Another censorship row has erupted, this time over the use of ‘naughty’ words in titles carried by Apple. It seems Naomi Wolf’s new book Vagina, which explores the way society views female sexual organs, has been listed as V****a at iTunes. You can see the listing here: both the title and the description have received the asterisk treatment, although the book cover itself still screams Vagina in big letters.
Other stores seem to have no such problem. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Waterstone’s all seem happy to list the book using its full title. But for Apple, the word ‘vagina’ seems off-limits and is also asterisked out of listings for The V****a Monologues and The Devil Eats Vagina. The word ‘penis’ also appeared to be censored, although Apple remains happy to sell some pretty explicit erotia.
I guess it’s a free market, and customers are free to decide whether they want to support retailers who censor such titles. Meanwhile, it’s interesting to note that the iTunes edition of the book seems to be cheaper than the Kindle version being offered by Amazon, so maybe that price-fixing case is finally starting to lead to the lower ebook prices we were all promised.