I’m not one who is qualified to write much about “chick lit”—as I am not a fan of the genre. Frankly, and not to come down on those who do read and enjoy it—I’m not even a fan of the title ‘chick lit’—just as I am not a fan of the title ‘chick flicks.’ It sounds too specified—as if women readers were all interested in reading about the same subject matter—and to the exclusion of men. Basically, I find these ‘names’ not to be titles of genres as much as they are forms of labeling—which is something I abhor. The addition of the ‘chick’ to the name does little to help, in my mind—even if meant in a more humorous fashion—the general public does not necessarily ‘see’ that humor and simply accepts and applies these fairly sexist labels to these kinds of literature and movies. Why can’t they be called ‘urban modern reading’ or ‘metro-movies’ or something to that effect?
Further, what makes these books ‘chick lit?’ What are the qualities or specific characteristics? Is it necessary, say, for the author to be female—or is the standard based solely on content? I ask because the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s (movie version, 1961) has many so-called ‘chick lit’ (and ‘flick’) content features—yet was written by a man, Truman Capote.
Lastly, for anyone that thinks the modern version of what they are calling ‘chick lit’ (and its ‘evil’ twin, the ‘chick flick’) is a relatively new phenomenon, think again. The aforementioned Breakfast at Tiffany’s was written in 1958 –and those Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies of the late 1950’s—early 60’s all featured the ‘flawed’ urban, working girl theme found within ‘chick lit’—as did TV’s That Girl—starring Marlo Thomas as the ultimate flawed, working girl—of the mid sixties.