So I have a discussion today so it’s probably going to be more chatty than usual or… just more rambly :D As you gather from the title, I’m going to be talking about the “chick flick inferiority syndrome”. It’s just something that has been bothering me lately so I gave it a name and decided to discuss it. You might have not heard about it, but it’s likely that you have heard of it or experienced it before. Yes, I’m not the queen of explanations so I’ll just give you a situation and hopefully you’ll understand.
You might be chatting with your friends or hear a conversation down the street and it goes along these lines.
You: oh you know that movie [insert any movie name]. It’s really good, do you want to watch it with me?
Other “human”: umm… but I heard that it’s chick flick.
You: excuse me, what?!?
Other “human”: yeah, I heard it’s really bad.
You: [anger boiling inside] *walk away*
You must have heard or met these people. Basically they equate chick flick with bad movies and frown upon anyone who watches these movies and likes them. I must admit, I used to be guilty of doing this. I used to be one of those “chick flick scoffers” before I realised how derogatory it can be used, and just because a movie is centred around romance, it doesn’t make it lesser than say, an action film. Personally, I don’t like using the term, “chick flick” and especially implying that the movie is dreadful and classifying it as a girl’s movie so any guy and girl who wants to watch it gets mocked because they enjoy it. Firstly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a romantic comedy as your favourite movie of all time, regardless of gender. It’s also fine if you don’t like the genre or plots of romantic comedies, but it’s not necessary to identify any terrible movie you’ve seen or heard about as a chick flick.
And this is what I call the chick flick inferiority syndrome. Whenever you say you don’t like a movie like Mean Girls, this syndrome automatically kicks it. People nod and treat you as though you have good taste in movies – they approve. On the other hand, if you said you hated a “classic” or a great movie accepted in society, you get exclamations of disbelief and patronising tones because obviously you don’t know what a good movie is. The association that chick flicks have with femininity is programmed in society, and ultimately linked to inferiority, because what? The targeted demographic are females? Romance is an aspect of the plot? It’s just to irritating sometimes for movies to be dismissed as chick flicks or its content devalued because of the mentality of our culture that films without awesome action scenes, a superhero or even high budget CGI; films that contain female protagonists, where love or romance plays a part of the plot are unconsciously labelled as chick flicks and therefore, regarded lower than films that don’t contain these features.
If you enjoy a movie, not matter the genre, you should be able to without being belittled about your interests or laughed at because your favourite movie is a “chick flick” – it’s just a difference in taste. Yes, there are so pretty poor “chick flicks” but, there are equally bad films that are generalised as masculine. If I don’t like a film, it’s my opinion based on my enjoyment or experience of it, so we shouldn’t naturally decide and insult others’ tastes. This happens over and over again and we need to let go of this embedded delusion of inferiority and negativity, based solely on the quantity of romance or gender of protagonist. Anyway, you might be wondering what this has got to do with books and you might see where I’m going with this, because this happens so often with reading.
Yes, those people who say you’re not “real readers” because you don’t read classics, or you really like reading young adult. Just stop. There seems to be a similar mindset among so many people who think they are above you, and more of a reader because they read classics or news articles or adult books. I have to explain this so much to people, to people who poke fun that some of your favourite books are middle grade or young adult fiction. I feel as though I’m constantly being judged or enjoying YA literature; the scornful comments on the internet, or the disdainful looks when you tell people that you enjoy reading, particularly YA books. However, I do see it getting better in the reading community as people are acknowledging that you are a reader no matter how many or the types of books you’ve read.
Again it comes down to the chick flick inferiority syndrome, or in my case; the YA inferiority syndrome. These categories that books get put into are only because of the AGE of the protagonist, and just because it’s marketed to a particular age group, this shouldn’t restrict older or younger readers. Don’t act like a reader elitist because people have different opinions, dislike popular books or hate certain classics. Then again, if you love classics, that’s awesome – you love reading? I do too, so we can definitely get along. So stop bashing genres of books and stop calling people stupid for enjoying them. Books can be for enjoyment, for analysing and for educating. ALL books do this (how well it is done is your opinion but there is a high chance someone disagrees and that’s okay!) I’m so happy to see more people reading, but then there people directing how reading should be done; it’s pointless and discouraging. You’re not hurting anyone so read on! Let this syndrome spread no more. We must diagnose affected humans and tell them to stop.
I sorry if this discussion was all over the place, but hopefully you got the gist of my stance on degrading a particular genre and any production from it simply due to its categorisation. Essentially, I don’t think the genre or label of a movie or book does not define its quality. Don’t act superior and because of your tastes and enjoy today!
Let me know your thoughts on this topic. It was less discussion and more rant-like so I’m sorry for that. But still let me know what type of books you read, and have you ever been given hell for liking some particular books or genre? Let us discuss it all and sigh (eye rolling is acceptable) Did I miss anything in describing this awful condition people have? Comment below!