Bestselling author Ryan Anderson has challenged “enterprising” state attorneys general to investigate Amazon’s banning of his book questioning transgenderism.
In a Wednesday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Anderson notes the curious timing of Amazon’s digital burning of his book When Harry Became Sally that took place the weekend before the House voted on the radical transgender “Equality Act,” which he publicly criticized.
“Why did Amazon suddenly delist my book without warning me or my publisher?” Anderson asks. “Did an advocacy group or elected official reach out to Amazon on the evening of a big vote to ask it to remove a book it had happily sold for three years? An enterprising state attorney general may have ways to find out.”
Anderson — a noted scholar and the president of the D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center — says in censoring ideas with which they disagree, Amazon may be guilty of violating a number of laws.
“State attorneys general have the authority to investigate Amazon’s conduct to learn whether the company is abusing its vast market power, doing so in a patently dishonest and deceptive way, or otherwise violating state consumer-protection and antitrust laws,” he writes.
Amazon has such a dominant position in online retail as to nearly constitute a monopoly, Anderson suggests, before comparing banishment from the site to “being silenced.”
As Breitbart News reported, Amazon added insult to injury in declaring that they will continue to ban any book that argues that boys are boys or considers gender dysphoria — the psychological distress experienced by those who do not feel comfortable with their biological sex — as a mental illness.
A letter signed by Amazon Vice President Brian Huseman declared that the company offers “customers across the political spectrum a wide variety of content that includes disparate opinions” but that “we reserve the right not to sell certain content,” including heterodox opinions on LGBT beliefs.
According to Mr. Anderson himself, the debate centers on if gender dysphoria should be treated as a psychological problem, to be treated with counseling, or a medical problem that should be dealt with using puberty blockers and sexual reassignment surgery.
In Wednesday’s op-ed, Anderson argues that no good comes “from shutting down a debate about important matters on which reasonable people disagree.”
“When Harry Became Sally addresses the scientific, medical, political and philosophical issues at the heart of our national debate on transgender issues,” Anderson insists. “We should have that debate, and Amazon shouldn’t get in the way.”
Oddly, one author opposing transgenderism has yet to be banned by Amazon: Pope Francis.
In his 2016 teaching letter Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), found here on Amazon, the pope denounced the transgender ideology behind contemporary ideas of gender fluidity.
Sex education should teach “respect and appreciation” for sexual differences, as a way of helping the young to overcome self-absorption, the pontiff wrote. This respect includes self-acceptance and learning to embrace the body one is born with, rather than wishing to be something else.
Especially when experiencing difficulties with gender identity, “the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created,” Francis wrote.
Thinking that we enjoy “absolute power over our own bodies,” Francis warned, leads to the delusion that “we enjoy absolute power over creation.”
“An appreciation of our body as male or female,” he added, is “necessary for our own self-awareness in an encounter with others different from ourselves.”
“Trying to cancel binary sexual differences based in anatomy is a symptom of a society that “no longer knows how to deal with it,” he wrote.
Francis condemned an ideology of gender that “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family.”