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  1. I may have to take back much of what I’ve said about Amazon, including my hints that the giant retailer is the Prof. Moriarty of all that is evil but brilliant in today’s publishing world. For those unfortunates who read only new books, the reference is to Sherlock Holmes’ shadowy adversary.

    This move makes Coca Cola’s 1985 “New Coke” campaign look absolute brilliant in its conception and execution. May it fail in much the same manner.

    Amazon ‘s blunder could be someone else’s lucrative opportunity. Create an independent Amazon Girls and Amazon Boys website that does distinguish toys by sex, including, we can hope, books. Pay special attention to popular toys and link elsewhere when some other retailer has a cheaper price. Rake in all the resulting associate fees from moms and dads who don’t have the time to deal with Amazon’s silliness.

    Kids will love you too. I get the impression that not only do many parents consider these attempts to turn boys into dreadful girls and girls into dreadful boys insane, but even True Believing Parents discover their kids resisting this sexless, soulless indoctrination. Here’s a hilarious spoof on that from Saturday Night Live.

    A couple of years ago, I went to hear the feminist Gloria Steinem speak near where I live. I have difficulty recalling a funeral in which those attending seemed more unhappy. I was surrounded by a sea of misery. It was absolutely dreadful, with hundreds and hundreds of unpleasant women alternating between sulking, sneering, and gloating. Something of the flavor of the gathering can be seen in the fact that at one point Ms. Steinem felt it necessary to point out to her fans that not all men are rapists.

    Those who’d like to hear a much saner feminism than the shrill voices of today might want to follow Christina Hoff Sommer’s Youtube blog:

    Notice that she’s quite happy with her life, and make your choices accordingly.

    In short, it certainly does appear that contemporary feminism—and with them Amazon—has left the rails of sanity and acquired the belief once ascribed to the New England Puritans that their “greatest fear is that someone, somewhere may be happy.”

    That said, I must admit that they aren’t sexist in their desire to spread the misery. They want all and all like—men and women, boys and girls—to be as miserable as they.

    They want little girls to open an eagerly awaited Christmas present from their Auntie Fem and discover:

    And they want the little boys to open one from Auntie Prude and discover this:

    Yes, dreadful. “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” has nothing on the agenda feminists and spineless Amazon executive who want to turn the happy holiday into little more than grim indoctrination and misery spreading.

  2. Amazon has another problem. I just checked to see if using “boy” as a keyword in an advanced book search would bypass this agenda feminist indoctrination, because to be consistent, Amazon has to eliminate “boy” and “girl” as user-supplied keywords for toys, books and the like, although hopefully not clothes.

    Searching for “boy” certainly does work, with over 212,000 results. But the results aren’t going to make parents happy.

    Books that really are adventure stories for boys, such as “Treasure Hunt for Boys (Priddy Books Big Ideas for Little People)” appear alongside the bare-chested male cover of an erotica for women called “Exposing the Bad Boy.” You see page after page of that. The marvelous “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” is next to the bare-chested cowboy cover of “Cowboy Rush.”

    Methinks the executives at Amazon who came up with this policy change are more than a few sandwiches short of a picnic. A Prof. Moriaty they’re not. That I will admit. There’s no evil genius here. I’d call them clownishly foolish but for all the trouble they’ll be causing both parents and kids next Christmas. Perhaps they can learn from a lesson from this Monty Python episode.

    Just imagine that Three-headed Giant as agenda feminism when it came a-calling at Amazon headquarters and the retailer’s response makes a sick sort of sense.

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