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Book Calling Trans Surgery a Trend Axed by Japanese Publisher

A Japanese women's rights activist believes the book could have helped prevent girls from making premature and uninformed decisions to undergo trans procedures.



Members of the Josei no Kenri to Songen wo Torimodosu Kai (association for reclaiming women's rights and dignity) demand the publication of the book "Irreversible Damage" in front of KADOKAWA’s headquarters in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. (©Sankei)

Publisher KADOKAWA's decision to cancel the release of the Japanese translation of Irreversible Damage has sparked controversy. Subtitled "The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters," the book delves into the rise of sex-change procedures in the United States. It was written by Abigail Shrier, an American journalist exploring the realities of trans people.

Yukari Aotani, co-representative of Josei no Kenri to Songen wo Torimodosu Kai (association for reclaiming women's rights and dignity), voices concern about KADOKAWA's decision. "We have lost the opportunity to understand the drawbacks of excessive transgender medical practices," Aotani explains. She believes that the book could have helped prevent young girls from choosing to undergo sex reassignment without sufficient awareness.

Cover of "Irreversible Damage" by Abigail Shrier (2020, Regnery Publishing).

Preventing Premature Decisions

The Japanese translation of Irreversible Damage was scheduled to be released in January 2024. Shrier's book sheds light on the easy accessibility of sex change procedures for girls in the United States.

"It was supposed to be the first book to inform readers in Japanese about the drawbacks of transgender medical practices, as seen in leading countries like the United States and the United Kingdom," says Aotani.

She believes that the book could have deterred girls from undergoing sex change procedures unnecessarily, merely to follow a trend as observed in some cases in the US. Such procedures could include breast and uterus removal, which Aotani says impedes the natural development of secondary sexual characteristics.

An increasing number of Japanese people are being exposed to transgender perspectives through non-Japanese influencers on social media. Meanwhile, in the US, there is a growing prevalence of puberty blockers, which temporarily halt the development of secondary sexual characteristics.

However, Aotani warns that "the notion that changing one's sex will make life easier and provide relief is an illusion."

Yukari Aotani, co-representative of the women's rights association. (©Sankei)

The Female Body Image

Furthermore, concerning female-to-male sex change, Aotani identifies preconceptions of the "ideal female image" as contributing to the trend of idealizing transgender people. She references cases of American detransitioners who explained that their motive for changing their sex to male was a feeling that their bodies didn't align with the ideal female form. 

Aotani points out that feelings of not being slim, cute, or graceful enough to fit the "ideal female image" could be a contributing factor to the surge in sex change procedures among girls. "Certain societal attitudes make girls feel like they are being rejected. This could be one reason why an increasing number of girls are seeking to become boys," she suggests.



(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Shimpei Okuhara

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