Rebecca Traister wrote this. Maud Newton wrote this rebuttal.. Edward Champion said "Girls! Girls! Settle down!".
The question seems to be:
Are women bad feminists if they criticize chick lit?
Unless they do so as part of a sweeping criticism of all forms of popular literature, like the romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, etc. that are its siblings.
Why? Because the impulse to criticize 'women's fiction' is at its heart a criticism of women.
Being female is a disadvantaged status. Sorry, folks, but it is. It's just not as easy being a woman as a man, if you want to do anything except carry a baby in your body. If you want to run for Congress, run a Fortune 500 company, or even get tenure at a top university, you're statistically better off being male.
Women know this. Everyone has their own way of compensating. One can out of the rat race and choosing a different value structure. One can choose specific industries that are more female frierndly. One can do any number of things.
One way to seek equality with the dominant class is to divest oneself of associations with ones’ disadvantaged group.
‘Chick lit’ is aggressively female. Therefore, women who have subconsiously adopted the ‘join ‘em’ method react aggressively to claims that chick lit represents their life experience. Denigrating this category (and other ‘female’ categories like romance) is a way of separating themselves from the female mainstream and by implication choosing association with the favored male class.
If you're going to call yourself a feminist, you should know better. Criticize individual authors. Criticize escapist fiction. But please, be more self-aware than to criticize 'chick lit'.