Thursday, March 11, 2021

Amazon Won’t Sell Books Framing LGBTQ+ Identities as Mental Illnesses Inc. AMZN 1.83% said it recently removed a three-year-old book about transgender issues from its platforms because it decided not to sell books that frame transgender and other sexual identities as mental illnesses.

The company explained its decision in a letter Thursday to Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana and Josh Hawley of Missouri, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The senators had written last month to Chief Executive Jeff Bezos requesting an explanation of why “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment” was no longer available on Amazon AMZN 1.83% nor on its Kindle and Audible platforms.

“As to your specific question about When Harry Became Sally, we have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness,” Amazon said in the letter, which was signed by Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, referring to sexual identities that include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, among others.

“When Harry Became Sally,” written by the conservative scholar Ryan T. Anderson, was published in February 2018. The book focuses on a variety of issues including gender identity.

“Everyone agrees that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that causes great suffering,” said Mr. Anderson and Roger Kimball, the publisher of Encounter Books, the New York-based nonprofit that published the book, in a statement Thursday in response to Amazon’s letter.

“There is a debate, however, which Amazon is seeking to shut down, about how best to treat patients who experience gender dysphoria,” they added, calling their book “an important contribution” to that conversation. “Amazon is using its massive power to distort the marketplace of ideas and is deceiving its own customers in the process,” they said.

Read the rest here.


Deacon Nicholas said...

"A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us'."
--St. Anthony the Great, 3rd cen. A.D.

unreconstructed rebel said...

I am working on persuading my wife in dropping our Prime membership.

Stephen said...

If the Christian baker should not be forced to make cakes for weddings of same-sex couples, by the same principle the atheist book seller should not be forced to sell books for whatever reason. This is private enterprise. Find another distribution outlet for your book, just like the same-sex couple should be able to find a baker who will willingly make a cake for them. Or would you rather have the government pick and choose?

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Amazon would not exist but for the State's grant of ex post corporate rights. Intellectual property doesn't exist outside the State's grant of ex post rights. The State monopolizes the infrastructure utilized by Amazon and commands the taxes to pay for it. The State determines the legal tender and heavily regulates the banks (more State grants) that process the payments. Given the gigantic State footprint in everything, I'm not uncomfortable with the State telling Amazon it's now a not-for-profit public utility and has to carry whatever anybody offers it to sell.

Or we can abolish intellectual property and Seuss's works will be in the public domain, where they belong.

Of course, ideally, Amazon bans our books so we make our own Amazon. Social media bans our hyperlinks so we make our own social media. Patreon bans our payments so we make our own Patreon. Banks ban our deposits so we make our own banks. And continuing, we will probably need to make our own servers, our own internet, even our own logistics.

Sounds like we better make our own State. The present one is just too antithetical to the Christian faith to abide.

rick allen said...

I don't know how accurate the headline is. I see that Amazon is still selling the fourth and fifth editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV and DSM-V), which, I think, still recognize gender identity disorder.

I know nothing about the book pulled, but I think a private bookseller has every right to decide what titles it wants to carry and not carry.

Amazon is of course the 800-pound gorilla of contemporary book publishing. But so far as I know the Sherman and Clayton Acts are still on the books, and to the extent that Amazon is actually exercising monopoly power in its industry there are remedies for that that I wouldn't mind being enforced.

I actually had a friend write and publish a book a few years back that Amazon wouldn't carry. She was disappointed and the sales through her small local publisher have been modest. But I don't think it ever occurred to her that she could force Amazon to carry it.

I have these last years been making my way slowly through Balzac's "Illusions perdues," in which a (seemingly) idealistic young poet from the provinces makes his way to Paris and is utterly corrupted by the power that journalists and booksellers have over literature. The problem isn't new, but I don't see how it's solved by forcing anyone to carry everything.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Freedom of association, applied consistently and across-the-board, would solve so many problems the government will never allow it.