Everything is sexist

I came to this conclusion a few weeks ago after talking to my mom. I asserted that everything is sexist and she was like, “Why did it take you so long to figure that out?”

Commercials, movies, Hollywood, romance novels, high heels, short skirts, makeup, the workforce, social mores. If you really stop and analyze most things, they’re sexist.

The other day “Bear” was doing some kind of inventory in the library or something (I try to keep my finger on the pulse of MU happenings, can you tell?). When he came back to the circ desk “Bear” felt compelled to make an announcement:

“We have chick stuff if you want that sort of thing.”

Bear and I were walking past each other at the time and without stopping, or thinking because it’s just so ingrained, I said to him, “That’s a sexist term.”

Bear did stop, surprised for a second, and asked, “Really?”

And I was sad for a second.

Yes, there is a whole genre called Chick Lit. Yes, I write a Chick Lit Wednesday review every week. But it’s still sexist. Using the term “chick lit” implies two things. First, that the book is more likely to appeal to women/girls (depending on age appropriateness). Second, and more dangerously, “chick lit” suggests that the book is not able to meet the defining standards of “conventional” or mainstream literature, so it has to be sub-defined.

I use the term here because I want Chick Lit to mean something else. I want it to mean strong female characters in books written by strong female authors.

(If you want to read more about my efforts to redefine the term, check out my anniversary post about Chick Lit Wednesday.)