I’m Just Not Impressed

Am I supposed to be?

About #amazonfail and ableism

with 5 comments

It’s not just LGBTQ and feminist related materials. Disability and sex related materialshave also been de-ranked, it seems. 

Can’t say I’m surprised, to be honest. Some of the worst street harassment I ever encountered related to sexuality was when I was dating a male wheelchair user in college. It didn’t help that we were both visibly freaky and arguably genderbending to a degree. But openly sexual and visibly disabled people are threatening. A man in a wheelchair with an obvious girlfriend is a threat to the widespread infantalism of people with disabilities. It is a threat to the idea that appearance and visible ability is valued. The idea that a chick with big tits might be interested in a guy who can’t walk is a threat to patriarchy (I mean, can he even, like, have, you know, sex?). Likewise, the idea that an able-bodied man might be interested in a woman who is “deformed” and imperfect. If we can accept people regardless of their perceived (and easily perceivable) “flaws”, then maybe we have to accept fat people and non-white people and others that don’t fit the societal ideal of beauty and mateability.

And heavens forfend that a person with a disability dare to express any sort of non-heterosexual non-vanilla sexual desires. Even if American society can wrap it’s little brain around the idea of a nice hetero relationship involving some sort of tragic heroic sacrifice on the part of the able-bodied partner, anything beyond that is cause for collective panic.

So, yeah. Count me among the not surprised that a search for sex and disability on Amazon turns up more results about developmental disability in sex offenders than it does guides to help people with disabilities have sex lives.


Written by emandink

April 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

5 Responses

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  1. The official line is “a glitch.” That’s what I got when I sent my rant (and without an apology I might add).


    April 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm

  2. THANK YOU for blogging the disability angle of this. I’ll post this to my Facebook page and twitter it.

    More on the disability angle of amazonfail at:


    Volunteers are urgently needed to help research which disability titles have been affected and share that information by leaving a comment at either of the above two blog sites. (Preferably the one by Textual Fury would be best.) Look up a few books you know to see how easy it is to search for it (many affected books are now much harder to find through the Amazon search engine unless you use EXACTLY the right combination of search parameters–for example, you might need to specifically indicate you’re looking for a book whereas before you didn’t need to). Then look near the bottom of the entry for that book to see if it still has a sales ranking or not.

    Facebook group (for GLBT, disability, and feminist angles of the situation) at http://www.facebook.com/wall.php?id=70927484220. You also can post titles in the disability discussion thread.

    Also consider twittering whatever book titles you find, with the hash tags #amazonfail #stilldelisted and #disability

    Andrea Shettle, MSW

    April 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm

  3. […] with disabilities are already frequently stereotyped as being necessarily, asexual, uninterested in sex, unable to have sex, etc. All of these mistaken assumptions can lead to fatal […]

  4. Andrea – thanks for the followup! I did tweet about this yesterday (I’m em_and_ink on twitter). I’ll try to do some digging on titles this evening.


    April 14, 2009 at 2:41 pm

  5. […] About #amazonfail and ableism on I’m Just Not […]

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