Lit Brothers, a department store in Philadelphia, US
Lit Motors, an American cabin motorcycle developer
LIT (video game), by WayForward Technologies
LIT, IATA airport code of Clinton National Airport, Arkansas, US
.LIT, a filename extension for Microsoft Reader e-books
Lambda Iota Tau, an honor society in literature
Linear ion trap, a type of quadrupole ion trap in mass spectrometry
Lamar Institute of Technology, Beaumont, Texas, US
Laxminarayan Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India
Lee-Ming Institute of Technology, New Taipei, Taiwan
Limerick Institute of Technology, Limerick, Ireland
"Chick" is American slang for a young woman, and "lit" is a shortened form of literature. Chick lit scholars note that the term was first used ironically in 1995 by Cris Mazza and Jeffrey DeShell as the title for their edited anthology Chick Lit: Postfeminist Fiction, which contains 22 short fiction pieces in response to Mazza and DeShell's call for "postfeminist writing". In the mid-1990s, the term was used by various media outlets to describe the onslaught of fiction written by women authors for women readers.
While chick lit has been very popular with readers, critics largely disapproved of the genre. Reviewer Alex Kuczynski writing for The New York Times condemned Fielding's novel, in particular, writing "Bridget is such a sorry spectacle, wallowing in her man-crazed helplessness, that her foolishness cannot be excused." Writer Doris Lessing deemed the genre "instantly forgettable" while Beryl Bainbridge called the genre "a froth sort of thing". The feud was further fueled with the publication of editor Elizabeth Merrick's anthology This Is Not Chick Lit (2005), where Merrick argued in her introduction that "Chick lit's formula numbs our senses", and editor Lauren Baratz-Logsted's 2006 response This Is Chick Lit whose project was "born out of anger".
Writers of the genre have come to its defense. Chick lit author Jenny Colgan immediately fired back at Lessing and Bainbridge. Jennifer Weiner, author of numerous chick lit novels, including Good in Bed (2001) and In Her Shoes (2002), has perhaps been the most vocal defender of chick lit. In May 22, 2013, Weiner wrote an article for Slate in response to a comment that novelist Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs (2013), made about women's fiction and the likeability of protagonists. Weiner used this moment as an opportunity to question the bias that exists toward commercial fiction, particularly women's commercial fiction. Weiner has continued to challenge people's perceptions of chick lit, most recently writing "The Snobs and Me" for The New York Times; the article chronicles her personal struggle to believe in her own writing in a cultural climate that devalues it. Other writers such as Diane Shipley and D.J. Connell have come to the genre's defense. Most notably, high-profile feminist Gloria Steinem has echoed Weiner's sentiments and asked people to interrogate their use of the term and what it says about women and women's fiction, noting the prejudice against women's lit.