Abigail Shrier

This content was last updated Nov. 14, 2023, 7:06 p.m. UTC

Abigail Shrier is a conservative activist, attorney, writer, and contributor to Bari WeissFree Press based in Los Angeles, CA. She is best known as the author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (2020), a book which relied primarily on interviews with unsupportive parents of trans youth to argue that large numbers of mentally ill teenage girls have begun falsely identifying as trans boys.

Shrier describes herself as an independent journalist but her mainstream journalistic work has been as a conservative opinion writer, most notably for the Wall Street Journal. In 2021, Shrier appeared in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to advocate against extending the Equality Act’s protections against discrimination to transgender Americans.

By enshrining “gender identity” as a protected category, this bill would make it impossible ever to legally distinguish between a woman and a biological male who claims a female identity for whatever the amount of time and for whatever reason or purpose.

Equality Act Testimony by Shrier, 15 March 2021 

Education and Law Career

According to her LinkedIn, Shrier earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Columbia University (1996-2000), a Bachelor of Philosophy in Philosophy from the University of Oxford (2000-2002), and a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School (2002-2005).

After law school Shrier clerked for the Hon. Judith W. Rogers in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She then worked as an Associate Attorney for Irell & Manella LLP for a little over a year and a half.

Writing and Twitter Files

Shrier wrote for the Wall Street Journal from a conservative, anti-feminist perspective. In addition to her writing in opposition to trans rights, Shrier praised the activism of Phyllis Schlafly, particularly Schafly’s opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment on the basis that women’s equality would result in fewer homemakers and smaller families, which Shrier considered prescient. “She was right then. She’s right now.” Shrier tweeted, in reference to Schafly.

On December 8, 2022, Shrier bragged about having been one of the writers handpicked by Elon Musk to work on the so-called “Twitter Files.” Shrier tweeted, “Our team was given extensive, unfiltered access to Twitter's internal communication and systems.” This statement prompted questions about whether Musk had allowed non-employees access to Twitter users' personal data. 

Irreversible Damage

Shrier’s nonfiction book, Irreversible Damage, which sought to promote the idea that increased transmasculine identification among young people is due to a dangerous and widespread social contagion, was published on June 30, 2020 by Regnery Publishing, a conservative book publisher. It references the work of Lisa Littman, whose survey of non-affirming parental attitudes was initially presented as evidence for a novel presentation of gender dysphoria referred to as rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD), before being republished with extensive clarifications as to the limitations of Littman’s approach. Irreversible Damage continues in the mode of Littman’s own research by providing anecdotes from parents who do not affirm their transgender sons and believe their sons' identities are the result of mental illness and/or peer effects. It further profiles detransitioned women who regret their transitions, as well as fringe anti-trans medical figures including Kenneth Zucker, Ray Blanchard, Michael Bailey, Lisa Marchiano, and Paul McHugh.

Senate Judiciary Committee

Shrier appeared as a Republican witness at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in March of 2021, arguing against expanding discrimination protections under federal civil rights law to members of the LGBTQ+ community on the basis of her opposition to transgender rights. Although her primary work concerned transgender boys and men, Shrier’s remarks to the committee focused on transgender women, suggesting that preschoolers wouldn’t be safe with trans women as daycare providers, and that trans women who survived domestic abuse should be barred from domestic violence shelters for the safety of cisgender women. She also claimed that “half a dozen men” had transferred to a nearby women’s prison in the previous week and that one of these prisoners had sexually assaulted a fellow prisoner. There is no evidence that any such event occurred. 

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