Abigail Shrier’s ‘Irreversible Damage’

 

Others have already commented on this book on Ricochet. In particular, Susan Quinn wrote this very nice post that drew heavily from it. I commented on a Bari Weiss interview with Abigail Shrier here. I’m sure other members have mentioned it, and several Ricochet podcasters have interviewed Ms. Shrier.

I spent a couple of the past few days in planes and airports and had an opportunity to finish a book and read two others, one of which was Ms. Shrier’s “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.”

As a parent, a father of a daughter, a conservative, and simply a generally decent human being, I recommend this book enthusiastically and without reservation. I think it is essential reading for every parent of a teenage or preteen girl. There are a lot of good books and a lot of important issues, but rarely does a book shine so much light on a real tragedy unfolding in our own communities and afflicting our most vulnerable with serious and permanent damage.

I know two families struggling with exactly the challenges Ms. Shrier describes, and two others that have been deeply scarred by their daughters’ experiences.

This is the most important book I’ve read in a very long time. Strongly recommended.

Published in Culture
Ricochet editors have scheduled this post to be promoted to the Main Feed at 8:08AM (PT) on December 15th, 2021.

There are 35 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    I completely echo Henry Racette.  Here is a link to get the book:

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I’m always glad to see Ms. Shrier’s book recommended (and thanks for the hat-tip). She shines a light on the nightmare of transgenderism in the most professional and clear way. The losses teen-age girls will experience in their current generation will be tragic and possibly irreversible if they yield to the pressures (and there are many) to follow this path. Thanks, Hank.

    • #2
  3. Alex Rosenwald Editor
    Alex Rosenwald
    @alex

    Right on the money! Totally agree with your review. 

    • #3
  4. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    Henry Racette: I think it is essential reading for every parent of a teenage or pre-teen girl.

    Concur.  I’m just glad my girls grew up before this trend hit. 

    And something else about this:  How come this adolescent transgender craze only effects the children of NPR listeners? 

    • #4
  5. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: I think it is essential reading for every parent of a teenage or pre-teen girl.

    Concur. I’m just glad my girls grew up before this trend hit.

    And something else about this: How come this adolescent transgender craze only effects the children of NPR listeners?

    Ray, as bad as that would be, I wish it were only that bad. But in fact it’s a danger for all young girls who attend public school, a growing number of misguided private schools, and/or who possess smart phones.

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    It effects boys too. 

    • #6
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Ray, as bad as that would be, I wish it were only that bad. But in fact it’s a danger for all young girls who attend public school, a growing number of misguided private schools, and/or who possess smart phones.

    Exactly.

    If you really want to protect your kids from this garbage, homeschool them and never let them anywhere near social media.

    • #7
  8. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    It effects boys too.

    But with nowhere near the frequency. Like essentially all adolescent social contagions, this is something that mostly afflicts young women.

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    If you really want to protect your kids from this garbage, homeschool them and never let them anywhere near social media.

    That’s the ideal solution — and it was ours for years, tucked away on a remote rural farm in Missouri, home schooling, and without (child) access to either the internet or television.

    Not everyone can pull that off. But the author noted that, for those who can, it’s probably the best emergency response if a daughter becomes infected by this nonsense. 

    • #8
  9. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    But the author noted that, for those who can, it’s probably the best emergency response if a daughter becomes infected by this nonsense. 

    One Parent’s Emergency Response: https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/12/13/what-ive-learned-rescuing-my-daughter-from-her-transgender-fantasy/

    • #9
  10. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    But the author noted that, for those who can, it’s probably the best emergency response if a daughter becomes infected by this nonsense.

    One Parent’s Emergency Response: https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/12/13/what-ive-learned-rescuing-my-daughter-from-her-transgender-fantasy/

    Yeah… we sent my brother to an isolated Catholic monastery :p

    • #10
  11. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    But the author noted that, for those who can, it’s probably the best emergency response if a daughter becomes infected by this nonsense.

    One Parent’s Emergency Response: https://www.dailysignal.com/2021/12/13/what-ive-learned-rescuing-my-daughter-from-her-transgender-fantasy/

    Drew, great link. Thank you. Ms. “Jacobs” (the post author) describes precisely what Ms. Shrier describes, in terms of the rather sinister network that exists on social media to encourage these young ladies. And she also echoes what friends have told me about their own difficulty in finding any mental health professional willing to offer sane counsel to these young women.

    • #11
  12. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    And she also echoes what friends have told me about their own difficulty in finding any mental health professional willing to offer sane counsel to these young women.

    During the Great Transgender Debate a couple years ago (maybe one of the last debates Cato participated in), I was making this point. No one in the therapy profession was actually trying to find out the underlying cause or to harmonize the mind with the body. It was all mental affirmation. We couldn’t even get decent therapy in the church.

    That isn’t compassion. And even on the right, we want to say “conversion therapy” is terrible and should never be utilized, but I reject that. We shouldn’t be lobotomizing pre-frontal cortexes , but the option to work through and discern if there are underlying causes should always be available.

    • #12
  13. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Moderator Note:

    Your comment was unrelated to the post and unwarranted.

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    I completely echo Henry Racette. Here is a link to get the book:

     

     

    [Redacted]

    • #13
  14. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Her book and words have been and are being censored – even on Amazon.  Glad it is getting the attention it deserves.  I heard it discussed today on the radio in the car.

    • #14
  15. Brian Scarborough Coolidge
    Brian Scarborough
    @Teeger

    Important. Exactly.

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Henry Racette: This is the most important book I’ve read in a very long time. Strongly recommended.

    I couldn’t agree more.  Here is a link you might find interesting.  It’s Abigail Shrier speaking at the Hillsdale Leadership Seminar in Nashville this past April.  If you don’t want to read her book, at least give this a listen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWbxIFC0Q2o

    The second is Episode 146 of Bridget Phetasy’s podcast, Walk-Ins Welcome.  In it, she interviews a woman named “Helena” about her beginning the transition, but ultimately changing her mind.  Fascinating, yet frightening . . .

    • #16
  17. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Good post Henry,

    While I have not read the book I can kinda foresee what it is going to say.

    From my own experience, since my daughter had oodles of friends, many of which I know pretty well,  I know the whole lesbian inclination is huge among young women. This inclination is due to several factors:

    • Young women want to be on the cutting edge of fashion.

    • Homosexual  relationships have been heavily encouraged by their school  experience.

    • Young women have been taught that   young men are inferior, and toxic in relationships. 

    • Many of   our young come from very dysfunctional families where there is no father figure to guide them and to provide a positive male image. 

    • Because young men have been so degraded in their school experiences, many have literally dropped out of society and retreated to things like computer games in their parents basement and drugs as their lifestyle. Furthermore, the college prep and college experience has severely discriminated against young men where now women graduate at a rate over more than 50% more than men.  As a result there is a paucity of  eligible young men for young women to date which has also led  to an exploration of alternative dating arrangements.

    So when you take all those factors above and add  two more:

    • That many of our young are very troubled  and that they are being told that being transgender will solve a great many of their problems.

    • That many have been thoroughly brainwashed by their  school experience  to think being transgender is a very viable life  option.

    When add these two factors to the mix, you end up with a huge number of young women who are very susceptible to being led down the garden path to transgenderism.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Good post Henry,

    While I have not read the book I can kinda foresee what it is going to say.

    From my own experience, since my daughter had oodles of friends, many of which I know pretty well, I know the whole lesbian inclination is huge among young women. This inclination is due to several factors:

    • Young women want to be on the cutting edge of fashion.

    • Homosexual relationships have been heavily encouraged by their school experience.

    • Young women have been taught that young men are inferior, and toxic in relationships.

    • Many of our young come from very dysfunctional families where there is no father figure to guide them and to provide a positive male image.

    • Because young men have been so degraded in their school experiences, many have literally dropped out of society and retreated to things like computer games in their parents basement and drugs as their lifestyle. Furthermore, the college prep and college experience has severely discriminated against young men where now women graduate at a rate over more than 50% more than men. As a result there is a paucity of eligible young men for young women to date which has also led to an exploration of alternative dating arrangements.

    So when you take all those factors above and add two more:

    • That many of our young are very troubled and that they are being told that being transgender will solve a great many of their problems.

    • That many have been thoroughly brainwashed by their school experience to think being transgender is a very viable life option.

    When add these two factors to the mix, you end up with a huge number of young women who are very susceptible to being led down the garden path to transgenderism.

    If they think actual men are no good, what could be more appealing than to create fake men, from other women?

    • #18
  19. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Good post Henry,

    While I have not read the book I can kinda foresee what it is going to say.

    From my own experience, since my daughter had oodles of friends, many of which I know pretty well, I know the whole lesbian inclination is huge among young women. This inclination is due to several factors:

    • Young women want to be on the cutting edge of fashion.

    • Homosexual relationships have been heavily encouraged by their school experience.

    • Young women have been taught that young men are inferior, and toxic in relationships.

    • Many of our young come from very dysfunctional families where there is no father figure to guide them and to provide a positive male image.

    • Because young men have been so degraded in their school experiences, many have literally dropped out of society and retreated to things like computer games in their parents basement and drugs as their lifestyle. Furthermore, the college prep and college experience has severely discriminated against young men where now women graduate at a rate over more than 50% more than men. As a result there is a paucity of eligible young men for young women to date which has also led to an exploration of alternative dating arrangements.

    So when you take all those factors above and add two more:

    • That many of our young are very troubled and that they are being told that being transgender will solve a great many of their problems.

    • That many have been thoroughly brainwashed by their school experience to think being transgender is a very viable life option.

    When add these two factors to the mix, you end up with a huge number of young women who are very susceptible to being led down the garden path to transgenderism.

    Thanks.

    By the way, this isn’t about lesbianism. It’s about alienation and a desire to find an identity that transcends normal standards of performance and judgment. It’s about finding a close-knit community that will embrace you for nothing more than making the declaration that you think you are “trans,” and then assure you that you’re part of a noble oppressed minority.

    It’s very far removed from same-sex attraction.

    • #19
  20. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    If women want to do this then good for them.  It is their life and body to screw up.  I just want them to leave their screwed up head elsewhere and leave the rest of us alone.   It is the forcing of the rest of us to support their fantasy and pretend they are reality that is the problem.   

    • #20
  21. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    If women want to do this then good for them. It is their life and body to screw up. I just want them to leave their screwed up head elsewhere and leave the rest of us alone. It is the forcing of the rest of us to support their fantasy and pretend they are reality that is the problem.

    In general, if you refer to ADULT women, I can agree.  But they’re screwing up a lot of kids too.

    • #21
  22. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    And in today’s news, this:

    LA Schools Host LGBT Club for 4 Year Olds

    One of the things mentioned repeatedly in Ms. Shrier’s book is the degree to which LGB clubs in schools seem to be a breeding ground for trans contagion. She describes how kids join seemingly innocuous (that is, if you don’t consider homosexuality to be inherently bad, which I don’t) gay/straight social clubs and are then radicalized.

    In my opinion schools shouldn’t be hosting sex-oriented clubs of any kind. They should be providing effective instruction and offering constructive, character- and skills-building extracurricular activities such as athletics, robotics, drama, chess, etc. Throw in the occasional dance, but don’t have social groups built around sexual preference and orientation.

    If you haven’t, read the book.

     

     

    • #22
  23. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    If women want to do this then good for them. It is their life and body to screw up. I just want them to leave their screwed up head elsewhere and leave the rest of us alone. It is the forcing of the rest of us to support their fantasy and pretend they are reality that is the problem.

    The whole point of the book is that young women, often young women with no relationship or sexual experience, are making choices that ultimately harm them, and are making them with the encouragement not just of toxic social media, but of institutions that parents mistakenly believe they can trust: schools, counselors, doctors, etc.

    • #23
  24. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Just received my first Christmas card/non-binary gender identity announcement. I think this girl is 11 or 12 and her parents brought her into this world with great effort and scientific assistance. I am sorry for them, and I want to reach out. But what to say? And of course, they’re super progressive. If I even so much as suggested it might be a phase, they’d probably consider it a hate crime.

    • #24
  25. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Just received my first Christmas card/non-binary gender identity announcement. I think this girl is 11 or 12 and her parents brought her into this world with great effort and scientific assistance. I am sorry for them, and I want to reach out. But what to say? And of course, they’re super progressive. If I even so much as suggested it might be a phase, they’d probably consider it a hate crime.

    I completely understand. It gets grim when the child starts talking about taking testosterone injections, getting “top surgery” (a phrase that should make any sane person recoil in horror), and other gruesome madness.

    If I thought simply confronting parents with the ugly reality would be effective, I’d be willing to do that. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s likely to work in most cases. Ms. Shrier’s book is particularly valuable for those parents who understand that they’re dealing with a serious problem, but don’t know how — or if — they should deal with it. I bought a copy for one such parent last week.

    • #25
  26. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Just received my first Christmas card/non-binary gender identity announcement. I think this girl is 11 or 12 and her parents brought her into this world with great effort and scientific assistance. I am sorry for them, and I want to reach out. But what to say? And of course, they’re super progressive. If I even so much as suggested it might be a phase, they’d probably consider it a hate crime.

    I completely understand. It gets grim when the child starts talking about taking testosterone injections, getting “top surgery” (a phrase that should make any sane person recoil in horror), and other gruesome madness.

    If I thought simply confronting parents with the ugly reality would be effective, I’d be willing to do that. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s likely to work in most cases. Ms. Shrier’s book is particularly valuable for those parents who understand that they’re dealing with a serious problem, but don’t know how — or if — they should deal with it. I bought a copy for one such parent last week.

    My hope is that many girls are choosing to identify as non-binary rather than as transgender boys so that they don’t actually have to do anything. This girl changed her name and pronouns (from she to they, according to the card). That’s why I assume it’s a non-binary identity. To me, it’s code for “white girl going through puberty rebels against her femininity and  seeks minority victim status.” 

    • #26
  27. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    And in today’s news, this:

    LA Schools Host LGBT Club for 4 Year Olds

    One of the things mentioned repeatedly in Ms. Shrier’s book is the degree to which LGB clubs in schools seem to be a breeding ground for trans contagion. She describes how kids join seemingly innocuous (that is, if you don’t consider homosexuality to be inherently bad, which I don’t) gay/straight social clubs and are then radicalized.

    In my opinion schools shouldn’t be hosting sex-oriented clubs of any kind. They should be providing effective instruction and offering constructive, character- and skills-building extracurricular activities such as athletics, robotics, drama, chess, etc. Throw in the occasional dance, but don’t have social groups built around sexual preference and orientation.

    If you haven’t, read the book.

    Thanks for the post, Hank. 

    This comment illuminates our disagreement.  I think that the source of this problem is much deeper.  Deeper than acceptance of homosexuality, though I think that such acceptance is a bad thing.  We disagree about that.  I think that the proximate source is the breakdown of traditional sexual morality as a whole, and that we’re seeing the natural consequences of this change playing out over the generations.

    I don’t think that I can prove this with pure reason, because the slippery-slope argument is a logical fallacy, in the sense that it is not necessarily true.  It is often true in practice, I think.  But others can disagree with my judgment on this issue, and there is no way to resolve such disagreement through reasoned argument.  It is a question of moral values, which are fundamentally issues of faith.

    This makes the issue raised in Shrier’s book very difficult for me.  There seems to be pretty broad agreement that the teenage-trans-thing is very bad, but differences of opinion in the diagnosis of the cause.

    • #27
  28. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Unsk (View Comment):
    being led down the garden path

    If you do read the book, you’ll come to the conclusion they’re being railroaded down the garden path . . .

    • #28
  29. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    If women want to do this then good for them. It is their life and body to screw up. I just want them to leave their screwed up head elsewhere and leave the rest of us alone. It is the forcing of the rest of us to support their fantasy and pretend they are reality that is the problem.

    In general, if you refer to ADULT women, I can agree. But they’re screwing up a lot of kids too.

    Exactly.  Shrier’s discussion is about teenage girls, particularly those going through puberty or right afterward.

    • #29
  30. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    One of the things mentioned repeatedly in Ms. Shrier’s book is the degree to which LGB clubs in schools seem to be a breeding ground for trans contagion.

    I made a post today about an LA school doing this:

    https://www.theblaze.com/news/los-angeles-school-lgbtq-clubs-for-kids

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.