(Re-posted with permission from J.L. Murray)
Someone once told me I wrote like a man. Or, his exact words, “You write like a dude. Like Hemingway or some shit.” Obviously I didn’t take this guy seriously. But for some reason this sprang to mind not too long ago. I came upon one of those sites where you paste an excerpt and it tells you what famous writer your style most resembles. So I tried it. Chuck Palahniuk. I tried it again with a different story. Raymond Chandler.
So I was now curious. Why was it that I wrote like a man and not that the others wrote like a bitch?
When I say write like a woman, even a feminazi such as myself gets a bad taste. All I can think of is the term chick lit and romance. It’s unfair, but the damage has been done. I should think of writers like Margaret Atwood and Angela fucking Carter, but society has filled my head with Harlequin romance images and Stephenie Meyer. I hate it, but that’s the way it is. Don’t even get me started about erotica. Call it porn and let it go.
So I propose a new sect in literature. Bitch Lit.
Bitch Lit is androgynous. You don’t have to be a woman to write Bitch Lit. You just have to write like a bitch. Hemingway had it. Palahniuk has it. Atwood writes like a bitch around the world and back again. She practically invented the imaginary genre. I’d like to think that I have it too.
Fuck romance. Fuck angsty stories about girls waiting to be saved. Write like a bitch. You can write romance and still write like a bitch. Don’t have your protagonist waiting by the phone. Have her do the calling. Got a female that isn’t happy with what she’s given? Give her a fucking brain in her head and maybe a Tommy gun. Write like a bitch.
It’s going to be a goddamn phenomenon.