Aug 4, 2010

Constructing the "women are women's worst enemies" myth

You want a literary catfight? The Guardian will give you a literary catfight! Wait, you don't want a catfight, of any kind really? Well, tough boogers. You're getting a catfight whether you like it or not, because that's what women do! Even when they're not actually doing it!

DJ Connell writes a pretty straight-up and sensible article about why she dislikes the label "chick-lit" and writes humour under an gender ambiguous moniker. So far so good. There's no big time attack on the content of mainstream chick-lit novels. The word "pink" isn't so much as mentioned. Sophie Kinsella doesn't come in for a bashing.

But still, in a postcript to the piece, the editors in their wisdom offer this bit of forshadowing:
"I write chick-lit and I'm proud of it": tomorrow in part two of the chick-lit debate, author Michele Gorman responds to DJ Connell's criticisms of the genre

Wait, what? Have you actually read the preceding few paragraphs? Cause I did not see any "criticism of the genre", only of the unhelpful and sexist label and the all-too-real marginalisation of female humorists.

But I guess you can't, if you're a national newspaper, go out in public and suggest that women may have nuanced and varied views on subjects close to their hearts; that would be almost as bad as admitting that they're actual human beings with, like, opinions and shit. And we can't have that now, can we? Gotta make sure those caricatures of cat-fighting shrews are upheld!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you read this stuff so I don't have to. You know about I assume?