Women don’t exactly feel bereft of choice when it comes to retail designed with us in mind. Pink golf clubs, pink cars, pink power drills—the number of rose-colored products aimed squarely at my demographic would choke a giant My Little Pony made of cotton candy. And now, at last, we have our own dictionary! Do I really need to tell you what color it is?
Feminist outrage aside, though, I must admit to being charmed by The Chicktionary. It helps that the author, Anna Lefler, has written for McSweeney’s and done her share of stand-up. She has great comic timing—not the easiest skill to translate onto paper—and a chatty, just-between-us style that allows her to pull off lines like “the brooch is the elder stateswoman of jewelry and is not about to take any guff from you, missy.” (She also defines the clitoris as “the original ‘Like’ button,” which totally killed me, but that’s probably TMI for this column. Oops.)
Lefler’s collection of “words no woman can live without” covers the usual suspects favored by Jezebel and Sex and the City: cougar, food porn, MILF, jeggings, hawt, muffin top, frenemy. Some of her choices seem a bit dated—after decades of conversation on ladylike topics, I have yet to hear a gal mention her “Aunt Flo” outside a sitcom script—but Lefler deserves credit for adding flirtationship, dude biffle, and briet to my vocabulary.Will women still manage to understand each other without The Chicktionary? Surely. Should we spend an afternoon giggling over it anyway? I don’t see why not. But maybe I need to try playing harder to get.
Photograph © Mia R. Lipman