My latest column for Visual Thesaurus, "Brand Man-agement," is now online. In it I talk about one of my favorite topics: the proliferation of man-words (mancession, mancation, mantyhose) and man-brands (Manscara, Mansoap, MANdles, et al.) in contemporary culture.
Access to the full text is restricted to subscribers (and you're a subscriber, right?). Here's an excerpt:
Like manscaping, many man-words and man-brands attempt to masculinize activities and products usually marketed to women. The earliest example may be the manbag — a purse used by men — which first appeared in print in 1968 in, of all places, the Newark (Ohio) Advocate and American Tribune. "The manbag is a natural progression in the men's wear revolution that started a short time ago with turtlenecks," the paper informed its readers. (Turtlenecks!) The manbag (or murse) never became as ubiquitous as those Midwestern metrosexuals may have wished, but it never went away, either. Its survival may have been aided by the robustly male Chewbacca, who carried one in Star Wars. In any event, it exerted a linguistic pull on many other products formerly under the sway of the feminine mystique.