Chick Lit- Why?
By: Jacqueline Scott | November 13, 2010 | Opinion, Sex & Gender

I’ve never been a feminist in the tradition of Betty Freidan, not by any stretch of the imagination.  I believe in “Equal Pay for Equal Work” and things along those lines, and I am rather a traditionalist when it comes to how I view a woman’s role in a relationship.  But sometimes I need an escape.  We all do, if that wasn’t so the television wouldn’t have been invented.  Here’s the problem,  television portrays DVD Launch Party For Sex And The City: The Movie - Extended CutEwomen in so many lights that it' is sometimes difficult to see yourself.  Men have three roles, although the actor playing the role makes the role different or funny there is really only three roles:  the funny buffoon, the nice guy, and the man slut.  Now a show like “Sex in the City” showed us three standard archetypes for women:  the good girl, the slut, and the overworked business woman, but what about Carrie, who is she.  Well some might say that she’s the everywoman.  Well what everywoman has hundreds of thousands of dollars of shoes in her closet and writes a newspaper column about sex.  There were days when I saw myself as all three women.  And there lies the problem.  In a show that is supposed to show archetypes, women can’t see themselves in them.  Television doesn’t allow for the imaginative brain power that women need.

woman_reading_corotThat’s where books take over.  Now when most people think of books they think of the classics.  Thanks to Candice Bushnell, writer of the book “Sex and the City,” we have a wonderful section in Barnes and Noble called “Chick Lit” filled with wonderful titles like “Lipstick Jungle” and “Eat Pray Love.”  I argue that these books help women.  These books help women see themselves as the complicated creatures that they are, while also allowing the reader to live vicariously through the writer or main character of the story.  I know that it’s crazy, that our elementary school librarian was right and that we can live vicariously through books, but it’s true.  Why do romance novels make so much money?  What Chick Lit allows for is a complete woman.  These women in these books have jobs, careers, families and a complete life.  I see these books yes as a form of escapism, but haven’t men been doing this watching sports, or wrestling, or reading car magazine for many more years without feeling guilty or shameful?

Jacqueline is the Founder of The Sexy Politico. She's a world traveler - fueled by her love for learning. She has lived in the United States and Eastern Europe, but as of now calls Wuxi, China her home. She's proudly travelled throughout the lower 48 states in America as an army brat, navigated her way from West to East in Europe, and has seen the most urban and rural areas of Southeast Asia. Through all her journeys she managed to double major in Political Science and History w/ a minor in Southeast Asian studies at Northern Illinois University, join the Peace Corps, and teach English to children on three different continents. She has learned a few things along the way she'd like to share as advice to a future world traveller: 1) Always accept a Grandmother's home-cooked meal and 2) Never lose your wits because you never know when or where you'll need them.


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