As of writing this, Abigail Shrier’s new book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters is spending its second week as an Amazon best seller. The book received some praise when it was first released from the likes of Dennis Prager, Michael Knowles, Ben Shapiro — the normal types. Ray Blanchard and J. Michael Bailey (otherwise known as “the fucksaw guy”) provided praise for the book. It also got a glowing review from Feminist Current, a website founded by well known TERF Meghan Murphy. Basically, all the normal characters loved this book, but it didn’t seem like the kind of thing that would take off.
However, then Target stopped selling the book after somebody pointed out the oddity of a progressive company that has previously taken massive public backlash for its pro-transgender stance making profit off of it. Shrier and her fanbase responded to this with claims of “censorship” for “not appeasing the woke mob,” like you’d expect. Mind you, Target revered their decision the following day, but that did not seem to matter. At the same time this was going on, a man tried to get an ad for the book on a billboard reading “Puberty Is Not A Disorder,” (which is such a strawman it’s hilarious) and was denied.
I must admit, I can see why someone on the fence about transgenderism would be interested in this book. The transgender movement in the United States can easily enter a state where it refuses to answer tough questions, even when the answers to those questions would end up on their side. Mind you, considering most of the people who ask these questions are harassers acting in bad faith, I cannot blame anyone for getting a little short — but that certainly does lead to bad optics in the long run.
With that said however, the fact that one does not wish to answer a stupid question does not change the stupidity of the question being asked. While I have not read Irreversible Damage personally, I have been following Ms. Shrier’s career for the past two years and know it’s full of asking stupid questions and being surprised when she gets stupid answers. (For those curious, the subreddit r/gendercynical looked into some of the claims in Shrier’s book and found them to be nothing but bias anecdotes.)
From everything I’ve seen of this book, it’s fair to say that it’s nothing more than an expansion of the Wall Street Journal article that first got her on the map back in early 2019, on the topic of “Rampant Onset Gender Dysphoria.” Basically, the hypothesis states that the reason “so many” young people are becoming female-to-male trans people (neither Shrier nor any advocate for this hypothesis I have spoken to has defined exactly how large of an increase has occurred, but trust them, it’s a really big number) is because whole friend groups are turning trans all at once. While it is true that people in pro-trans friend groups and more likely to publicly be transgender, the study was pure nonsense.
The study in question was not peer reviewed, and was basically nothing more than a survey. And the survey in question did not even talk to trans people themselves, instead talking to their parents — who were recruited for this study through transphobic forums! Considering what has been fact checked regarding Shrier’s book, it seems like that’s her favorite kind of evidence.
I should also note, for someone who seems to stress the importance of female biology (she even said on Joe Rogan that the hole in the girl on the cover is suppose to be her uterus) she seems to have some odd views on it. When NPR ran a headline that used the phrase “people who menstruate” in an article regarding the tampon tax, Shrier responded:
Was there ever a more insulting, degrading and biologically reductive descriptor? Why would any girl look forward to womanhood, so described?
For the record, if “womanhood” means bleeding out of your vagina one-third of the time, I cannot think of any girl I’ve met who has “looked forward to womanhood” regardless of how it’s described.
However, even if we just limit the conversation to cisgender women, not all women menstruate. Even ignoring women who get hysterectomies or similar medical procedures — I’ll just leave it at I imagine Shrier is going to be rather confused when she enters menopause.
Another weird example of ignorance happened when Shrier on The Joe Rogan Experience back in July. During the interview, Shrier went on and on about the dangers of binders, or devices that squash the breasts of the person wearing them in order to make them look smaller. While they can be dangerous if used for to long or during periods where you’re already having trouble breathing, the same can be said of most bras. In fact, binders are not even unquiet in their purpose — you’d think someone who writes so much about high school sports would know what a sports bra is.
I should end this article by talking about how Shrier views transgender people in general. Shrier has gone on at length many times about how she has no issue with trans people, she just believes that gender dysphoria is being over-diagnosed and the like. However, if that truly is the case, why is all of her writing never addressed towards the people actually suffering this confusion? Wouldn’t it be more useful for her to write with the target audience being these confused teenagers instead of — actually, I have no idea who her intended audience is, considering Bailey is a fan of her work I guess it might be fans of fucksaws.
Shrier has never once given an example of what separates these incorrect diagnoses she rails against with correct ones she takes no issues with. When pressed on it, she sometimes mentions that gender dysphoria “used to be” something that shows up in early childhood — transgender people regularly say it still does, for the record — and only occurred in people born male. The fact that these changes could be caused by a further understanding of the issue is simply unthinkable to Shrier, instead, she believes, it’s part of some wide conspiracy that does not even have a conspirer.
To end with, I will note that Shrier respects “real trans people” so much that her Wall Street Journal article on Rampant Onset Gender Dysphoria was given the title “When Your Daughter Defies Biology.” I really do not feel I need to go into that.