Also “chick lit,” “chick flick” and any sort of variation that tries to stick books written by women into an entirely different category from books written by men just because publishers think it’ll be better marketed that way. I prefer the term “beach read,” actually, or even “airport novels.” At least then it’s not automatically associated with “books written by (stupid) women for (stupid) women who only care about shoes and aren’t they stupid, not like us MEN who are smart and write smart books because we’re smart.”
There’s a lot more to it, and I know my argument isn’t perfect (or even really an argument) but I don’t want my afternoon filled with hatred and frothing at the mouth, so instead I’ll just direct you to this article:
But my concern is larger, for the issue is insidious: the way Chick Lit has been used to denigrate a wide swath of novels about contemporary life that happen to be written by women.
If you think it’s not affecting our work, not affecting what the publishers are handed, not affecting the legacy we leave for future generations, you’re wrong. In The New York Times, the judges of the UK Orange Prize (for women novelists) bemoaned the grim and brutal content offered this year in the submitted manuscripts. Their conclusion: No serious woman writer wanted to be painted with the Women’s Lit label, and issues contemporary and domestic, if not presented with violence, are apparently (to academics, to critics and to the general culture — male and female, alike) seen to have less value.
Most telling, I think, are the attempted “corrections,” as those who try to right the misunderstanding of Chick Lit labels on some of our books, slap on another label: “Women’s Literature.” As opposed to what, Literature?
— Chick Lit? Women’s Literature? Why Not Just … Literature? by Diane Meier at Huffington Post.