In a letter to Amazon this week, a group of Republican U.S. senators demanded to know why the retail giant suddenly removed a book by political philosopher Ryan Anderson. The book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement,” scrutinizes the prevailing transgender orthodoxy we see pouring out of leftist activism, the LGBT movement, the mainstream media, and, increasingly, modern healthcare institutions.
Responding to this clear case of partisan censorship, Sen. Marco Rubio and three of his GOP colleagues fired off a letter to Amazon demanding answers.
“We write regarding Amazon’s recent political censorship activities, particularly the decision to remove the book When Harry Became Sally by conservative scholar, Ryan Anderson, from the Amazon website, Kindle, and Audible platforms,” the senators wrote. “Over the past 72 hours, Amazon has been unable to provide a sufficient explanation as to how Anderson’s book, which reached the top of two of Amazon’s best-seller lists before it was even released in 2018, supposedly violated a vague, undefined ‘offensive content’ standard.
“When Harry Became Sally prompted important discussions in the national media and among policymakers in 2018, and remains one of the most rigorously researched and compassionately argued books on this subject,” the Republicans continued. “By removing this book from its marketplaces and services, Amazon has unabashedly wielded its outsized market share to silence an important voice merely for the crime of violating woke groupthink.”
In his own remarks at the journal “First Things,” author Anderson criticized Amazon for removing his book without the slightest note of explanation.
“Amazon never informed me or my publisher that it was removing my book,” he wrote this week. “And Amazon’s representatives haven’t responded to our inquiries about it. Perhaps they’re citing a religious objection to selling my book? Or maybe they only sell books with which they agree? (If so, they have a lot of explaining to do about why they carry Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.) If there’s a religious or speech objection, let’s hear it. But if it’s just an attempt to skew the conversation in the public square with an attempt to discredit one of the Equality Act’s most prominent critics, that’s a different matter.”
Since its publication in 2018, “When Harry Became Sally” has been mercilessly criticized by LGBT groups, left-wing activists, and critics at both The New York Times and the Washington Post. As Anderson himself points out, the vast majority of this criticism avoids discussion of the actual content of the book in favor of ad-hominem attacks on an author who refused to carry water for the transgender movement.
“It’s not about how you say it, or how rigorously you argue it, or how charitably you present it,” Anderson wrote. “It’s about whether you affirm or dissent from the new orthodoxy of gender ideology.”