Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon Trashes Gay Literature

Hello Readers! It boggles the mind, but for some reason Amazon.com decided to discriminate against gays over the weekend. How? It's subtle, but it's still discriminatory. They decided to "de-rank" hundreds of book titles with gay subject matter on the grounds that they were too "adult." It appears they may be ready to reverse the new policy, but it's still unclear this morning what will happen.

It seems they just decided to equate MILLIONS OF AMERICANS with pornography. Why should stories/books featuring average Americans, who happen to be gays and lesbians, be considered "adult" material? Adult material is adult material! It's different for God's sake.

The Los Angeles Times found that great books like Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown, and Becoming a Man by Paul Monette, have been categorized as "adult" material and struck from their rankings. Interestingly, books with the same types of stories, yet written from heterosexual perspectives, didn't get bumped from the rankings.

They need to reverse the policy, and soon. It's closed-minded and discriminatory. It's bad enough that gays and lesbians are treated like second class citizens when it comes to politics and marriage, but to be called pornographic? Amazon may be a private company, but discrimination is still wrong. They need to remain neutral, or we need to find an alternative.

Besides, good literature is never really pornographic. It's challenging, thought-provoking, and difficult. Amazon should know the difference. There is a clear difference between good literature and smut. In the end, love and emotion are not "adult" themes, but human themes. The sooner the idiots of Amazon.com get that message the better. Please, contact them HERE and let them know how you feel.

Monday's Political Rant #2 - Michael

PS - For those who don't know, the symbol above belongs to the Human Rights Campaign. It's a great organization that fights against discrimination in all forms, but targets discrimination of gays and lesbians. I recommend checking it out and joining.

PSS - Amazon is trying to claim that it was a computer "glitch," but there is a lot of evidence to suggest otherwise. For example, there were statements from company executives defending the changes over the weekend. Until we know the truth, please let Amazon know how you feel by clicking here.

2 comments:

janeljoh said...

I just wrote a letter to Amazon.com about how disheartening it is to see that they have de-ranked many thoughtful and important books. I appreciate your comments, and I hope everyone writes them about what a sorry decision they have made. Social justice is not a "sometime" proposition;it must be protected everyday.

by Michael Boh said...

Thank you so much for your comment, and for sending a letter to Amazon. I hope more will follow. Of course, I agree with your "social justice" remark very much. MB