Thursday, June 4, 2009
Perception. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to Franchises that focus on girls and women are the perception of them as frivolous, stereotypical, painted pink, coated in glitter and marabou feathers, and as the above video suggests, unrealistic or focused on the therapeutic. Or as overwhelmingly deep and introspective into the world of women and family.
Frankly, the first time I heard the term "Chick Lit" as an intern I thought it was a sexist slur, rather than a widely used publishing term. So, when you think about what's geared towards women, it's not really surprising that one comes up with Sex and the City, Romance Novels, and family stories specifically. You would likely get a similar cross section of strange stereotypes if you asked people what "men's fiction" meant, I suspect you'd hear cars, spies and adventure.
In part, by being asked to define it, it becomes a commentary on the old stereotypes, and it seems like the genre is hard to nail down in part because of an old standard assumption "women and girls will be interested in items that are geared towards men and boys, but not vice-versa."
The dialogue of entertainment for girls and women is full of very loaded terms. Trying to determine what fits into what container is very difficult because of different motivations and perceptions. The utility of these genres even and especially those of "Girl's" and "Women's" have a tendency to be used dismissively, and it makes one wonder if a property that transcends its gendering can exist under that kind of labelling.