Abigail Shrier
Abigail Shrier embraces, and has been embraced by, the Christian Right.

The inescapable conclusion is that Abigail Shrier is a bigot who is not especially intelligent.

On March 3 Abigail Shrier wrote Book Banning in an Age of Amazon. She is referring to the apparent decision of Amazon.com to stop selling Anderson’s idiotic anti-transgender book.

Abigail Shrier is an extremely transphobic orthodox Jew. She reminds of infamous idiot Laura Schlessinger (“Dr. Laura”) who was spectacularly homophobic. Laura got her ass kicked on an episode of West Wing.

Ms. Shrier has cozied up to the Christian Right. She doesn’t seem to appreciate that those folks are inherently anti-Semitic. I have heard first hand how, for example, American Family Association is not anti-Semitic because of their strong support for Israel. Aside from not accepting Jesus, these folks see Jews as all that’s wrong with Hollywood.

The man to the right is Rabbi Mike Moskowitz. His point of view regarding LGBTQ people is the exact opposite of the views expressed by Abigail Shrier. All Christians are not Mat Staver and all orthodox Jews are not Abigail Shrier. Sometimes I lose sight of that.

Shrier does not have a legitimate religious objection to the existence of transgender people. She has simply chosen to be intolerant, … and to make make a few bucks off of her anti-LGBTQ diatribe.

After considerable gratuitous bloat (the woman is painfully verbose):

Last week, Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, vanished from “the world’s largest bookstore.” … When questioned by Anderson’s publisher, Amazon lamely pointed to a new policy that permits it to bar “inappropriate and offensive” works and also “hate speech.” It never bothered to offer proof or explain how Anderson’s book ran afoul of these guidelines; it apparently didn’t think it needed to.

First of all, Amazon.com doesn’t have to prove anything. It is a private company that can choose what it will, or will not, sell.

More importantly, Ryan T. Anderson’s book is highly offensive.

  • Anderson holds himself out as an expert. As an undergraduate he was a music major. Anderson has a PhD in philosophy.
  • Anderson feigns concern for transgender people. His only real concern is to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church. (On the whole, American Catholics are more tolerant than the general population. Emanating from the Vatican is the notion that trans people do not really exist.)
  • Anderson promotes the idea that transgender people are people who have made some very bad choices.
  • Anderson is factually inaccurate. He presents gender identity conversion efforts as a viable alternative to transitioning.
  • Anderson misinforms parents who could put the very lives of gender incongruent children at risk.
  • Anderson encourages the persecution of a vulnerable minority group by misinforming the general public.

I do not know if I am responsible for Amazon’s decision but these are the points that I sent to Amazon.com by snail mail. Regardless of how Amazon.com arrived at their decision, Anderson’s book was not removed due to whimsical political correctness.

Ms. Shrier’s idiotic book is still available through Amazon. She relied on some thoroughly discredited research to posit that being transgender is a social contagion.

After noting that Anderson’s book opposing marriage equality was still available through Amazon.com:

The legality of gay marriage has been settled in America. Whatever people’s private feelings about gay marriage, its legality in America is beyond dispute, and its acceptance by American society, widespread. Opposing it is a dead issue, a loser. And as Amazon well knows, no book is likely to change that.

But transitioning minors—that’s another story. For all the sloganeering about how the sanctity of affirmation-based treatment is settled practice, it isn’t. Leading psychotherapists have challenged “affirmative care” and its abuses have been acknowledged in open court. J.K. Rowling’s well-publicized alarm at the spike in transgender identification among teen girls, followed by the publication of my book, encouraged a widespread backlash against the idea that it is wrong or repressive to question the protocols governing the medical transition of minors.

Suffice it to say that J.K. Rowling, like Shrier, has no expertise in the care of gender incongruent children. More importantly the gender affirming care model is settled. That constitutes the clinical practice guidelines of The American Academy of Pediatrics.

The article characterized as the product of “leading psychotherapists” is misleading. They are a husband and wife. One is a nurse who was fired from a UK gender clinic in 2007. Much has changed over the last 14 years. The other is her husband who is also trained as a nurse and worked at the same clinic until 2018 (which is telling).

These are not academic scholars at Harvard Medical School. I have much respect for nurses but neither of these people are “leading psychotherapists.” The abuses that were supposedly “acknowledged in open court” were argued in a London court.

One of those arguers, a supposed expert, was Paul Hruz. I wrote about Hruz for the SPLC in December, 2017. He is an Alliance Defending Freedom crackpot. In a US court he was not admitted as an expert witness.

Shrier’s reference to “medical transitioning of minors” is meaningless. As children enter puberty (Tanner stage 2) they might be candidates for puberty blockers. Puberty blockers are fully reversible.

Obtaining puberty blockers requires the consent of the kid, their parents, a behavioral health specialist and an endocrinologist. In later teen years, adolescents might receive cross-sex hormones. Again, this is a team decision.

I have checked around with various clinicians in multiple disciplines. Consent means informed consent. Doctors are terribly resistant to getting sued and disciplined.

Who the hell are Ryan T. Anderson, Abigail Shrier and J.K. Rowling to substitute their judgment for that of highly trained clinicians? It makes no sense.

Furthermore, Anderson does not “question the protocols.” In contrast Anderson sets himself up as an authority (he is not) and then says that the protocols are all wrong.

The protocols are all wrong; not because Anderson gives a crap about children with a medical condition. They are wrong, according to Anderson, because the Vatican says that transgender people do not really exist.

Ms. Shrier is similarly disposed. Her book in large measure is based on research that has been thoroughly discredited and the conclusions have never been repeated. Shrier spouts, as fact, a theory that has never been proved or even tested.

Again, Ms. Shrier has a religious objection to transgender people. Furthermore, she has a book to sell. Shrier has no training which would allow her to determine the validity of a medical theory.

Neither do I have the necessary training. The difference is that I have neither the arrogance nor chutzpah to oppose established medical science. What I write in regards to transgender people is consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society and the Pediatric Endocrine Society.

Shrier wrote a book based on the untested theories of a young non-tenured academic who lacks the relevant experience and training. Shrier simply liked what the academic had to say.

I have overused the phrases selective observation and confirmation bias. However, those describe the traits of most anti-LGBTQ polemicists. I do the same thing perhaps but I am not setting myself up as an authority with the knowledge to challenge settled science.

In the deep woods:

… the very week Anderson’s book disappeared, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which is now headed for a vote by the Senate. If it passes, it will grant biological males who self-identify as “women” an all-access pass to girls’ and women’s sports and safe spaces.

Ms. Shrier is inextricably wed to spouting nonsense that is not supported by evidence. She is suggesting that transgender females pose a danger to cisgender females. There is no evidence in support of that bigotry.

Furthermore, note how Shrier has adopted the language of the Christian Right with “self-identify.” Not only is she fear mongering but she is essentially saying the gender identity is a choice.

The conspiracy theorist:

Should a biologically male convict gain access to a women’s prison based only on self-identification as a “woman”? Should a biologically male high school student be entitled to compete in women’s wrestling or sprinting? Anderson’s book argues “no,” for reasons lawmakers might be curious to discover. Which is why, in the end, Amazon picked this week to delete a three-year old book.

There’s that Christian Right bullshit again. “Biologically male” instead of transgender woman. “Self-identification” and the word woman in quotes.

“Anderson’s book argues ‘no,’ for reasons” having to do with the catechism of the Catholic Church. Even someone as obtuse as Abigail Shrier should realize that is the case.

I am going to go out on a limb here. It is quite improbable that Amazon’s decision had anything whatsoever to do with the Equality Act. Ms. Shrier makes many assertions with no evidence at all. It is unfounded supposition and conjecture that doesn’t even make sense.

Some will argue it is Amazon’s right to drop a book. Though it possesses many of the frightful powers of government and few of the limitations—Amazon is not the government. …

This is the “Colorado Bakeshop” argument, which the Supreme Court considered in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission: Private businesses might have the right not to sell certain things customers want. …

The argument was not about choices over what to sell but choices over who to sell to in violation of valid nondiscrimination laws (that remain valid to this day).

Amazon’s argument is entirely different. It has the right to decide what merchandise it will distribute not to whom it is distributed.

But the argument is inapt: Amazon isn’t a neighborhood bakery. … Amazon operates on a vast scale. Scale is the difference between homicide and genocide, a pickpocket and Bernie Madoff.

Scale matters in degrees of criminality. Scale is irrelevant to basic commerce privileges and obligations. A valid argument that Amazon is obliged to sell Anderson’s book does not exist.

As I said, Abigail Shrier has a surface coating of intelligence. Once you get past the crust Ms. Shrier is not a very intelligent person. In the instant essay, she makes a series of extraordinarily moronic arguments. That Amazon.com is somehow required to buy and then sell Anderson’s book is just one example of stupidity.

Let’s not leave this one out:

Amazon gladly carries Mein Kampf without fear that anyone will attribute its anti-Semitism to the bookseller because Amazon distributes millions of titles.

The basic premise is idiotic. Amazon.com did not cease selling Anderson’s book because to continue to sell it would tar the company as transphobic. It ceased distributing the book because it is offensive and bigoted, not to mention dangerous.

Mein Kampf is also bigoted and offensive. However, it has important historical significance. It might make Neo-Nazis more confident but it is unlikely to turn a tolerant person into an anti-Semite.

On the other hand, Anderson’s book offers a comprehensive manual on how to significantly damage a child. Because of the circumstances, Anderson’s “text book” is what parents want to hear without considering that Anderson is a religious crackpot.

In fact, the book is likely to re-enforce the correctness of religion over medical science because of who might purchase something written by someone like Ryan T. Anderson.

Even stupid bigotry:

Nor is it honest to argue that we can impose no restraints on private companies. Businesses are already thoroughly regulated—in terms of whom they may refuse to serve, the minimum pay, and maximum hours and workplace conditions owed to employees. Thanks to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, private employers may even be barred from insisting that male employees wear a male uniform. Forcing a multinational on which nearly every American publisher depends to carry the widest array of books imposes no more significant limitation on its freedom.

There is a link in the above to the ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. Simply stated a transgender woman is not a “male employee.”

The entire argument is profoundly stupid. For starters a regulation would require an evaluation of scale which would differ widely in measurement and metrics from industry to industry. There is simply no way to force a retailer to buy and sell stuff that it does not want to distribute. At least not constitutionally.

In fact if you target, say, Amazon.com it risks creating a bill of attainder which is unconstitutional per se.

Shrier’s entire essay is unfocused. She spends some time criticizing Amazon’s decision. She spends some time defending her (and Ryan T. Anderson’s) point of view. She spends most of her time proposing legislation that can never happen.

At her core, Abigail Shrier disapproves of transgender people. She is determined to influence people in a way that reduces the transgender population. To do so, she has to believe that transitioning is an objective choice.

If, in fact, Shrier believes that transitioning is an objective choice (and I think that she does) then she has not done the requisite research on gender incongruence. Not understanding the underlying medical condition renders Ms. Shrier an ignorant crackpot claiming expertise which she does not have.

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