In February Paypal went on the offensive to target small-press and independent publishers of books containing sexual content including:
“pedophilia, incest, bestiality, rape” and BDSM*
Yes, right, one of these things is not like the others!
Which means that books by writers such as Tennessee Williams, Anais Nin, Nabokov, the Marquis de Sadee and the current #1 Kindle bestseller cannot be sold through your Paypal account.
And also, of course, the bible. Since it contains an awful lot of incest. And the odd bit of pedophilia, by modern criteria. Though admittedly it is light on bestiality and BDSM.
This is indicative of the totally screwed up nature of the Americo-Western attitude towards sex. A book about pedophilia is not pedophilia, even if described in pleasurable terms: no more than a book involving murder is morally equivalent to murder, even if the murderer is described as gaining extreme pleasure from the deed, even if the murderer is the hero of the book, even if the book doesn’t end with the murderer on death row. I don’t want to read books glorifying pedophilia, incest, bestiality, rape or murder (BDSM, on the other hand…). But let’s get our morality in proportion, shall we?
You can bet your unspanked ass, that Paypal won’t be threatening to shut down those who publish or sell books involving other crimes, even crimes more heinous than buggering a sheep. A book about an illegal arms dealer? No problem. How about a corrupt CEO who steals billions? Sure, why not? A sheep worrier? That’s just beyond the pale!
It’s religion’s fault, of course. Sex has been unclean, controlled, constrained and tabooed by Christianity since the church fathers. Always with a veneer of morality: sex is too important to talk about, sex is too powerful to be freely allowed, sex is blessed (if you do it with exactly the person we tell you, in one of the admissible ways, otherwise its unclean, and a sin). And there are plenty of people who’ve had bad experiences of sex, to warn you off it.
Good sections of the OT have no truck with Christian moralizing about sex. Good on it. And so, I expect Paypal to ban its sale forthwith.
Pity that the very people who would be incensed if Paypal really did ban the bible, are the ones who’s campaign of sexual repression has bought us here.
* For accuracy’s sake, Paypal haven’t officially admitted to banning BDSM (which doesn’t help the bible, of course), but specific authors and publishers have reported that specific BDSM titles have been singled out in the policy.