What’s in a word?

The year is coming to a close, and we’re continuing the end-of-year reflections we began with our most recent blog post.

2018 began with ‘mansplaining’ and ended with ‘he-ja-vu’.

What is that you say?

At the risk of mansplaining myself, let me explain.

In January 2018, the English language grew, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)– among the words added to the OED was the verb ‘mansplaining’: seen when a man explains something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner that is condescending or patronizing.

We’ve all seen examples of this in various venues of our lives, including that of academic or clinical sports medicine.  I know I’ve been guilty of it.

Later in the year, I joined a group of esteemed colleagues in writing an editorial that appeared in BJSM that looked at gender bias in our profession while looking at the phenomenon of ‘manels.’ Now, I don’t believe the OED has given its official blessing to this term, but a quick search on Twitter using the hashtag #manel will alert you to its widespread use in the working lexicon of social media.

[‘manel’ — an all- or predominantly-male panel of experts seen at conferences]

And now, as 2018 ends, we have a new offering of words looking at related phenomena of gender inequities in academic medicine.  This is commentary just published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) for Christmas:  A Lexicon for Gender Bias in Academia and Medicine. It is authored by three social media physicians (one woman, two men) who do great work on Twitter (definitely worth a follow): @choo_ek @DGlaucomfleken @rfdemayo

The commentary (subtitled “Mansplaining is the tip of the iceberg”) is a wickedly funny satire on so many different aspects of the problem of gender inequities in academic medicine.  It is laugh out loud funny  while also delivering a punch to the gut, as the authors propose various new terms for different regressive phenomena. To wit: Read more of this post

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