Looking for Rape Products? Try Amazon.

[Strong trigger warning.]

Long-time Shakers will recall that, in Dec. 2006, I wrote about a terribly fucked-up video game that functions as a rape simulator called Rapelay, the entire purpose of which is to rape women as viciously as possible until the characters say things like, "I want to die," at which point you can take pictures of their brutalized bodies before leaving, or rape them again "to shut them up."

I wish that were as horrific as it gets, but the game also keeps a running score of how many times the player ejaculates inside his victims, and is controlled via "an intuitive 'click and drag' interface, which leaves your other hand free to masturbate while watching graphic scenes of rape."

The game was only being sold in Japan when I first wrote about it, but a British MP recently discovered it was being sold on Amazon, who removed the page after being contacted by the Belfast Telegraph. (See the Google cache of the page here. See a screenshot of the product listing here.) Amazon "would not comment on the item or say why it had been offered for sale through their website," nor, presumably, for how long it had been for sale and how many copies they sold before they took the page down.

Out of curiosity, I did a search for "rape" under video games, just to see if anything at all would come up, now that Rapelay's been removed. I got this result:

[Click to embiggen.]
Your search "rape" did not match any products. Did you mean: age
But then a funny thing happened when I clicked through to the Age of Empires product page. About halfway down the page, there's this:

[Click to embiggen.]
Looking for "rape" Products? Explore 1106 other items related to "rape"
If you click on the link, it just takes you to page after page of films and books containing rape scenes (sorted by popularity). In good news, Yes Means Yes was on page 6, not that anyone deliberately looking for rape scenes as wank material likely gives a fuck about enthusiastic consent. (Still, teaspoons.) And finding The Rape Recovery Handbook on page 9 was just heart-wrenching. After about 70 listings for rape-lovers, here's one for their victims.

As if that weren't enough, the tag cloud for "related products" associated with this search is positively stunning. Welcome to the rape culture:

That little "women" in the lower right corner is just…excruciating.

Mind you, if you go to Amazon and just search for "rape," the results are very different indeed. The Rape Recovery Handbook is #2 on the list, and while there is some pro-rape horror-torture type stuff at the top of the returns, it's balanced with anti-rape academic work and memoirs.

In other words, it doesn't look anything at all like the back-door "rape products" search I discovered.

There's certainly no tag cloud offering me related products about "revenge," "violence," "child abuse," or "sex."

I'm sure there are all sorts of elaborate excuses about user-driven content and metrics and interfaces and algorithms and blah blah blah, meant to make my silly little girly head understand this sort of thing is just the price we've all got to pay in the wild west of the internetz. But, suffice it to say, I could not come even close to recreating these results at Barnes and Noble, nor any other online retailer I tried.

Nowhere else was I offered up an opportunity to browse "rape products" clearly tailored to people who get off on rape. Nowhere else was I asked if I meant to search for "age," but nonetheless offered a link to browse "rape products." Nowhere else did I see "revenge" or "women" associated with rape.

If that's the price I pay to do business with Amazon, I've no problem at all taking my business elsewhere.

[H/T to Shaker RiderOnTheStorm, who hat tips BoingBoing, where I strongly discourage venturing into comments.]

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