Now, just in case you think I have a stick up my arse over the rampant sexism in the advertising that has already kidnapped Christmas and held it hostage, you need to be warned. See, in the following post said stick actually emerges from my mouth and raises a flag, so if you want to run, now is your chance. If you don’t? Well, get this…
I went on Amazon this weekend and found this, below, on the book section’s home page:
Yep, you read it right, categories of gift ideas for him and for her. So far, so blah. So I only became deranged with fucksteria when I saw that the suggestions ‘for him’ included business books, comics and graphic novels, health and lifestyle, political biogs, science fictions books and sports calendars while the suggestions ‘for her’ included (steady yourself) animal calendars, contemporary fiction, craft books, baking books, celebrity biogs and, yes, romance books.
Spot the fucking difference, kraken-lovers, spot the fucking difference.
I shit you not, outside of the urge to lob molotov cocktails at the nearest Amazon warehouse I barely know where to start with this one. It fucks with my head so much that I need to be even more medicated than I already am, and not just because the mouse-fumblers at Amazon think that women are gagging for craft and romance books this Crimbo but because they also think that men want comic books and calendars of rugby scrums.
It is astounding that someone, somewhere – someone who is considered employable and worthy of access to an office tea fund – thinks that men are more likely to read political biogs than women or that women are more likely to enjoy novels. It is a distinction that I have never, ever seen before. Seriously, I haven’t. As a woman with a politics degree and a love of science I’ve actually had to check whether I have a cock because according to Amazon I’m really a man. And fuck knows what this means for my male mates who have a love of cooking and quality fiction. I suspect that right now their very knackersacks have broken a sweat.
Amazon must have been nipping at the festive sherry again because there is no conceivable reason to segregate books according to gender. You don’t walk into Waterstone’s only to get herded into his n her sections, do you? No, you get to choose what book you like to see according to – get this, Amazon – your personal interests, interests that have no relation whatsoever to whether you bleed every month or piss standing up.
How hard would it have been for Amazon to create tabs for wannabe chefs or romance lovers? Budding entrepreneurs or sports fanatics? Surely it would have been easier than actually trying to force stereotypes upon topics that have no gender bias whatsoever. Fuck conquering inequality. Amazon is intent on creating it where, until now, there has been none. It’s what would happen if the Starship Enterprise was captained by Ron Burgundy, boldly discriminating where no one has discriminated before.
So what I want for Christmas, Amazon, is for you to print off your books’ home page, give it to whoever came up with this festering bowl of wrong and make them eat it. Then I want you to redesign the page so that it provides a greater ratio of festive cheer to raging offence. Then I want you to shove your unfathomable notion of what men and women want right up your arse. Now, let’s click on that checkout button, shall we?
So what do you think? Has Amazon got this wrong or do I need my meds to be recalibrated again? Please get stuck into the comment box and let me know.