retrieve her from this dangerous path."

'Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention'

Shrier's book is available from a variety of retailers, including Target, which this week pulled the book from its digital storefront after apparently one single complaint from a Twitter user. 

"I think the trans community deserves a response from [Target] as to why they are selling this book," one Twitter user wrote earlier this week. 

The following day, Target responded via Twitter: "Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We have removed this book from our assortment."

A brief conservative backlash on Twitter followed. Within a day, Target had swiftly backtracked and returned the book to its online store. 

"Yesterday, we removed a book from Target.com based on feedback we received," the company told Just the News in a statement. "We want to offer a broad assortment for our guests and are adding this book back to Target.com. We apologize for any confusion."

The book was present on Target's website as of Saturday afternoon, though it was listed as "sold out." 

Shrier did not respond to requests for comment on the rapid-fire removal and reinstatement of her book on Target. But her experience is reflective of a recurring pattern of individuals being targeted if they offer public dissent over transgender orthodoxy. 

In early 2019, Brown University researcher Lisa Littman published a study in the journal PLOS ONE on what she deemed "rapid onset gender dysphoria," a phenomenon she said occurs when cliques of young girls all announce, roughly at the same time, their intent to "transition" to young boys. 

That study was denounced by transgender activists, who claimed its methods and conclusions were faulty and incorrect. PLOS ONE subsequently pulled the study and issued a revised version, one in which, according to Littman, the conclusions were essentially "unchanged." Joerg Heber, the editor-in-chief of the journal, later said of the revised paper: "We let the original results stand." 

Also last year, television host Mario Lopez received targeted criticism after he voiced concerns that children were being led into transgender ideology too young. 

"If you're 3 years old, and you're saying you're feeling a certain way," he said while talking to commentator Candace Owens, "or you think you're a boy or a girl, whatever the case may be, I just think it's dangerous as a parent to make that determination." 

Following an outcry over the remarks, Lopez claimed he had been "ignorant and insensitive" to make them. 

"I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful [the comments] were," he said. "I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself."

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