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.
Read the full column. And check out my previous posts on this mantastic subject.
Is this why my favourite shirt on a male is the guyabera?
Oh Lord, I left my last hairdresser when he grabbled thinning shears (kiss of death for my curly hair), exclaimed "Chewbacca!" and before I could stop him shredded my 'do.
Posted by: Duchesse | September 11, 2009 at 07:13 AM
@Duchesse: Hah! Actually, it's a "guayabera," (pronounced gwai-a-BARE-a), but I think I prefer your spelling.
Posted by: Nancy Friedman | September 11, 2009 at 07:21 AM