From the VG Bookshelf: Irreversible Damage
From the VG Bookshelf: Irreversible Damage
Subtitle:The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters In this important book, author Abigail Shrier, well-respected writer for the Wall Street Journal, tackles head-on the newest and possibly most dangerous, social fad since widespread Ritalin use for squirmy first graders.
Shrier’s book is more than just a review of the literature on gender dysphoria, interviews with doctors, therapists, clinicians and numerous transgender and desisting individuals. What you will encounter is a book that clearly and succinctly examines one surprising demographic in “T” part of the LGBT community — teenaged girls. Girls who exhibited absolutely no issue with their gender identity until they hit their teen years. The larger response to these girls from the world outside their own families has been a coordinated one to damage familial relationships and rob girls of appropriate medical care.
The one thing Shrier makes clear from the beginning, and what she repeats throughout, is that she is not writing about trans-adults or those young people who have fit the gender identity disorder pattern that has been known and studied for almost 100 years.
Gender dysphoria—formerly known as “gender identity disorder”—is characterized by a severe and persistent discomfort in one’s biological sex.8 It typically begins in early childhood—ages two to four—though it may grow more severe in adolescence. But in most cases—nearly 70 percent—childhood gender dysphoria resolves.9 Historically, it afflicted tiny sliver of the population (roughly .01 percent) and almost exclusively boys. Before 2012, in fact, there was no scientific literature on girls ages eleven to twenty-one ever having developed gender dysphoria at all. In the last decade that has changed, and dramatically. The Western world has seen a sudden surge of adolescents claiming to have gender dysphoria and self-identifying as “transgender.” For the first time in medical history, natal girls are not only present among those so identify — they constitute the majority
The explosion of trans-identification in adolescent girls is startling. In 2018 the UK reported a 4,400% increase in these girls seeking gender treatments compared to the previous decade. Girls who never presented severe and persistent discomfort up until the time they came out.
Even more disturbing is that Shrier shows time and again, these girls come out to their female friend circle or in an online group. Even their own teachers and school administrators will know of the change long before parents.
Shrier masterfully weaves personal stories of these girls (identities protected) and what lead up to them suddenly declaring themselves transgender. For many, it leads to severe harm, not just to themselves but to the confused and heartbroken families they reject in the name of their new religion. Because as Shrier shows, whatever these girls are going through, they are not actually trans even as the more radical “T” community claims them. Indeed, Shrier points out that this radical ideology has used threats, intimidation and the lure of wokeness to enlist teachers, school administrators and politicians in declaring parents as the problem and enacting policies to shut them out of their minor daughters’ life.
Are these abusive parents? Are they the stereotype of unloving Bible-thumpers of the Hicktown ready to beat their daughters with heavy belts for daring to wear pants? Quite the contrary, Shrier points out that most of the despairing parents who contacted her to share their experiences could best be described as loving, caring, upper-class progressives. Some were gay or lesbian parents. College educated, they all talked of high-achieving daughters who lead busy and enriched lives. These parents all knew that the teen years for girls could be a wild rollercoaster of hormones and emotions. They were ill-prepared to fight the cult ideology that offered their daughters a pat and easy answer to their social awkwardness and alarm with their changing bodies. These parents also have come away feeling betrayed by schools and the medical community which appear to be lined up against them and eager to medically experiment on these girls regardless of permanent damage.
These girls, many of them high achieving but socially awkward find themselves in the position of being a celebrity by coming out as trans. Many of them, with few friends at school suddenly have more followers than ever on Instagram, et al, encouraging them in their new identity. Social contagion is a well known phenomena, especially among young women. Everything from clustered suicides to eating disorders – sensationalized coverage encourages these behaviors. Shrier reports she heard over and over again that these girls reported that social media played an overwhelming role in convincing and encouraging them in their trans-identification.
The radical Trans community has not only wrought political policies and law that fly in the face of Constitutional free speech rights, but their ideology has turned medical care on its ear. Shrier interviews renowned psychologists and therapists who have been ostracized, fired or threatened into silence because they didn’t change with “new” protocol — “affirmative care” — where the patient self-diagnoses their problem and the healthcare worker has to comply.
“I can’t think of any branch of medicine outside of cosmetic surgery where the patient makes the diagnosis and prescribes the treatment. This doesn’t exist. The doctor makes the diagnosis, the doctor prescribes the treatment. Somehow, by some word magic or word trickery, gender [activists] have somehow made this a political issue,” (Dr. Ray Blanchard) says.
Shrier includes interviews with many therapists and surgeons who are happy to tell her that it isn’t their job to disagree with the girl who seeks life altering hormones or surgery. They are happy to provide whatever the
patient customer wants. The cavalier attitude towards, say, cutting off healthy breasts is pretty breathtaking. One surgeon, Dr. Hugh McLean of Toronto, tells Shrier he has personally performed over 1,000 top surgeries with some girls as young as 16. The girls don’t even have to claim they think they are boys, identifying as non-binary is just fine with Dr. McLean. As he says, “You know, I long ago stopped trying to totally understand this.”
Money must be great for the good doctor.
Of course, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the volume of facts and startling revelations in Shrier’s book. It peels away and reveals a myriad of ideologues and mercenaries who target the vulnerable. And for that reason, Shrier has been in the Trans-activist crosshairs since the book published in July.
The latest kerfuffles about Irreversible Damage, from Target pulling the book to a trans-identified Berkeley Prof screaming transphobe! and publicly encouraging people to steal and burn the book, have actually increased interest and brought the book back to best seller status.
I highly recommend you buy and read this book, even if you don’t have daughters. The ideological virus that has infected our schools, politics and medical community must be confronted before more girls are permanently damaged. This book will provide you with the facts and the arguments.
featured image original artwork by VG Darleen Click