The Great Bustard:

When I read today about efforts to reintroduce the great bustard on Salisbury Plain, my immediate reaction was, “now there’s a phrase that could be very useful.” “You behaved like a great bustard,” might convey a meaning that one wouldn’t want to make completely transparent. Then I looked at the male courtship dance and saw that the term could get turned into a boast. E.g., “I concluded with a great bustard” might come to signify a deadly rhetorical flourish.

Note: the sound does not enhance the video, IMHO

But on second thought it does seem the bird is going to extremes with an artificial sex surrogate, one very unlikely to satisfy. That and other behaviors returned the phrase to its possibly critical nuance. For example, the males go in for dominance competitions. Ugly and really uninteresting.

In any case, don’t be a great bustard!

Oxford Dictionaries and All Male Panels

Thanks to a reader for pointing out this entry on the Oxford Dictionaries blog: https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2017/07/on-the-radar-manel/

The Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC) has for some time pointed out various instances of all male panels, but now we can have a term to refer to them, namely a “manel.” Not to be confused with an indie pop band from Barcelona.

The term manel, used to refer to an all-male panel of speakers, has recently emerged to join the ranks of the ever growing lexicon of words that are formed by blending the word man with an existing word. While slightly older examples of such terms like mankini, a typically revealing bathing suit for men, or murse, a purse for a man, drew attention to how traditional western concepts of manhood might be in flux, the most recent wave of man- words has had a decidedly different effect. Words like mansplaining or manspreading aim to put names to social phenomena that represent the ways in which those traditional concepts still carry on, typically without the men engaging in them even realizing it.

The social phenomenon of men wearing small bags seems less worth pointing out than the social phenomenon of men being seen as default experts on most topics, so while I  tend to be skeptical about the usefulness of words like “murse,” words like “manspreading” and “manel” do seem to me to be helpful. Feel free to browse some manels of your own on Twitter.  Or look up an array of old GCC posts on this site.