Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

20 April 2009

Feminist Amazon.com Stores

Ah, the feminist card. The mythical item whipped out in great debates about feminist litmus tests. Example, "If it's not feminist to wear lipstick, then revoke my card!" What the card really represents is a lack of agreement on a standard set of feminist principles.

I began to revisit this idea (principles not the feminist card!) on Easter when the Amazonfail fiasco hit Twitter. My immediate thought? Don't shop there! my second thought? Fuckers! And I mean Amazon.com.

Let's start with my second thought first. I would not imagine a valid rational for Amazon to delist books like Yes Means Yes and Brokeback Mountain. But I really focused on my first thought.

I've seen many a feminist blog and website that has an Amazon bookstore widget. Huh? Really?

Perhaps they missed the story of how the beloved Amazon feminist bookstore tried to sue Amazon.com for stealing their name? They settled out of court, but obviously the fact that a feminist bookstore had their name for 30 years meant nothing. Oh...and Amazon.com actually asked the owners whether they were lesbians during the pre-trial depositions? I admit that I'm practically ancient when it comes to online wars. And that I had forgotten this detail until I reread this article, but I've tried to limit my Amazon.com purchases since the throw down with the bookstore. I'm sure that I knew that tidbit back then, but just remembered "Try not to use them!"

Maybe those with Amazon.com bookstore widgets have them because it took indie bookstores so damn long to set up affiliate plans? While I adore my feminist bookstore, Women and Children First, I applied to their affiliate plan and never heard back. I forgive them because I know 'em . In the meantime I did start a Powell's account. I sometimes have dreams of hitchhiking across the Rockies to find that big book warehouse!

But now IndieBound is all setup there really isn't a reason, that I've heard of, that justifies using an Amazon.com bookstore. Yes, most people shop at Amazon.com. It may be all they know and it is cheap. But just as feminist ask each other to spend a few more cents at Target intead of WalMart or buy handmade soy soap, I think we can urge each other to shop local and buy our feminist books from feminist, indie bookstores.

1 comments:

I have always been really sad when I see cool women with Amazon banners on their sites. I know they need to make $$, but I do feel buying books from Amazon is ... well kinda dirty.