Recently on Twitter, the Netflix Film account brought up the topic of the term “chick flick”. Why is a movie genre gendered and why is it even still a used descriptor?
Now, I am not knocking chick flicks because I absolutely love them. You can ask anyone that knows me how I adore clichés and anything lovely and romantic. I am a Hallmark movie junkie, especially when it comes to Christmas time. I eat that up!
But why are movies that are made for everyone categorized as only for women?
And I don’t even need to mention that the term “chick” to describe women is just clearly outdated and meaningless.
Women are not the only people that like romance and comedies wrapped all in one. Many of my guy friends’ guilty pleasures are rom-coms and it shouldn’t be stereotyped as a female-based genre.
The fact that the term chick flick was even created is unfathomable to me. Yes, the industry found that their main target audience was female, but in what world does that make it natural to name a who genre from it? It’s not like the film industry named action movies to “manly movies” because men are more attracted to violence than women. They just call them action because that’s what their theme is. The fact that gender started to even be associated with this shows just how society labels everything they can, even when it’s completely unnecessary.
These films are made to grab the audience’s attention by throwing a lot of emotions onto the table in the short span of around 90 minutes. My guess as to why these were sadly named towards women is because, generally, women are more in touch with their emotions than men. This is most likely due to society reprimanding and looking down upon men who show emotion. But even still, why did people find it justifiable for a movie theme to be based solely on gender?
The Netflix Film account also mentioned that because movies that get this rap for being chick flicks are then seen as less professional and cheaper than other films. As a student who is currently studying how to make films, I know how much goes into making a production a good feature length film. Lots of money, time, people, equipment and so, so much more. To have a film labeled a chick flick sets a cage around said movie. It makes men automatically think that it’s not for them, even though it might be perfectly fine. The term also portrays the movie to be cheaply made or lacking in some department, even if that is completely untrue.
These movies are well made and should be celebrated and promoted, not imprisoned in a category for just one specific gender.
As put perfectly by Netflix Film, “there’s nothing inherently gendered about liking a light-hearted film with a strong female lead and emotional arc. So next time you call something a ‘chick flick,’ you better be referring to Chicken Run.” Or as I would like to suggest, Chicken Little.