Now Israel is censoring and demonizing Abigail Shrier’s book

June 2, 2023 • 12:00 pm

The Federalist is of course a right-wing site, but this situation must have given it a dilemma. The censorship described below reflects badly on Israel, a country that the Right tends to support, but it also comes down on Left-wing censoriousness, in this case demonization of the notorious (but good) book by Abigail Shrier, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our DaughtersAs you probably know, the book’s thesis is that a subset of female adolescents who want to become trans men do so at the urging of not only therapists, but also peers on social media. It also raises the possibility of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD), which is controversial. In fact, all of it is controversial, including the nearly incontrovertible claim that at least some adolescents are pushed to change gender by others on social media.

Given the social climate, it is surely important that this book be published, read, and discussed. Yet those on the Left have often resisted this, the most notable being the LGBTQ lawyer Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union, a trans man. Below are two of his tweets, one of which advocates banning the book (this from the ACLU!). The Wikipedia link describes the polarized reaction to the book, which makes it all the more important that the author be heard.

Israel has an active LGBTAQ+ community, and when Shrier’s book went on sale in Israel last week, it met with censorship as well as deplatforming of the author. Click below to read the Federalist article:

An excerpt with tweets:

Abigail Shrier’s bestseller went on sale in Israel this week. The book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, peels back the curtain on the Western outbreak of transgenderism as a social contagion. On Twitter, Shrier documented how the rollout went in Israel.

“Bowing to LGBTQ+ activist pressure, the two largest book chains refused to carry the book, which made it hard to buy in Israel,” Shrier wrote. After hundreds of people registered for a paid event, “PRIDE bullied two large venues in Tel Aviv to cancel my talk, threatening to boycott those venues for all of PRIDE month if they allowed me to speak.”

Some descriptions by Shrier; the article she mentions in the first tweet was published in Haaretz (paywalled but archived here). And remember, Shrier identifies as being on the Left.

The article goes on to criticize the Left for going after Florida’s attempt to ban pornographic and offensive books from schools, but we won’t get into that. Suffice it to say that both Left and Right are censorious in different ways, and that the Israelis need a lesson in freedom of speech. Yes, even speech you abhor should not only be tolerated, but heard, and speakers should not be deplatformed or bullied into moving their talks for fear of violence.

One more link to an essay:

No one knows more about modern book banning, however, than Shrier, who documented her book’s debut with an essay in The Free Press two years ago titled, “The Books Are Already Burning.”

The essay discusses, among other things, the kerfuffle that ensued at Science-Based Medicine when reviewer Harriet Hall praised the book, but then her review was repudiated and retracted by her colleagues Gorski and Novella.

The fight for freedom of speech, it seems, is a never-ending battle.

h/t: Wayne

15 thoughts on “Now Israel is censoring and demonizing Abigail Shrier’s book

  1. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Abigail Shrier’s book were to become a best seller in Palestine, with the media praising it to the skies and Hamas inviting her to speak. Now what?

    1. Interesting question, as it boils down to who currently ranks higher in the oppression olympics, Palestinians or trans people. My money would be on trans people as I have a feeling they’re top of the list by now, even ahead of race. (Does someone maintain a ranking somewhere?)

      1. I agree. Transgender is, as far as I know, the only category of oppressed people in which suicide is considered an expected (and reasonable) result of discrimination. I don’t think we should underestimate the impact this has when any of its claims are questioned.

  2. Strangio doesn’t speak for the whole ACLU, I guess, but it’s troubling to see someone at the ACLU who supports banning a book. I wonder if today’s ACLU would act as the ACLU of 1977 did in the case of the Skokie neo-Nazi march.

  3. The boycotting of this book is wrong. I call this “boycotting,” rather than “banning” because (if I understand correctly) large booksellers won’t stock it, rather than the government prohibiting its import. Let’s hope that other book outlets stock it and make it available.

  4. “. . . with the goal of making people not trans,” has such tortured syntax that I wonder what Strangio is trying to say. I’ve seen polemics intended for a variety of purposes, but never to make someone something they aren’t. Perhaps Stangio doubts the immutability of “transness.”

    1. The claim is that trans people are “born that way” and that any attempt to help them become comfortable in their body and accepting of their sex is “trying to make them not trans” — similar to forcing gay people to become heterosexual.

      1. Classic gender dysphoria (very rare) shows up in very small children (2-4). The lack of classic gender dysphoria is some of the evidence in favor of ROGD. To state the obvious (and true), the ROGD kids (mostly girls) never showed any signs of gender dysphoria as young children. Children suffering from classic gender dysphoria were probably ‘born that way’. Girls who at 14 claim to be trans were probably not ‘born that way’.

  5. It is extremely disappointing that the “no debate” stupidity has spread to Israel. Shrier’s book is OK, but Helen Joyce’s Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality is a better discussion of the wider trans debate IMHO. (I appreciate that the books are dealing with different aspects of the issue, so perhaps it’s not a fair comparison. Shrier’s is, as a result of its aims, much more anecdotal.)

    1. I listened to “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” (which I recommend). The phrase “no debate” was used more than once (by the TRAs). I have also read Helen Joyce’s book (which I also recommend). In my opinion, JKR has reached more people than HJ. The converse is that HJ may have reached a higher level audience.

  6. This is incorrect “And remember, Shrier identifies as being on the Left”. A. Shrier appears to be right-of-center. By contrast, Lisa Littman (Shrier’s book is based on Littman’s work, with attribution) is left-of-center. Rejection of trans ideology is not quite that simple. Famously, J.K. Rowling rejects trans ideology and is a standard liberal/leftist politically.

  7. I am (unpleasantly) surprised that the trans nonsense has infected Israel, a country under constant existential threat, because my personal explanation about such epidemics of craziness is that societies tend to engage in imagined or self-made problems when facing a shortage of real ones.

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