Fratire is a type of 21st-century fiction literature written for and marketed to young men in a politically incorrect and overtly masculine fashion. The term was coined following the popularity of works by George Ouzounian (writing under the pen name Maddox) and Tucker Max. Described as a satirical celebration of traditional masculinity, the genre has been criticized for allegedly promoting sexism and misogyny.
Fratire generally features male protagonists, usually in their twenties and thirties. It is characterized by masculine themes and could be considered the male equivalent of chick lit. The genre was popularized by Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and Maddox's webpage titled The Best Page in the Universe and his book The Alphabet of Manliness. According to one of the authors, "fratire as a genre represents the non-mainstream literary reaction to the feminization of masculinity," although not all the books address this so directly.
Fratire is a portmanteau of fraternity and satire. The term was introduced by The New York Times reporter Warren St. John in a 2006 article titled Dude, here's my book. Allegedly, it was the only word allowed by the editor. Tucker Max, after first hearing the term during a telephone interview with St. John, said,
"Great Holy Jesus. Warren, that is awful. First off, I wasn't in a fraternity. Neither was Maddox. In fact, none of the writers you are profiling in your article was in a frat. Please, call it anything else."
The term aimed to classify the recent publication of male-centric books that focused on alcohol and sexual themes. Publishers continued to push the genre as a sales tactic. After the success of the books published by Max and Maddox, publishers and reporters attempted to capitalize on the trend with new iterations of the word, including "lad-lit," "dicklit," "frat-lit" and "menaissance."
Criticism of fratireEdit
Melissa Lafsky of The New York Times described the genre as "misogyny for sale." Lafsky wrote that fratire authors were profiting by fueling young male anger concerning societal demands for equality. In a Salon.com interview with Rebecca Traister, Ouzounian said his writing was a nostalgic parody of old-fashioned masculinity and that society had moved too far forward to return to those concepts. In an interview with Public Radio International, Maddox offered the suggestion that the misogyny often associated with the genre of fratire had become more acceptable because women are stronger than they've ever been in society, and that singling out women as the only group not okay to lampoon is a sexist act in itself. In a 2008 article, Kira Cochrane in the New Statesman disputed that idea, stating there still remained much inequality between men and women. Cochran called the fratire genre a regression to old-fashioned sexism "presented under the veil of irony".
- St. John, Warren (April 16, 2006). "Dude, Here's My Book". New York Times (April 16, 2006). Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- Ann Johnson, "The Subtleties of Blatant Sexism", Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Volume 4, Issue 2 June 2007 , pages 166 - 183
- Harkin, James. "The return of the real man". Financial Times (September 15, 2006). Retrieved 2010-06-20.[permanent dead link]
- Tucker Max. "Pass the Beer: In Defense of "Fratire"". The Huffington Post (August 6, 2006). Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- Fratire products Amazon.com, Retrieved on 2008-09-14
- Harkin, James. "The return of the real man". Financial Times (Sept. 19 2006). Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- Martens, Ellin (June 11, 2006). "The Menaissance". Time Magazine (June 11, 2006). Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- Lafsky, Melissa (6 June 2006). "Misogyny for sale: The new "Frat-Lit" trend". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
- Traister, Rebecca (2 June 2006). "It's a man's world". Salon. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
- To The Best of our Knowledge (29 June 2006). "Save the males". Public Radio International. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
- Cochrane, Kira (5 June 2008). "Retrosexual, or just misogynist?". New Statesman. Retrieved 14 September 2008.
- Donovan, "Interview with Neil Strauss author of 'The Game'", The Attraction Chronicles, September 9, 2005. Retrieved on 2009-06-05
- Davis, Johnny The frat pack The Independent, London, July 30, 2006
- Eugene, Lee Serious Art, Frat-guy Fun, The Daily Californian, University of California Berkeley, Feb. 8, 2007
- Ohern, Adam Dude, where's my book? Fratire: a new literary genre The Arkansas Traveler, Oct. 15, 2007