Lucie Simone, is a woman after my own heart. She’s the woman that I didn’t think existed when I started this blog… I thought I was the only chick-lit loving feminist! After following her blog, where I discovered that Lucie is also a vegetarian (like me!), film buff (like me!), and yogi (like…ok, like some other women I know!), I jumped at the chance to host Lucie and her new book, Hollywood Ending! It is with great pleasure that I welcome Lucie to the Bitch Lit Blog!
Feminist Fiction – Lucie Simone
Being a feminist in the 21st century is no easy feat. Sure, Virginia Woolf, Susan B. Anthony, Simone de Beauvoir and Gloria Steinem paved the way for us modern girls to live life on our own terms, pursuing our careers, our educations, and our loves without restrictions. But now that the big battles are won, there is still a lot of work to be done.
I like to remind my friends, both male and female, that sexism is still alive and well in America. It’s no longer the shockingly offensive behavior you see portrayed on Mad Men. No. Sexism in the new millennium is far more dangerous because it is far less blatant. Instead of a business man chasing his secretary around his desk, it is now a business woman being expected to take meeting notes because she’s the only woman present. And despite the fact that more women graduate college than men, we still make less money than they do. These are small, but significant obstacles women still have to overcome.
But I think some of the biggest obstacles to overcome are those of our own making. In the feminist circles on college campuses, on internet blogs, and in literary journals, it’s often women who are hating on other women. I have no problem equating the rise in popularity of characters like Snooki to the detriment of the feminist movement. But I do have a problem when an entire literary genre is deemed anti-feminist simply because some of the books in that genre are about little more than shoe-shopping and boy-hopping. Of course, I’m talking about Chick Lit.
I was first introduced to Chick Lit by Helen Fielding and her brilliantly bumbling heroine, Bridget Jones. A Chick Lit classic, I think this book captures perfectly the plight of the modern feminist. She is coming into her own, but along the way manages to bungle it at just about every turn. With her parents’ relationship falling apart, she is called upon to try and mend their family unit all the while forging ahead in her career (or rather watching it careen out of control) as she attempts to piece together her own ailing love life. Bridget is a woman overwhelmed by the responsibilities modern life thrusts upon her. She must be driven in her career, passionate in her romances, and responsible for her family’s wellbeing. Managing all this with aplomb is something few women can do. And it takes a feminist to know that some things are going to be hard to handle and sometimes you need a little help to get them done right.
Chick Lit isn’t just about shopping and dating, and I’m not denying that there is a healthy helping of both in most Chick Lit. But at its core, Chick Lit is about struggling with the identity of who we are as modern women. In a world where we have choices about whom to date, where to go to school, and what career to follow, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the responsibilities put upon us. We are supposed to be superwomen these days, but that doesn’t mean we aremen. We are still women. And a lot of women enjoy fashion, beauty, and romance. Must we shun all of that simply because we now have the right to vote? And does being a feminist mean we can no longer enjoy humorous fiction that depicts heroines leading lives similar to our own? Dealing with issues we face every day? Is the literature insignificant because it revolves around friendships, romances, and careers? Or is it simply because it makes us laugh that garners such hatred? Because I wonder if Nick Hornby gets the same kind of disapproval…?
I am a feminist. I am a girly girl. I am strong. I am passionate. I am smart. I am educated. I am successful. And I read and write chick lit. Because I have the freedom to choose to do what I want. And there is nothing anti-feminist about that. Long live Chick Lit!
A special thank you to Samantha at Chick Lit Plus for all her hard work organizing and maintaining these blog tours. The stop at this blog is a short one but for Samantha it must be crazy times keeping so many hosting blogs and touring authors organized! Check out her website and tell her how awesome she is!
Also Please join Samantha and Lucie (and me!) on Wednesday, June 22nd at 8 pm CST for a TwitParty! Use the hashtag #CLPLucie to ask your questions and participate!