General Question

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

How is the term "wifebeater" (describing a shirt) still politically correct?

Asked by MisterBlueSky85 (892points) June 13th, 2008

This hasn’t changed why?

Or maybe it doesn’t offend you.


Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

waterskier2007's avatar

yeah i would say it is. it doesnt offend me, probably because i am not a woman and therefore not a wife. but i really dont hear the word a lot or see many worn nowadays

nocountry2's avatar

I thought it was slang for making fun of rednecks and what they wore – I personally don’t know another term that describes that particular style of tank top…

jrpowell's avatar

It doesn’t really bother me. I have always grown up with the term.

And it isn’t derogatory towards women. It is insulting to the men that wear them. I think of people from the south that live in mobile home parks that start drinking Budweiser at 10AM when I hear the term.

wildflower's avatar

P.C. is so overrated!! I’m glad some words survive.

robmandu's avatar

No worse than boy beater.

jrpowell's avatar

Well played..

marinelife's avatar

It isn’t.

PupnTaco's avatar

Wife beaters deserve to be insulted, they’re not a protected class.

brownlemur's avatar

@misterbluesky – I agree with you. I think the connotation is quite negative and is offensive, especially to victims of spousal or physical abuse. Unfortunately, I do not see a change coming anytime soon.

@waterskier – You don’t need to be a woman to be offended by the term. I am not African-American but I am extremely offended when anyone uses the “n” word.

marinelife's avatar

@PupnTaco It is not clear that the use of this term is meant as an insult to wife beaters.

Knotmyday's avatar

I like to pair my wifebeater with a windbreaker.
However, I would apply neither term (as a pejorative) to, say, the local vicar (although privately he may be the latter, it is unlikely that he is the former).
Context, my dear friends.

Spargett's avatar

Novelty works wonders for seriousness.

jlm11f's avatar

I had never heard of the term until last year. One of my roommates asked me if i wanted to borrow her wifebeater. I flipped out on her. I thought our college major had finally got to her and made her nuts. When I realized she’s talking about a tank top, I was just weirded out by the name. Why was it ever called wifebeater anyway? Does anyone know the origin?

ben's avatar

My girlfriend and I have been using the term “wifepleaser” as a less offensive alternative.

Maybe that will catch on.

marinelife's avatar

Here is what the Ft. Worth Star Telegram says about origin of the term.

marinelife's avatar

And from the NY Times this year.

jlm11f's avatar

@ marina – thanks. both your links don’t work. i figured the first one to be this . but i don’t know what your second link is referring to. but the first link was enough for me to understand the origin.

marinelife's avatar

@Pnl Sorry I have a screwy connection today. Yes, the first one was the PDF. The second one (New York Times) has this headline and date: NOTICED; An Undershirt Named . . . What?
Published: April 22, 2001

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

It seems the consensus is that if the term was offensive to women, it should be changed, but it’s insulting to rednecks so who gives a damn. Is that accurate?

bluemukaki's avatar

I honestly don’t think it is offensive, if it’s offensive to anyone it shouldn’t be women but the people who wear them! Then again, I do live in Australia, and we’re not too concerned about being politically correct or polite

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