At least two Amazon workers have quit after the company’s refused to stop selling a reviled anti-trans book.
Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters was written by the anti-trans journalist Abigail Shrier, and describes trans identity as “a peer contagion among teen girls”.
The author helped proliferate the debunked concept of “rapid onset gender dysphoria”, and her book perpetuates the idea that being trans is inherently harmful to young people and something to be “cured”.
In April this year, Amazon employees lodged a complaint which said the book violates the company’s policy against selling books “that frame LGBT+ identity as a mental illness”.
Shrier has denied that her book frames being trans as a mental illness.
The complaint was supported by 467 Amazon workers, including members of LGBT+ employee group Glamazon, but the company ruled that it did not violate any policies.
One employee who has now resigned over the decision, trans software engineer Selene Xenia, told NBC News: “The book literally has [craze] in the title and considers being transgender a mental illness in many senses throughout the book.”
“I found it extremely hypocritical for Amazon to say that it would stock this book and not another similar one,” she added, referring to When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by conservative scholar Ryan T Anderson, which was banned by the platform earlier this year.
“It looks like Amazon had to remove that particular book for PR reasons, not because they felt morally obligated to.”
Amazon spokesperson Cecelia Fan told NBC News in a statement: “As a bookseller, we believe that providing access to written speech and a variety of viewpoints is one of the most important things we do — even when those viewpoints differ from our own or Amazon’s stated positions.”
The statement, however, appears to be in contrast to previous statements by the company on Shier’s book Irreversible Damage.
The company previously acknowledged the book’s “offensive content” when it suspended a paid-for advertising campaign for Shier’s book last year, resulting in a “significant hit” to the publisher.
At the time, Amazon insisted: “It contains elements that may not be appropriate for all audiences, which may include ad copy/ book content that infers or claims to diagnose, treat, or question sexual orientation.
“Hence, this campaign will not be allowed to be advertised.”