10.13.2004

Just stumbled onto this interesting article on chick lit by Hanne Blank. She delivers a very important message on what this genre is doing to not just the literary industry but our gender as a whole.

"The problem is that when critics (professional or otherwise) rip into Chick Lit, what they're really scoffing at most of the time isn't the worn clichés, the puerile plots, or the graceless prosody, it's women. As a writer and editor with five books on the shelves whose work has been featured in magazines from Southwest Art to Penthouse — and specifically as a woman whose work deals in-depth with issues of sexuality and gender — I should know. Sexism has a long and storied history, and part of the game is that certain topics — the domestic, the mundane, the sensual, the emotionally fraught--have for centuries been feminized, associated with women in order to be dismissed. The literary equivalent of "you throw like a girl" is "you write like a girl."

"I say all this not to excuse Chick Lit's failings — I personally can't stand 95 percent of what I've read of it — but to point out that most of the people who pooh-pooh it, including most of the feminists I've heard dissing the pastel-colored, shoe-festooned covers and the unthinking heterosexism that pervades every page, are being distracted from getting at what's really wrong with the genre. It isn't the writing, the packaging, or even the genre — it's the way these books deal, and fail to deal, with gender."

"I, for one, would welcome a Chick Lit that backed up its cute shoes with a bit of clout. I want to see Chick Lit women who are able to overcome (even briefly) their tendency to flail, women whose strength may be imperfect but is nonetheless evident. What's really wrong with Chick Lit now isn't that it trades in floundering frustration, Jimmy Choo sandals, and helplessness over role-modeling, feminism, or, for that matter, proper grammar. What's wrong is that, in this incarnation as in the one George Eliot lambasted well over a century ago, it's too unconscious of itself to care."

She nails it on the head! I can, and will, learn to live with chick-lit. I will even embrace it, just as long as they "make it better".

xx

Jen

|

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?