Paving the way for a new generation, Netflix has proposed getting rid of the term “chick flick” because feminism, or something.
As pointed out by The New York Post, the streaming giant launched into a tirade on Twitter earlier this week (which they heralded as a “Quick PSA”) about why saying “chick flick” is offensive and should be reserved for movies about baby chickens.
“Quick PSA: Can we stop calling films ‘chick flicks’ unless the films are literally about small baby chickens? Here’s why this phrase should absolutely be retired (thread),” the Netflix thread began.
The thread went on to explain how the term “chick flick” cheapens the hard work that goes into making these movies.
For starters, “chick flicks” are traditionally synonymous with romantic comedies. This suggests that women are the only people interested in 1. Romance 2. Comedy. Which I can promise from the men I’ve come across in my life – simply isn’t true.
There aren’t sweeping categories specific to men. You don’t hear people asking to watch “man movies” – instead, pretty much every intersection of genre is on the table and seen as for men, except of course, the aforementioned rom-coms.
The term also cheapens the work that goes into making these types of films. Romantic comedies and/or films centered around female leads go through just as much editing, consideration, and rewriting as any other film.
And nicknaming films “chick flicks” drives home that there’s something trivial about watching them. But what’s trivial about watching a film that makes you feel 1,000 emotions in ~90 minutes?
Overall, 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.
As noted by the Post, the term “chick flick” originated in the 1990s, often in reference to Sandra Bullock movies like “Two if by Sea” or “Hope Floats.” Ironically, the self-serving PSA has not exactly gotten much love from women creators. In fact, “Pretty Little Liars” creator Marlene King said the term “chick flick” is actually empowering, saying some women may actually want to own the label.
“Love you Netflix but maybe we want to own the label. Maybe it empowers us to own it. Like @PLLTVSeries took back the word ‘bitch,'” said Marlene King on Twitter.
King’s followers enthusiastically agreed, according to The Blast. “To me, a chick flick is a movie with a plot,” wrote one follower. “Always own it,” said another.
Author Rebecca Reid also agreed that women should “own” the label rather than trash it. “Perhaps Netflix thinks that scrapping the label ‘chick flick’ will change public perception, but honestly there’s a wider problem at play here,” wrote Reid. “Films about the female experience, especially romantic ones, are regarded as less valid or serious than any other, in line with the way that we as a society generally regard anything for or by women. Chick flicks are some of the most popular and high grossing films around, and many of them (like pretty woman or how to lose a guy in ten days) are absolute classics. We should be owning the label, not shying away from it.”
The Telegraph noted that other Twitter followers accused Netflix of simply virtue-signaling because the platform still showed the term “chick flicks” in the queue for selecting movies.