In what was undoubtedly an ironic coincidence involving Apple’s automated profanity filters, the title of Naomi Wolf’s new book Vagina — which is about how society chauvinistically stigmatizes the female sexual origin into something so profane it can not be talked about — was briefly censored in the iTunes Store.
The Guardian reports:
Apple’s iTunes store has starred out part of the title of Wolf’s new book Vagina, calling it instead V****a, and replacing the word throughout the book’s description. So, according to Apple, Wolf’s book is “an astonishing new work that radically changes how we think about, talk about and understand the v****a”. The author, writes Apple, “looks back in history and show[s] us how the v****a was considered sacred for centuries until it began to be cast as a threat”, and asks why “even now in an increasingly sexualised world, it is thought of as slightly shameful”.
Amazon and Waterstones’ online stores both allow the word to be seen in full. And unfortunately for Apple, a picture of Wolf’s book jacket clearly displays the title on iTunes just centimetres to the left of the starred-out version.
Wolf’s book hasn’t been singled out: the popular Eve Ensler play The Vagina Monologues is called The V*****a Monologues on iTunes.
Apple has since <a href=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/vagina/id482809237?mt=11″>reversed the censorship</a>, which is as it should be. It’s dumb censorship to censor medical names for genitalia: it’s not like this is some lurid euphemism from Urban Dictionary we’re talking about here. And think of how many confused customers looking for a history of the city and municipality of Varginha, Brazil were going to be out $10 bucks when they buy Naomi Wolf’s book instead!