Uncategorized | March 10, 2004

I just read a great article about the so-called “chick lit” genre on Utne.com, the Web site for one of my favorite magazines. Author Anjula Razdan discussed whether books that capitalize on mid-1990s novels like Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary are damaging the effectiveness of the third-wave feminist movement, not to mention the artistic and intellectual reputation of female writers. As Razdan points out, in a world of shaky fiction sales, the chick-lit genre has continued to flourish, releasing numerous hot-pink cocktail-glass-covered creations onto bookstore shelves across America.

I have mixed feelings about chick lit. On one hand, I don’t see anything wrong with giving a certain type of female audience what it wants. After all, as Razdan says, a big part of third-wave feminism is about encouraging women to live any kind of life they choose. Unfortunately though, I worry that the pervasiveness of chick lit may actually add to the stereotyping of women, writers and otherwise, into one homogenous group. Whatever the consequences, it looks like chick lit won’t disappear from the display racks anytime soon.