Thursday, May 26, 2005

Thoughts on Passive Aggressive Chicklit

My main frustration with the last few books I've been reading is a lack of a confrontation when the storyline is crying for one.

Are confrontations difficult for women to write? We are fairly comfortable writing confrontations with lovers. But I've noticed a distinct absence of confrontations with bosses, landlords and ex-lovers in the last round of books I've bought. Is this because we tend to avoid these confrontations in real life?

When I was studying writing in college, we had big dilemmas about writing sex scenes. We were embarrassed to write them, as our peers would read them and form judgments about them. However, the absence of a sex scene where one belongs is just as conspicuous as the sex scene itself.

Confrontations, like sex scenes are blindingly obvious in their absence in fiction. Do we (as in women) avoid writing them because they're not "realistic?" To me, it seems unrealistic that an unreasonable manager leave on their own accord and everything just "works out." Chick lit is an escape. It's fun to read somebody overcoming their doormat tendencies, and standing up for themselves. Getting revenge against an unfair tyrant makes for satisfying reading. An unfair tyrant leaving for another job coincidentally feels like a cop out to me.


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