Is anyone else bothered by this term? It is a reasonably new term. So this is a genre about women, for women, by women. Chick Lit. Do you read it?
I find this term unsettling. Chick Lit somehow implies that my story is just a little less – doesn’t even get the full word: literature. So we don’t even get a whole word for our literature, uh I mean Lit.
The role of women in literature has been a lifelong issue for me. As a youth I would struggle to find books relevant to a young woman and meaningful. After reading The Godfather – granted – a great book filled with strong male characters, I was really longing for something that I could relate to. To this day I struggle to find relatable female characters. As a young person I did adventure into the works of some of the great science fiction writers and I did find some interesting portrayals of women, but still none to relate to.
This was before the genre Chick Lit existed. So I guess Chick Lit is here to solve all my problems. Chick Lit will provide all those relatable females that I want to read about. Right?
Before Chick Lit, we were to read “romance.” Now there is nothing wrong with “romance” I just never really got into romance novels. Never really appealed to me. I know many do involve the strong female characters that I was/am seeking but I still never seemed to connect.
So ladies, I guess our stories are regulated to a special shelf in the bookstore or library. Maybe that is to protect men from accidentally picking them up and being subjected to our stories. We would not want that to happen although we tend to read theirs as well.
Can you imagine if Jane Austen was alive today? Just imagine her sitting across the desk from the publisher. “Yes, we will take is Ms. Austin, we will just put a picture of a high heeled shoe on the front cover here of Pride and Prejudice and we will put it over there with the Chik Lit.” Sounds odd, doesn’t it?
Regulating our stories into a funnel for women readers seems to be a further disservice to the female reader and author. I am not knocking these stories, books, genre or authors; I am just still feeling so separate. It just seems to lessen the experience of being a modern woman.