Okay, I must confess: I may have slightly misled you with a the title. Clickbaited, you could say, in order to entice you into what I have to say. However, it’s a half-truth, and I want to explain why. A fair warning though: it’s about to get super ranty up in here.
It’s not so much that I hate women’s fiction, or ‘chick lit’ as it’s colloquially nicknamed. I have no problem with female-led, romance-driven stories — just that they’ve been given this name that is so looked down upon. ‘Chick lit’ is seen as fluffy and frivolous, not worthy of praise or merit just because its stories predominantly focus on women and their ‘womanly’ problems.
On Sunday, Tom Fletcher announced a very exciting project that is the Children’s Book Club he is doing with WHSmith. In true Tom Fletcher style, his announcement video took form of a little musical number, with him creeping around a WHSmith after hours and drawing glasses on Zoella and Richard & Judy.
Scrolling down to the comments, the general consensus was positive. Everyone loved Tom’s creative way of revealing this news, and found the song funny and catchy.
However, a very small minority of commenters had another thing on their minds.
“Everyone knows that if you’re born with a vagina, creepy dudes are just a part of the deal.” Denise, Master of None (S1EP7)
A few weeks ago, Vix Meldrew asked the women of Twitter to share stories of being followed or harassed by men. After recently watching Season 2 of Master of None, I’ve been rewatching Season 1 and was reminded of this particular line.
When I was 18, I was at home in Brighton during a uni break. We lived quite centrally, really close to the station, and town was just a stone’s throw away. I was walking home after some drinks with friends – it wasn’t particularly late, maybe 9 or 10pm – and as I was walking down my street, I noticed a guy at the other end coming towards me. No big deal usually. Usually. I was expecting us to just cross paths swiftly, like you would with any other stranger. But literally the millisecond before I turned to walk up the path to my door, he stopped me.