Amazon’s “adult materials” policy (I didn’t even know they had one) is thus:
“In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature. – Amazon.com”
Which is annoying nanny-state garbage that disinclines me to use their site, but fine. However, it seems that some patrons of Amazon have noticed differences in the way this policy is applied, and that it tends to classify many books with gay and lesbian themes that aren’t necessarily explicit as “adult”, while keeping many heterosexual explicit works in the public eye…including a graphic novel:
We would like to hear the rationalisation for allowing sales ratings for explicit books with a heterosexual focus such as:
–Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds by Chronicle Books (pictures of over 600 naked women)
–Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love” (explicit heterosexual romance);
–Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Wolf and the Dove (explicit heterosexual romance);
–Bertrice Smal’s Skye o’Malley which are all explicit heterosexual romances
–and Alan Moore’s Lost Girls (which is a very explicit sexual graphic novel)
Yet the following books, which have a gay or lesbian focus, have been classed as “adult books” and stripped of their sales ratings:
–Radclyffe Hill’s classic novel about lesbians in Victorian times, The Well of Loneliness, and which contains not one sentence of sexual description;
–Mark R Probst’s YA novel The Filly about a young man in the wild West discovering that he’s gay (gay romance, no sex);
–Charlie Cochrane’s Lessons in Love (gay romance with no sex);
–The Dictionary of Homophobia: A Global History of Gay & Lesbian Experience, edited by Louis-George Tin (non-fiction, history and social issues);
–and Homophobia: A History by Bryan Fone (non-fiction, focus on history and the forms prejudice against homosexuality has taken over the years).
Please tell us, Amazon, why the explicit books with a heterosexual focus are allowed to keep their sales ratings while the non-explicit romances, the histories and the biographies that deal with LGBTQ issues are not. - Petition against Amazon’s policy
I like Lost Girls as much as the next guy, but how is that not an “adult” work when a non-fiction history of Homophobia is? Maybe it’d classify if adult if someone told Amazon about all the hot lady-on-lady or man-on-man action?
This is pretty gross. I realize the world is filled opportunity for outrage these days, but if you could muster some against a policy which will very, very likely be changed with enough attention, I’d appreciate it. Head over to:
and sign up.
EDIT: If you’re looking for more on this story, Jezebel has a great write-up, more examples of books stripped of their standing, and what it all means. Check it out at: http://jezebel.com/5209088/why-is-amazon-removing-the-sales-rankings-from-gay-lesbian-books