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Monday, December 27, 2010

Clearcutting in the Rainforest

Amazon.com has decided that, at least in some cases, fictional stories with consensual adult sex had to be pulled from their vitual shelves.

Self-published author Selena Kitt was first notified that the print version of one of her fiction books violated Amazon's content guidelines last week, followed by the unceremonious removal of two more offerings from the Kindle store. After noticing that the three books that Amazon singled out were all "erotic incest fantasy fiction," she found at least three other authors whose incest-themed erotica had been removed from Amazon, followed by a Kindle support thread full of even more names.

Kitt compares incest to murder, pointing out that she doesn’t “condone or support actual incest, just as someone who writes mysteries about serial killers wouldn't condone killing.” I understand Kitt’s point, but the comparison is a bit lacking. Those who want to justify banning the sale of such fiction will note that most mystery writers write in such a way as to condemn lawbreakers and depict murder as a horrible thing, while Kitt’s works appear to be written to as to assist sexual arousal by depicting illegal sex in a positive or neutral tone for those interested in that kind of (in many places) illegal sex. Those like me, who support the rights of all adults to love, sex, and marriage, do not appreciate the comparison of loving or playful sex between adults to murder. I can hardly blame Kitt, though. She was put in a difficult position that threatens her income and coming up with the best comparison was probably not a top priority. She shoud not have been put into that position in the first place.

I support Amazon.com and other sellers in taking actions to protect the innocent, such as children, from harm. But I urge them not to pull material about consensual adult sex from their shelves, virtual or otherwise.
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