I wrote about AmazonFail 2009 over at Broadsheet this morning, so if you’ve been dying to discuss it here, check that out and come back.
One thing I didn’t get to in that post (which got out-of-hand long very quickly) was this post at After Ellen, in which Sarah Warn reminds us that the problem at the bottom of all this — gayness being strictly associated with sex — is hardly anything new.
With so many media images working together to over-emphasize the sexual aspect of homosexuality and bisexuality, should we be surprised someone at Amazon.com apparently put gay and lesbian books like Heather Has Two Mommies and John Barrowman’s biography Anything Goes in the “adult” (i.e. explicit sexuality) category?
Amazon.com is calling this a “glitch with our sales rank feature that is currently being fixed.” Even if that turns out to be true, this kind of glitch is inevitable in a culture which relentlessly oversexualizes gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
Amazon isn’t alone in making this correlation. Internet filters at schools and libraries, ISPs, even whole countries routinely block gay and lesbian sites, even when they contain no “adult” content. YouTube requires users to be over 18 to view a video of an innocuous same-sex kiss, but not an opposite-sex one.
Go read the whole post. In the meantime, I’ve changed the sidebar link to our book so it goes to Powell’s — but, for reasons explained in the Broadsheet post, I’m really hoping not to have to write off Amazon for good. Beyond my (selfish, lazy) desire to keep buying from them, as an author, I would like to be able to recommend them in at least sorta-kinda good conscience, since they are a major fucking bookseller everyone knows. So, you know, APOLOGIZE ALREADY, GUYS. APOLOGIZE A LOT. SOON.