It's All "Chick-Lit"
I just read an article from "In These Times," an independent magazine that features articles on everything from politics, international affairs to pop culture and the latest in the world of publishing. This particular article was titled "Why Hemingway is Chick-Lit" and it was written by Lakshmi Chaudhry.
Basically it set forth the following statistics:
- Men account for approximately 20 percent of the fiction market, yet overwhelming dominate the publishing arena both as authors and critics
- Women aren't just reading Chick-Lit either. "A 2000 survey found that women comprised a greater percentage of readers than men across all genres: Espionage/thriller (69 percent); General (88 percent); Mystery/Detective (86 percent); and even Science Fiction (52 percent)."
I find such news interesting and greatly encouraging. I mean, once again we see that women have a strong presence, yet are highly underrepresented. Why is that? I think it's the nature of the beast. Men have dominated the world in politics, economics, government - basically any power position in and outside of the home - since, well, forever. And while change has occurred, it has happened at a snail's pace and isn't showing signs of speeding up anytime soon.
And so now we see that even in our leisure activities the world listens to men. Do you find an abundance of material you wish to read when you browse the shelves at your local bookstore or the titles at Amazon.com? I don't. I think there is a great lack of material for women, especially for us 30-something mommies.
I find plenty of novels about single 20-somethings and their wacky adventures with men who don't believe in showers or who bathe in "Old Spice" and I find books about women who have raised their children and are now facing that life changing "Who am I now?" moment. But what about those of us who find ourselves in between? I admit I don't have an enormous amount of time for reading, but I do make time as I know many of you do. I like to read non-fiction, political non-fiction, all kinds of short story anthologies - but what about a good, humorous novel that speaks to me and my life? Let me tell you - there's not a lot out there!
Well, I say, "Let's get writing, Ladies!" The time is now. Write the stories you want to read. Those pompous publishing houses can't ignore the statistics forever and eventually they will have to give their audiences more of what we want if they wish to stay in business.
Tear down the walls. Make your voice heard and put it in black and white.
That's my plan :)