THE BLOG
05/08/2013 08:41 am ET Updated Jul 08, 2013

Amazon Loses Its Mind

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Women (and not a few men) were outraged this week about a Bleeding Zombie Target Ex-Girlfriend sold on Amazon for $84. The life-sized 3-D underwear-clad female head and torso dummy featured huge breasts and blonde hair, with blood gushing from the mouth and bloody stubs where the hands should be. Product description:

Worlds first bleeding tactical target system that bleeds when you shoot it! Full torso life sized . . . and can take up to at least 1,000 rounds from multiple calibers! The more you shoot it, the more it bleeds as there are 500 individual blood packets throughout the entire torso and head! . . .with realistic features to heighten your sensitivity.

Thankfully the "realistic features" end just above the pubic area.

Two hours after a Facebook and email posting by the group UltraViolet, I went on the Amazon site to look at the Ex-Girlfriend target for this blog. The product had 133 reviews, all negative and most calling for pulling it from the online offerings. When I refreshed the page five minutes later, I got the message "We're sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site."

Good for Amazon for taking the blood spurting Ex-Girlfriend target down. But what was the company thinking when they listed it in the first place? I don't have access to their numbers, but it's a good bet over half their customers are female. Put that with a high number of male customers who were undoubtedly also offended, and it looks like Amazon should plead temporary insanity. It's either that or admit to deliberately practicing corporate misogyny.

The cost of violence against women from the last definitive estimate done in 2003 came in at over $8.3 billion per year. This included $460 million for rape, 2012-06-12-yourvoicesmallest2.JPG $6.2 billion for physical assault, $461 million for stalking, and $1.2 billion in the value of lost lives. No one has brought the figures up to 2013 dollars, but the current costs are sure to be much higher. And the tab doesn't include the emotional trauma, the cost of living in constant fear, or the effects on kids who witness way too much of the mayhem.

A widely circulated statistic in the social media explosion against Amazon said three women per day die from domestic violence. Even one is one too many.

Violence against women is rampant in this country -- and glorified in the popular culture. We don't need irresponsible (or just plain clueless) corporations adding weapons to the arsenal. Especially not those that expect women to fork over their dollars for everything from apparel to zumba gear. Amazon may be the 900-pound gorilla of online retailing, but many more mistakes like this and women will beat a path to the competition's door.