#Amazonfail

By now, if you are on Twitter, politically minded, Disabled, gay, lesbian, transgendered, feminist, an ally, womanist, or like classic novels you have heard about the #amazonfail.

Amazon is removing books that might upset children. This means books that include anything about womanist/feminist views, sexuality for the GBLT community, GBLT nonsexual issues, Disability issues, disability and sex, classics such as Lady Chatterly’s lover, and a few other things like that are coming down. No more selling books like that.

At first, the policy to remove access to adult material sounds great. I thought so, before I knew of the failure that it entailed. I presumed they would remove Playboy, Maxim, rape porn. Rape porn stayed. What they removed instead are books I have used to shape my own thinking and life. I like the way I think, and despite the complaints of a few people who are mired in the patriarchial thinking that keeps people oppressed, I rarely preach about it. I usually write instead about healing.

When I was suicidal I wanted a how to manual on killing myself. Instead I found self help books. They helped me. Those books are being taken down en masse. There is no help for people who might trust a book.

When I wanted to know exactly how to have relations with my Person, I turned to books for ideas. I needed ideas on adapting my body. Many of the most helpful books in the regard to disability and sex are gone. A few of those books focused on the basics of adaptation after a Spinal Cord Injury. This includes using the restroom, cooking, and adapting how you move. Those books made no mention of sex. They are gone.

I have to admit some of the books I was about to buy are also gone. This disturbs me. What bothers me more is that this censorship is not touching books like Mein Kampf. Hitler can remain but not Lady Chatterly? Why?

As a writer, this adds to a bit of pressure. How does this effect the sales and royalties I could get? How does this effect my ability to find an audience? Yes there are other places to buy books, but as the world and America become more entrenched in the internet, Amazon and it’s fellow online retailers hold more sway.

This is blatant discrimination. If you choose to do nothing, I respect your choice. Just remember, it won’t stop here. Eventually we will be told what we may buy, how we may pay for it, and what to think. Viva la Revolucion!

What can you do to speak out about this? Glad you asked!

Here are the links I have as I write this:
The #Amazonfail Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70927484220&ref=share

A blog about disability and this very same issue http://lisybabe.blogspot.com/

A petition in regards to the Amazonfail http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy

Another blog: http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/amazon-rank/
Amazon Rank

amazon rank
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked

1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dogfighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.

Etymology: from 12 April 2009 removal of sales rank figures from books on Amazon.com containing disability, sexual, erotic, romantic, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or queer content, rendering them impossible to find through basic search functions at the top of Amazon.com’s website. Titles stripped of their sales rankings include “Bastard Out of Carolina,” “Lady Chatterly’s Lover,” prominent romance novels, GLBTQ fiction novels, YA books, and narratives about gay people.

Example of usage: “I tried to do a report on Lady Chatterly’s Lover for English Lit, but my teacher amazon ranked me and I got an F on grounds that it was obscene.”

Alternate usage: “My girlfriend wanted to preserve her virginity, and I was happy to respect that, then she amazon ranked and decided anal sex was okay.”

The Rape of Innocence (Trigger Warning)

Literal. I lost my innocence, as defined as physical virginity to my father. It was rape. It was never consensual. Incest is bad. Typing these words is extremely difficult but my day has already been one full of tears, therefore, I am going to go with it. His excuse for rape, his reasoning that made it A-Okay to violate, subjugate, and to hurt me sexually was this. “You look just like my mother.” I was four years old. Today I was triggered. This isn’t an easy thing to admit, and I feel uneasy each time I come across things that remind me of him, and at times my PTSD is triggered by a harmful thing. Today I was already in a bad way due to pain, some of it is residual effects of my abusive childhood.

Some of it comes from feeling violated at having to see another doctor, since my service animal makes me unworthy of another. Some of it comes from this post on Feministing.com. I do not care that this game came from Japan originally. That does not make it better. I do not care that their society has a history of subjugating women, so surely all of their rape fetish bull is perfectly acceptable. Not to me. I want to reach out to the women of the world, for an uprising. It is in this moment that I state I am a feminist, in the definition that states I am pro women’s rights and equality, I am pro disabled equality, and I am pro mental health equality. I want to be healthy, I do not want to feel the edges of Victim burning at me again and again when I skim the internet, go outside, or even sometimes when I try and think of a happy moment. It is always there.

I am not the cause of my own rape. How can I be at fault for it? Yet games like this propagate the victim is at fault mentality. I remember when I turned my neighbor in. He was molesting me during the same period when my father decided to rape his mother allegory. I remember being asked by the prosecutor, at the age of five, if I wore short skirts to turn boys on. I didn’t even know what that meant. I remember, however, the after effects. I rejected my body, myself, and I tried to become a boy.

This attempt at maleness included trying to cut off my breasts when I was thirteen, shaving my head repeatedly (and discovering that my head is very lumpy) as well as rejecting my identity. I could not be Rebekah. I had to change my name. I did, as an adult. I found a name that fill sme with the sensation of security, health, and the desire to be happy. I do not cringe when I hear my name anymore. I never out grew the after effects of being raped. I was repeatedly assaulted through my life, and this was also used to overshadow real medical problems.

When I was eight years old my mother and father sent me away for hypochondria and Bulimia. It took adult hood to realize I never was bulimic. I also have a great deal wrong with me, and none of it is in my head, except what neglect and trauma put there.  All of my current illhealth cannot be attributed to the childhood neglect, but, a majority can. I am an advocate for anyone who needs it because there is so much to choose from. How do I choose between mothers and their need for proper nutrition, childhood health awareness, Celiac Awareness, Rape is Bad Mkay awareness, and the awareness that as a wheelchair user I need a door that is wide enough for me to not scrape through.

I am in tears today from pain, physical and emotional.  I am a woman. I am 24 years ago and it has been 11 years since my father last raped me. I have since seen him and he cowers with fear, he actually pissed himself when he saw me using a walker and fled in terror. I am not someone who causes fear but, I am a survivor. I was a victim and when I tried to say something, when I found out I should, I was denied that right. The district attorney felt that my case was not compelling enough because I was a mere child and had been sent away by my rapist for not being exactly what he wanted. I was denied justice, and I know my assailant is out there.

Knowing he is afraid of me doesn’t take away from being afraid of him. It does not take away from the sensation of the little hope I had being crushed because I wasn’t worthy of the time to take a bad guy off the streets. It doesn’t make it alright.

I hope whoever reads this finds either peace, awareness, and the understanding that if they themselves are a survivor of rape, abuse, or anything at all, that they are worthy. I understand as an adult why so few women report rape, when it is always the Victim’s fault. Eventually I will write more on my experiences with the mental health system as a child. I will write about my diagnosises, and the secrets that I am not sure my biological mother wants shared online. Someday she will google me and will discover that I am not the all accepting child she still perceives me as. I do not take the burdens she places upon me. I leave them behind.

I was about to submit this when I came across this in the comments on Feministing.com, another link. Amazon pulled the english version of the game, though it is still availible elsewhere. I am shaking with relief and rage. How do we protect our children when things like this pervade? What is to stop this from normalizing rape in our world? It might. It might not.

  • Polls

  • Ye Olde Archives of Fury

  • Top Rated

  • Top Clicks

    • None