Patterico's Pontifications

3/11/2021

Constitutional Vanguard: Amazon Bans Book with Wrongthink

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:08 pm



This particular book contains wrongthink about how to deal with gender dysphoria. That cannot be allowed, comrade. I discuss in my latest missive to paying members of the Constitutional Vanguard. You too can be such an elite member! Start by clicking here.

34 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: Amazon Bans Book with Wrongthink”

  1. And you could listen to my conversation with Dana about faith, in case you missed that . . .

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. If a retailer decides not to carry a particular book, is it really fair to say the book is “banned”?

    If a Christian bookstore decides not to sell a book on, say, gay sex, is that banning a book with wrongthink, comrade?

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. I thought this was a capitalist site? Are you saying a business does not have a right to sell which books they want to?

    asset (929753)

  4. You’d be ‘hard pressed’ not to find a particular book title for purchase in America. Plenty of outlets– new, used, thrift shops, collector corners– even garage sales. Clicking and having it sent to your door might be more of a distribution issue, but going out and finding what you want still works. Just wear a mask.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  5. This is crappy decision by Amazon that they have every right to make. The fact that they have the right to do it doesn’t detract from how crappy it is.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  6. I don’t like what Amazon did, but it is well within their right to do it. I know you can make a case that Amazon is so big and its hold on the online book market is so vast that it should not be allowed to do this, but there are still other outlets where you can buy books.

    Now, if Amazon bans a book liberals love, like Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist, then you can expect Democrats to take action.

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  7. @6, i expect their action would be the same as the conservatives; lots of noise and calls for the government to take control of a private company. Social pressure is I think the right decision here.

    Time123 (af99e9)

  8. Amazon disappears books all the time. The reason is that the initial (usually predatory or, better, parasitic) pricing contract with the author and/or publisher expires and they fail to reach a new agreement.

    Bet you a dollar that’s what happened here, too. But Ryan T. Anderson has a voice in the Heritage Foundation community and managed to turn it into a political controversy.

    Barnes and Noble carries it, in several formats, if you want to send a few bucks Mr. Anderson’s way.

    Personally, I recommend the H.H. Lomax series by Preston Lewis which you can send to your Kindle or Kindle app for a total of $2.97 for all six books if you’re careful what you click. Bluster’s Last Stand for $0.99 has the first four books, and First Herd To Abilene and North To Alaska are $0.99 each.

    (And that’s what I mean by predatory/parasitic pricing. A fair price for the author would be around $6.00 for each book.)

    nk (1d9030)

  9. If there’s an anti-trust case against Amazon for anything, it’s books. But here’s the deal. (Not to mention the malarkey.) Consumers cannot bring anti-trust actions. Only competitors can. And publishers are octopi too. They have been engaging in the same practices they would be accusing Amazon of before Jeff Bezos was a gleam in the milkman’s eye and even much longer than that. Vae auctoribus.

    nk (1d9030)

  10. @9, i don’t see either party giving consumers more rights to bring anti-trust cases

    Time123 (af99e9)

  11. I guess I’ll have to wait for the movie

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  12. I thought this was a capitalist site? Are you saying a business does not have a right to sell which books they want to?

    Nope, as the post itself makes clear.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  13. If a retailer decides not to carry a particular book, is it really fair to say the book is “banned”?

    At that site? Yes.

    If a Christian bookstore decides not to sell a book on, say, gay sex, is that banning a book with wrongthink, comrade?

    As I told asset, I believe in the right of businesses to decide what they want to sell. But a comparison between a small Christian bookstore and Amazon is like comparing this site to Twitter. Amazon does not market itself as a “Christian bookstore” or as a “[insert narrowing adjective here] bookstore” and the impact on sales of banning a book at Amazon is quite different from that of banning it at a little-trafficked local store.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  14. People are welcome not to sign up for the posts intended for paid subscribers, but it doesn’t really make sense to criticize me for the content of posts you’re not reading — especially when the posts address the issues you are raising and in some cases dispel your bad assumptions about what you think I said.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  15. In other words, I invite y’all to become part of the elite and read the post!

    Why a (very small) paywall for some stuff? Well, for one, it motivates me to write a little more deeply on a fairly consistent basis. For another, there are times (like this post) when the topic is a little more sensitive, and I prefer to limit the audience to people who, while willing to challenge my ideas, are part of a group that contains (hopefully) nobody looking to destroy me over a casual misinterpretation or twisting of things I have said.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  16. I subscribed.

    nk (1d9030)

  17. Amazon explains:

    “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.

    I will not debate whether that’s the real reason. (And not what I wrote in my previous comment.) The mere fact that it’s the reason they’re giving makes Patterico’s point.

    nk (1d9030)

  18. Twitter is on solider ground for banning Trump than Amazon for banning Ryan Anderson. Trump’s tweets led to a violent insurrection while Anderson’s book is part of a whole tapestry of ideas about gender and is certainly not dangerous. In this Rauch is right about every idea being open for debate. Yes, Amazon can ban as it wishes, don’t mean it’s right.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  19. I wonder if they’ll ban all the “erotica” which refer to transgenders as “sissies”.

    No, I’m not telling you how I know they carry them. And definitely not advising you to go see for yourselves.

    nk (1d9030)

  20. “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,”

    This is unfortunate as some sexual identity issues are mental illness. To state something always is X or never is X is almost always false. Amazon is knuckling under to activist demands rather than letting scientific and medical debate free reign.

    You cannot have Science work when facts don’t drive the discussion. Even if the activists are right, it still isn’t Science.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. Trump’s tweets led to a violent insurrection while Anderson’s book is part of a whole tapestry of ideas about gender and is certainly not dangerous.

    True. In no way does the book call for unkind treatment of anyone because of gender identity issues. Instead, it asks whether hormonal and surgical alterations are the best way to address gender dysphoria, and provides evidence that many people have regretted going that route and have found better paths to self-acceptance.
    The activists do not want them to be heard. IIRC, they got YouTube to ban one man who spoke of his personal experience, which was said to be hateful. That’s absurd. Why do people not want anyone to be encouraged to think they might be able to alleviate their suffering without drastic surgical alterations and hormonal treatments that have irreversible effects? Is it because a lot of people are profiting from the drastic course of action?

    Anderson does not say that adults should be prevented from choosing surgical and hormonal alteration, but suggests that they should have more information about long-term consequences and other options that might serve them better.

    His main concern is how children are being put on puberty blockers when the evidence shows that the great majority of children with gender dysphoria grow out of it when they reach puberty — if that process is not artificially blocked. Once they’re started on puberty blockers, they’re on a course where going on to hormone treatment is practically inevitable, and surgery is likely. A substantial number of those people will later regret it.

    The activists do no want people to know that their agenda is pushing people into lifelong difficulties that could have been avoided if nature had been allowed to take its course and/or if they had been steered toward a noninvasive way of accepting themselves as they are.

    Cui bono?

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  22. I’ll point out that “The Unabomber Manifesto” and other books by Ted Kaczynski are sold in a number of editions on Amazon. This book, where he justifies his campaign of terror which killed or maimed dozens, might encourage others to continue his war against technologists.

    Of course technologists don’t have political clout of the same sort, and aren’t likely to try to get you fired for saying things that they don’t want you to say.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. @5. Can’t get a Big Mac at Burger King either. Who cares; if you want something in America you can eventually find it and buy it. America conducted commerce before there was an Amazon. Never used Amazon. And never will. No need.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  24. Another point: Anderson observes that transgender ideology, in a way, relies on rigid gender stereotypes. It holds that a boy who likes things that are more typically feminine must be a girl in a boy’s body, so he needs to be given a girl’s body instead — or the semblance of it, since his body cannot really be turned into a female body. On this point, it’s the supposed bigot who is saying “It’s okay for a boy to be different from most boys, and for a girl to be different from most girls. They can be accepted as they are.”

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  25. I’ll point out that “The Unabomber Manifesto” and other books by Ted Kaczynski are sold in a number of editions on Amazon

    .

    Oh come one. You can’t really believe that encouraging people to blow stuff up is more dangerous than encouraging people to hope they might alleviate their gender dysphoria without surgery and hormone treatment!!

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  26. I would (wish I could) become a paying member to your missives, Patterico, but money is real tight right now. My mother passed away on July 30, 2020, but she died without leaving a will. You would not believe the hassle I, my sister and two brothers have had to go through to become recognized as her legal heirs. We’re her children, for Christ’s sake! We’ve submitted all the paperwork–death certificate, birth certificates, notarized affidavits, signed testimonies from relatives and people who knew her and us–yet to this day the court has not appointed an attorney ad litem to oversee the dissolution of her estate. That means we cannot act on selling the condos or the real estate corporation. We can’t even close her bank account. We’re talking about a lot of money here, actually millions, that’s just out there, frozen and inaccessible. It’s very frustrating. So far we’ve only been able to close her savings account, because she did name the four of us as her heirs on the account. Even that required copies of the death certificate, our birth certificates, and notarized affidavits. We each got a little over $54,000, so that’s what I’ve been living on all these months, but that money is running out quickly. Paid off my student loan debt, spent a couple of thousand on repairs and new tires for my Mazda (insurance averages $250 quarterly); the condo is paid for, but utilities and DirecTV together average $300/month; and there’s always the necessities of food and gas. Unemployed–can’t go back to real estate because of the moratorium on foreclosures, and because it would cost more to maintain my license and board membership than I could earn in commissions; can’t go back to teaching because I don’t have any current recommendations, and because of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, also because the academic year won’t start for months, assuming schools are open in September–I have no income. I’m stuck, waiting on the court. The wheels of justice turn slow, and it sucks, but this is ridiculous and painful.

    Anyway, enough of my sad story. We all have problems, and life isn’t what it used to be.

    Having not read the missive, I don’t know what wrongthink is. I assume it’s an opinion contrary to the popular. In other words, one that challenges groupthink, or politically correct thought. I’m certainly guilty of that, have been all my life. When I was in high school, the bumper sticker on my car read Question Authority. I’m what you might call an eclectic contrarian. I read everything, but find little to agree with. And this goes to all subjects. There is learned thought; that is, what you’ve been taught. Simply saying what you’ve been told, repetitive thought; I call that parroting. Then there is original thought. Now, I’m a big fan of that, because it always questions and challenges all other thoughts.

    Gender dysphoria sounds to me a lot like body dysmorphia. That’s a psychological affliction that causes some people to have multiple plastic surgeries because of some perceived defect in their bodies. Often, they end up grotesque. A simple search will find and reveal horrifying images.

    Remember Demi Moore? A talented actress, she was so cute and beautiful when she was young that Bruce Willis married her! Then she became obsessed with having the “perfect” (meaning more masculine) body. She spent over $2 million (!) on plastic surgery, multiple operations. When she finally arrived at her “perfect” body, Bruce Willis divorced her. She wanted to be GI Jane; he simply wanted her to be Demi Moore, the woman he fell in love with.

    Look at her now. Her “perfect” body did get her the starring role in the movie GI Jane, but it cost her her husband. I can’t recall another movie Demi Moore starred or even appeared in after GI Jane. Bruce Willis went on to star in blockbusters and make millions. He’s one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. Where is she today? Gone and forgotten.

    But, seriously, what would you do if you were in his situation? You meet this young, beautiful woman, fall in love and marry her. And she turns into a psychotic, afflicted with body dysmorphia, and wastes millions on plastic surgery. That’s a reason for divorce if there ever was one.

    Hollywood marriages and divorces are more common than they are spectacular. But Demi Moore and Bruce Willis could have become the next Pamela Dawber and Mark Harmon.

    She was a beautiful, talented young actress, starred on Broadway, also recorded voice overs for children’s films. But she didn’t really become famous until she played Mindy, on Mork and Mindy, with Robin Williams as Mork. That became the No. 1 show on television.

    He played quarterback for UCLA, led the Trojans to a championship in the Rose Bowl, then went into film. He starred in several movies, and was named “the Sexiest Man in Hollywood” on the cover of Peoples Magazine.

    They met, fell in love, got married, and had a child. The moment she held her first-born son in her arms, Pamela knew that the most important job in the world for her was to raise her child, so she became a housewife. Yeah, she walked away from a promising career and decided to stay home and raise her children. It helps that her husband went on to become the highest paid actor on television (NCIS) and a very successful producer. But what Mark does is very simple. He goes to work, makes a lot of money, then he goes home to love his wife and raise his children, every day.

    You don’t hear that story very often, not in Hollywood. But it’s the true story of a couple who got it right. Family is all that matters. He provides, she nurtures; he works, she manages the house; together, they raise their children.

    They’ve been faithfully married for over thirty years. There is no hint of scandal around them. They don’t make public appearances, so there are no paparazzies chasing them around for compromising photos or reporters looking for scandalous stories. They love each other. They’re committed to each other. They’re devoted to their children.

    That’s the way it has to be, if you want to be successful in life. That’s the way my grandparents did it, and they were faithfully married for 65 years. That’s the way my parents did it, and they were faithfully married for 45 years. Out of their marriage beds came well over a hundred children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. This is what I’m talking about, the procreation of life. It has to be done a certain way, or else everything falls apart. And the children suffer most for their parents’ inability to make the commitment to sacrificing everything to raise and support them.

    Is that wrongthink enough for you? Is that politically incorrect enough for you? Would Amazon not agree to sell a book like that by me, based on my life experiences and convictions?

    Gender dysphoria seems to me to refer to those who undergo transgender operations. Which is the same as body dysmorphia. Born a male, he feels or thinks he’s a female. Born a female, she feels or thinks she’s a male. So they undergo multiple operations to change their sex.

    What’s wrong with that? It’s elective surgery and hormone treatment. What’s wrong with it is that it doesn’t change their sex–a male is born a male (XY), a female is born a female (XX). There is no operation that can change DNA. So, really, these operations are actually a desperate attempt to appease a patient’s psychological disorder. To me, that’s medical malpractice, and the doctors who perform such operations should be prosecuted. A male cannot become a female, and a female cannot become a male, no matter how many surgeries. That’s just simple biology. Whoever cannot grasp that fact is delusional or conspiratorial, anti-life.

    In life, there is only life. A man and a woman, in love, making love, and raising their children, making every sacrifice, in love and with love. There is nothing else. That is what life is all about. Any doctor or politician who says otherwise is either a hypocrite or a heretic.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  27. So, really, these operations are actually a desperate attempt to appease a patient’s psychological disorder. … A male cannot become a female, and a female cannot become a male, no matter how many surgeries.

    This is true. While there’s a lot of talk about “gender fluidity” today, the transgender ideology basically assumes that “male” and “female” are in fact different, such that a biological male can say “I feel that I’m really a woman.” I.e., he understands that a woman is not the same as a man. But what is the reference point for understanding and identifying them as different things? That’s a question they can’t answer without undermining their agenda. Treating gender dysphoria as a psychological disorder might have a happier outcome for a lot of people.

    But I disagree with the idea that there’s only one proper way to go through life. People are different in a lot of ways, and there are often unpredictable twists and misfortunes, and things the individual can’t control with the best of intentions. People should not be shamed if they’re doing the best they can on a path that doesn’t look picture-perfect, and may not be what they would have chosen if they could control everything to their wishes.

    I have an older female relative who is not typically feminine; she never married, and I’ve wondered if she’s a closeted lesbian, or if she might have been labeled transgender if she had been born later. She has done some consequential research in her work as a pediatrician. I would be highly offended if someone suggested that her life has been less worthy than those of all the women who brought their children to her for medical treatment.

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  28. @26. Hollywood is a business, GG. Moore failed in lead rolls for big budget features because she couldn’t carry a film on her own. People didn’t flock and pay to see ‘starring Demi Moore’ films. She was given three shots at break through, too– and the B.O. tallies were disappointing. Yes, you could blame poor choices or bad projects, but the industry runs on the bottom line and she was doomed to playing supporting roles for not being strong enough to carry big budget features on her on. She’s not the first. That’s just how the biz works. OTOH, she became a solid and successful producer. Review the credits on the lucrative Austin Powers franchise.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  29. Bruce Willis went on to star in blockbusters and make millions. He’s one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. Where is she today? Gone and forgotten.

    Plastic surgery isn’t the reason that actresses tend to have shorter runs as big stars than actors do. On the contrary, plastic surgery is more likely to extend their careers. Bruce Willis is not playing opposite women his age who didn’t get cosmetic enhancement. He’s playing opposite women who are a lot younger than he is. His current wife is 23 years younger than himself, and 16 years younger than Demi. The reason he went for a younger woman is not because he was offended by Demi’s plastic surgery.

    It’s nice that some Hollywood stars will stay with their wives through the decades. I certainly respect them for it. But the plain fact is that a lot of wealthy men replace their wives with younger ones because they can. Not because their wives got facelifts. I’ve even seen men argue that it’s perfectly appropriate, because while the men were increasing their value, the women were losing value so they weren’t keeping up their end of the bargain: resources in exchange for youth and beauty.

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  30. BTW, I’m not absolving the young women who prize a man’s bank account above all else, or who actively seduce another woman’s husband. Not at all.

    Radegunda (f4d5c0)

  31. @Gawain@26 If you are really interested in going back to teaching or if you need the money to tide you over, you can try subbing. Everyone always needs subs and you don’t need a recommendation for it, just the right education standards for your state and cleared fingerpints, and if you pick up a long term it could get you the recommendations and current connections you’d need to a regular teaching job.

    Nic (896fdf)

  32. The reason he went for a younger woman is not because he was offended by Demi’s plastic surgery.

    The other way around, of course.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  33. @26: I hope you do better than the heirs in Jarndyce.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  34. Gawain’s Ghost,

    I am late to this, but if you see this, email me.

    Patterico (e349ce)


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