30 Jul 2013

Tuesdat rant-a-thon looking for contributions!

I had some chocolate and I got all opinionated!

It’s Tuesday!

Regular readers of my blog will know that I reserve Tuesdays for rants (about anything and everything that is annoying me) or Troo Tales (about my life’s adventures) and today I have a rant.

Todays has two-parts.

Part 1
I have an issue with the genre chick-lit. That’s actually incorrect, I like chick-lit, I just don’t like that it’s called chick-lit.

Let’s have a look at some definitions;

Chick lit is genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly.  The genre became popular in the late 1990s, with chick lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick lit. Although it sometimes includes romantic elements, chick lit is generally not considered a direct subcategory of the romance novel genre, because the heroine's relationship with her family or friends is often just as important as her romantic relationships.

Issues of modern womanhood – so that’s life in general then? I thought men had relationships too but I may be mistaken. Thinking about that I don’t often come across male writers of romance novels and yet I think they would be quite good at it, as I personally don’t like too much cliché schmaltz.

Chick lit is smart, fun fiction for and/or about women of all ages. Story lines often revolve around jobs, children, motherhood, romance, fame, living in the ‘big city’, friendship, dieting and much more, usually with a touch of humor thrown in. Many of these books are written from a first-person viewpoint, making them a bit more personal and realistic. The plots can range from being very light and fast-paced to being extraordinarily deep, thought-provoking and/or moving.

Fun fiction? I read a ‘chick-lit’ novel that touched on relationship issues and identity that actually moved me (a hardened stone face ice queen) to tears. Its good to know that when the lead in your novel is a man you don’t need to worry about his character having a job, children, mentioning fatherhood, being famous, living in the ‘big city’ – how patronising is that!, and men don’t have friends and they definitely don’t diet! Manorexia is a myth.

noun Slang: Sometimes Offensive.
literature that appeals to women, usually having a romantic or sentimental theme.

I like this as it mentions that it is sometimes offensive, I think more often than not this is the case, its always looked upon as the poor relation of genre’s. A sentimental theme? If you could see me now you would be mightily impressed with the amount of steam I can emit from my ears.

This next definition I had to include and I have put in bold my most favourite parts.

"Chick lit" is a slightly uncomplimentary term used to denote popular fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single young women in their 20s, working in the business world. It was spurred on (if not exactly created) in the mid-1990s by the appearance of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, Melissa Banks's The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, and The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krause.
The genre tends to feature lonely young women in urban settings, often working in the publishing industry; it may also be considered a subdivision of the romance genre. The favored style is hip, stylish, bold, self-analytical, and slightly irreverent. Sexuality may be a primary or secondary theme but is always present, and often is presented as adventuresome, as in Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City and the television series it spawned.
Several publishing houses now have imprints or divisions dedicated to fostering and marketing works of this sort. "Chick lit" has also been claimed as a type of "postfeminist" fiction, perhaps in an attempt to rehabilitate its literary reputation.
Beyond the obvious source of the term ("chick" being slang for a young woman), it also includes a derivative reference to "Chiclet" brand chewing gum, with the implication that the reader is likely to be the sort of clichéd and nonintellectual female who chews gum and avoids serious literature.
Macmillan Dictionary:
novels written for, about, or by young educated women

This is my favourite definition, simple and straightforward but surely it shouldn’t be a genre, maybe I am heading towards saying that it shouldn’t be a genre at all.

But what annoys me about the term ‘chick-lit’ is that there are plenty of people who are dismissive about it. From what I can tell, any book with a female protagonist is chick lit and therefore I throw it out there to all those writers who turn their noses up or say such nonsense as ‘I don’t really read chick-lit’ that you do and that you probably write it as well. That isn’t the only thing, I think labelling it chick-lit ostracises men, some books that I have read that fall under this umbrella are quite funny and give an insight into what women consider the perfect partner or don’t, and men are allowed to laugh too aren’t they?  I also don’t like the term chick unless you are making fun of the 70’s and I would have hoped that equality had moved further on than that.

So on to part 2….

Part 2 is this question: Why is the counterpart to chick-lit referred to as man-lit and not dick-lit? And why is it only more recently that it has even been labelled as man-lit instead of falling into a general category?

It just annoys me, that is all.

How do you feel about it? Do you even care? If someone recommended chick-lit to you what would you say? Why is chick-lit always someone’s holiday read or their guilty pleasure?Who is your favourite female protagonist?

Some examples...Jane Eyre, The Wife of Bath, The Hunger Games, The Scarlet Letter...and so on!
Share your views below.


  1. I wouldn't say that chick-lit ostracises men. Perhaps men ostracise chick-lit because it is often seen as sub-par. That's not necessarily the case, but because men aren't interested in it, it is often labelled as garbage.

    The same could probably be said about women and Tom Clancy novels. It's all swings and roundabouts really.

    1. I love swings! I love roundabouts! I love Tom Clancy! Win-Win :) Thanks for joining in.

    2. Really? Even I don't like Tom Clancy much, but dibs first go on the swings!

    3. You're such a chick! lol...I may not love him but like I do, I like his writing style. You have to get to the swings before I do! :P


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