Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2020. 264 pages. Hardcover. $28.99.
Reviewed by Peter J. Scaer on 02/15/2021
The social landscape is shifting in ways that many could not have imagined, and it is happening at record speed. Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage, opened up the floodgates. What was previously a cultural tug-of-war has become a rout, and it is hard to keep up. Thankfully, there have been many excellent books to help us understand.
Christian parents, especially those who have daughters, would do well to read Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage. In this well-documented work, Shrier addresses the question of why girls, especially white girls of privilege, seem especially vulnerable to the transgender phenomenon. Anyone who is paying attention to what is happening at the local high school has probably seen this for themselves. Girls are becoming increasingly uncomfortable in their own bodies. Perhaps, many of us who are older might see this phenomenon as something akin to anorexia.
Shrier emphasizes that the transgender phenomenon is transmitted socially. Girls who never before expressed discomfort in their own bodies hear a “coming out” story or find friendship in a group of influencers on the internet. Many girls, who may have previously thought of themselves as tomboys, are pushed to transition. There is increasingly a social advantage to entering into the so-called transgender community, as it offers a certain status. Public schools actively promote gender ideology. Parents, unsure of their place and scared about losing their children, do not want to be labeled as transphobic.
The irreversible damage is physical to be sure. Hormones soon leave a permanent deepening of the voice, as well as facial and body hair. Plastic surgery can restore the appearance of breasts, but not their function. Children are confused, and parents are afraid. Meanwhile, the regiment is pushed by mental health professionals who profit off of gender-affirming therapy. Likewise, surgeons, pharmaceutical companies, and other doctors have found gender transitioning to be a very profitable business indeed.
What to do? Shrier offers valuable tips, including keeping our kids away from smartphones. Remember that our children do not belong to the school system, but are given to us by God as their primary guides. Kids need moms and dads who act according to their calling. This may mean courageously stepping in and removing our daughters from dangerous situations.
Shrier is a respected writer for The Wall Street Journal, though mainstream publications and venues have largely ignored this work. It should be said that it is not written from a Christian point of view, but that should not dissuade us. To it we can add the truth of Genesis, that God created us male and female, and that is indeed something to celebrate. And while we do this, we can rediscover a biblical view of marriage, in which husband and wife complement each other, and offer motherly nurture and fatherly strength, so much needed when our kids are under attack.
This is no time for the fainthearted. Our children need us now more than ever. Reading Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage will help arm us for the fight.