Target removed from digital shelves a transphobic book that had been excoriated by the LGBTQ community since its July 2020 release.
However, the retailer quickly relisted the item after anti-trans users bashed them for pulling it in the first place.
The book, titled Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughter, was written by anti-trans journalist Abigail Shrier and proclaims that being a trans is a "contagion," a "craze," and an "epidemic."
Reviewers panned the work for promoting "child abuse" and "transphobia" and for damaging those who "struggle with gender dysphoria and identity."
Last Thursday, Target announced their decision to remove the book from their website after being apprised of the book's hateful and damaging rhetoric.
The company's Twitter account wrote:
"Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We have removed this book from our assortment."
@BlueIris04 Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We have removed this book from our assortment.— AskTarget (@AskTarget)1605213701.0
However, Target's decision incited backlash from the anti-trans community, and Shrier accused the retailer of censorship.
The author took to Twitter, saying Target.com "just made my book disappear."
"Does it bother anyone that Woke activists and spineless corporations now determine what Americans are allowed to read?"
https://t.co/NRY9T9nAfA just made my book disappear. Does it bother anyone that Woke activists and spineless corpo… https://t.co/UjUENaWeJX— Abigail Shrier (@Abigail Shrier)1605229877.0
Fellow writer Bari Weiss came to Shrier's defense in condemning Target's decision, tweeting:
"The efforts to smear my friend @AbigailShrier and to disappear her book (hi, @Target) is despicable—and a sign of what's to come."
"I regret that I didn't speak up earlier on her behalf, that I also thought to myself: is this the hill I want to die on?"
The efforts to smear my friend @AbigailShrier and to disappear her book (hi, @Target) is despicable—and a sign of w… https://t.co/t4XVWysgb1— Bari Weiss (@Bari Weiss)1605240511.0
One Twitter user accused Target of submitting to "Stalinist thought policing."
@AskTarget @BlueIris04 Promote diversity of thought Target. Do not submit to Stalinist thought policing. The market… https://t.co/gSI7Aas4eG— AnimalG (@AnimalG)1605231745.0
In response to the criticism, Target acquiesced and said they would continue to sell the book on their website.
@AnimalGlasswrks Yesterday, we removed a book from https://t.co/Gla4QrFOmf based on feedback we received. We want t… https://t.co/hU7qehQT2B— AskTarget (@AskTarget)1605304147.0
Customers opposed to the book were disappointed in Target for missing the mark.
@AskTarget @AnimalGlasswrks The people who asked you to put it back did so to make an argument about "free speech".… https://t.co/IYbg4D4ABf— Becka awoke crying. (@Becka awoke crying.)1605484793.0
@AskTarget This is really disappointing. I felt like you'd come a long way in supporting the LGBT+ community. Would… https://t.co/BMn8bEUFxz— Rev. Emmy Kegler (@Rev. Emmy Kegler)1605404874.0
@AskTarget @AnimalGlasswrks How immensely disappointing. If people want that book, they can find it elsewhere. By r… https://t.co/zLtnSBTfrE— Lauryn 🏳️🌈 (@Lauryn 🏳️🌈)1605377514.0
@AskTarget Please don't do this. You've been welcoming to trans customers and employees in the past - please don't… https://t.co/f1FbRX1VCR— mercury (@mercury)1605389432.0
Good to know that @target @asktarget bows so easily to the demands of violent transphobes. They don't care about th… https://t.co/joniD9Sw4Z— 🏳️🌈✊🏿✊🏾Yes, #BlackLivesMatter✊🏾✊🏽🏳️🌈 (@🏳️🌈✊🏿✊🏾Yes, #BlackLivesMatter✊🏾✊🏽🏳️🌈)1605462153.0
Irreversible Damage is currently listed on Target.com with a rating of two-and-a-half stars.