Bahrain's culture minister is facing demands for her dismissal after calling conservative lawmakers "not real men" for opposing an annual arts festival under way in Manana.

Sheika Mai bin Mohammad Al Khalifa issued the barb during a stormy parliament session Tuesday over the cultural events. Hard-liners say the event should be canceled in solidarity with the uprising against Syria's regime.

Sheika Mai called her critics "not real men" for allegedly sending children and others to try to disrupt the festival. Some lawmakers threatened to boycott parliament until she is ousted.

Bahrain's Sunni monarchy backs cultural and sporting events in attempts to show stability, despite a nearly 14-month-long uprising by the kingdom's Shiite majority.