I took it to my Facebook Writer's group, and their reactions pretty much matched my own: that women are so afraid of their work being construed as Chick Lit that they bash a genre that's not even theirs. A book can be funny, engaging, and have some of the same themes as Chick Lit and NOT be Chick Lit.
The Women's Fiction Writers Association guiding statement is broad and comprehensive: An inclusive organization of writers who create stories about a woman’s emotional journey. These stories may have romance. Or they may not. They could be contemporary. Or historical. But what binds them together is the focus on a woman’s emotional journey.While I can kind of see how aggravating it is that your work is referred to as something that it's not, Chick Lit is a specific genre. There are authors out there who proudly publish Chick Lit.
I'm part of a proud group of women writers who love the light, fluffy genre, and we write it with the best of our ability. We take control of our writing by being true to who we are and what we love. We don't tear down another genre because of stereotypes. People like McFarlane and Marian Keyes are tearing down a genre that doesn't match their own ideals. Instead of fighting against a genre they don't want to be considered as, they should be fighting for their own work.
Author Brea Brown had this to say about the article, and I agree with her.
It's pretentious and doubly sickening, because it's denigrating one form of expression in order to glorify another. "What *I* write isn't chick lit. Oh, no, no, no! Heavens no! It's women's fiction. I really wish people would stop referring to it in such debase terms." It's only debased because of the people who continue to perpetuate that stereotype!
Real Chick Lit has nothing to do with being anti-feminist, which is an argument that many people on the Buzzfeed article complained about. It can have serious undertones, while written in a lighthearted manner. I don't think it's a bad thing to like stories that have a happily ever after. The stories might not be realistic, but not every book has to have deep, philosophical meaning. And that's okay.
- What are your thoughts on whether or not Chick Lit should be banned as a descriptor?
- Do you like/read Chick Lit?