The Corner


Enjoy Playing Morality Police, Amazon

The Wall Street Journal has the scoop: Amazon will no longer “sell books that frame transgender and other sexual identities as mental illnesses.”

The company’s announcement came in a letter to Republican senators, who inquired of the selling and shipping giant why it had, without explanation, ceased selling Ryan T. Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally.

As Ryan has pointed out, nowhere in his book does he refer to those who experience gender dysphoria as “mentally ill,” nor have any of his critics bothered to explain why they haven’t identified a single passage where he does so. Nevertheless, his book was the first to go in Amazon’s new crusade to silence those who oppose leftist orthodoxy on sex and gender.

The decision is troubling enough as a standalone matter, as several writers have already written here at NRO. Are we to take this as a sign that questioning society’s wholesale adoption of sex-reassignment surgery and hormonal gender “transition,” even for young children, is henceforth anathema? Even though “detransitioning” is a very real phenomenon, even though most children who experience gender dysphoria later desist, even though some have found Ryan’s book helpful in their struggle with gender dysphoria?

But perhaps more troubling is what this move portends for a host of cultural issues. How long until the social-justice mob, or its acolytes within Amazon, decide it’s harmful to women to insist that abortion kills an innocent human being or to defend religious freedom in the face of secular bigotry?

Most bizarre of all, Amazon continues unblinkingly to sell books such as Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Mao Zeodong’s Little Red Book, containing content that nearly all modern readers agree is highly objectionable. If Amazon has decided to anoint itself arbiter of which ideas may be espoused in books sold on its platform, it had better be prepared to come under fire from every direction for maintaining on its digital shelves all sorts of problematic texts.


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