Reasons I Detest the Phrase “Chick Flick”

No really, it sucks.

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Not another chick flick!” Time and time again I’ve heard the phrase uttered through the mouth of a friend, family member, stranger, you name it–but what exactly is a ‘chick flick?’

When most people think of a ‘chick flick,’ several images cross their mind: the latest romantic comedy starring two dopey-eyed lovers, the classic Broadway musical featuring the hilarious theatrics of Streisand, or perhaps merely a movie with women in it.

You’ll never hear the male equivalent ‘dude flick’ because, in our society, male-centered movies and TV shows are the norm.

So we’ve got a film industry saturated with male-centered writing, and female-centered movies almost always taking the back seat or worse, being called ‘chick flicks’ and treated like a joke.

Regardless of one’s personal definition of the phrase, it is most often used in a derogatory manner.

Why is it an iconic movie like Mean Girls, which has developed a cult following and delved into issues ranging from bullying to homophobia, is deemed just another ‘chick flick’ by movie critics and audiences alike?

In a world where the vast majority of teens have at least one quote from the movie cemented in their brains, you’d think the film would be taken seriously — instead it’s deemed a superficial high school drama where petty fights arise and boy drama occurs.

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When a movie is branded ‘chick flick,’ the brander generally categorizes it as such to diminish its credibility as an important film. Why? Because its subject matter revolves around women. Full stop.

The sentiment behind the phrase and others like this one comes from a misogynistic mindset, often ingrained in us through long term media exposure and our cultural environment.

While there is nothing wrong with movies specifically marketed toward a female audience, we can’t even turn to the majority of them because the plots often solely revolve around romance.

The problem with that is this: it’s limiting and subconsciously tells women that relationships are all they should strive for in life, as opposed to pursuing their own personal interests or working toward a career.

In short, when a movie or TV show has a primarily women cast, it brings with it the patriarchal mindset that anything involving women or femininity in general is not to be taken seriously, since men and masculine culture are the status quo which we are to measure up to.

We need better than this. And we can start by rejecting the phrase ‘chick flick.’ Try referring to it as simply a ‘movie.’ That’s all it essentially is.


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