It took just one day for Target to pull a screening U-turn Friday (13 November) after it removed a transphobic book off its digital shelves, prompting anti-trans users to pelt the American retail giant into submission.
Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughter, which is currently rated just two-and-a-half stars on Target’s website, has been fiercely upbraided by LGBT+ rights activists since its July 2020 release.×
Penned by renowned anti-trans journalist Abigail Shrier, a firebrand Wall Street Journal writer who has obsessively written about vastly debunked anti-trans theories, the book trumpets that being trans is a “contagion”, a “craze” and an “epidemic”.
While Target initially said it would remove the text, a torrent of anti-trans Twitter accounts, including Shrier, criticised the company for doing so, promoting Target to walk back and relist the book.
Twitter users sought to sound the alarm as to why Target was stocking a book that rails against a so-called “transgender epidemic sweeping the country”. The company, amid backlash, tweeted on Thursday (12 November): “Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention.
“We have removed this book from our assortment.”
Author Shrier quickly took aim at Target, tweeting that the company had made her “book disappear”, igniting countless anti-trans users to send incensed tweets and emails to Target.
Does it bother anyone that woke activists and spineless corporations now determine what Americans are allowed to read?” she added.
Target later tepidly responded to a tweet by a user with less than 1,000 followers and whose display picture is of a painting by Alex Grey. The user called on Target not to “submit to Stalinist thought policing”.
“We want to offer a broad assortment for our guests and are adding this book back to Target.com. We apologise for any confusion.”
Trans people in the US have themselves been reduced to political targets with increasing temerity by the Trump administration in the last four years, where the president’s officials have peeled back a roster of legal protections across countless federal departments and programs – defence, housing, health and education.
All the while, an actual epidemic – one of violence against trans people – continues to rip across the States, with 2020, monitoring groups warn, being the deadliest year for trans people since records began with 34 trans people murdered at the time of writing.