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Old 12-06-2013, 11:23 AM
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
4,137 posts, read 3,799,644 times
Reputation: 7700


Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
It annoys me a lot when men who wear tanks are called "wife beaters".

So, if a guy prefers to wear a tank to bed in the summer for a comfortable night's sleep, he is or will be a wife beater .
It's just a name.

BTW if you see a girl wearing FMP's (as in the Amy Winehouse song) that's not supposed to be taken literally either. Please, take heed.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:37 AM
811 posts, read 1,070,915 times
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Hillbilly vocab
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:56 AM
994 posts, read 1,311,005 times
Reputation: 2007
What? The men who wear tanks aren't called wife beaters, the tanks themselves are. No one is going to think you beat women just because you wear a tank. What a silly thing to get riled up over.

P.S. Tanks are lame on guys unless those men are super sculpted.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:13 PM
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,952,180 times
Reputation: 4771
Those shirts have been called beaters for years. This is the first I heard to someone wearing one being a wife beater.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:27 PM
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,491 posts, read 5,643,695 times
Reputation: 3751
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
It is a television/movie stereotype that is not even remotely close to being true.
"Television/movie stereotype" -- yes.

"not even remotely close to being true" -- perhaps you need to revisit the definition of 'stereotype'. While you're at it, look up the definition of 'cliche', a related term.

Stereotypes and cliches are both founded in reality, truth and fact -- they're just neither universally true nor universally false.

And by the way, the cliche'/stereotype was not founded on a "tank-top" but on its forefather -- a type of sleeveless undershirt that is now called an "A-Shirt". In this case, "A" stands for "athletic".

Men's A-Shirt Tanks | Cotton Men's A-Shirts, Classic A-Shirts

While this admittedly could be a distinction without a difference, I just want to keep the record straight.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:38 PM
17,365 posts, read 14,461,213 times
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Originally Posted by boxus View Post
It is just a slang name, nothing to be taken seriously. No one, unless they are insane, thinks if a person is wearing one, he is beating his wife.

As others have stated, it comes from shows like Cops. The term predates Cops as I heard them called this before Cops was a show. I think it comes from as to why it is labeled a "wife beater", because numerous times police respond to domestic violence, it seems many men were wearing one, so the term just generated from that.

You have to see the humor in it when police show up to husband on wife violence calls, many men are wearing the same outfit.

Names just do not come out of the blue, there is always a reason for it.
Let me clarify, as others have stated, it is the shirt that is called a wife-beater, not the person wearing it. For example "let me throw on my wife-beater and I will be right over".
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:47 PM
Location: Lake Oswego, Aspen, CPS/NYC, & Meadow Lane
3,249 posts, read 4,330,194 times
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Because once undershirts with sleeves became commonplace, the old, scooped-out style became associated with rather disgusting men.

About the time undershirts started changing, younger men started washing their hair (and not using hair grease), stopped combing their hair backward, stopped wearing their pants up past their navels, stopped drinking, and stopped smoking. Physical fitness (in very tentative forms, like 'Jogging' and 'Biking') began to be a regular part of men's lives (at least when they were young).

Also, the assumption that "getting a girl pregnant" meant the end of one's academic career, became a thing of the past. So, you had far fewer 'Disappointed Men' becoming bitter alcoholics, like the Husband in 'Come Back, Little Sheba'.

And the notion of Casual Clothing became the norm for working class and middle class men. Younger men did not come home from work, take off the shirt and tie, and lounge-about in shiny black shoes, dark "slacks", and a scooped-out undershirt.

So, you had one generation of men who'd survived two World Wars and the Great Depression, who sat around in 'old man undershirts' and black "slacks" and shiny shoes, drinking and smoking and hacking up phlegm, their greasy hair stinking of Vitalis hair oil, and their breath smelling like rotten meat - growling at their wives and children, and occasionally, when really drunk or really desperate, hitting someone. They'd gone to work as children, and had never had their bodies developed in football practice at school, so the feminizing effects of booze and cigs had caused them to develop man boobs.... this, on top of huge abdomens and scrawny arms and legs. Stanley Kowalski in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' was the hot version. Mostly though, what you'd see was hideous and repulsive.

Then, you had a younger generation, in teeshirts with sleeves, who didn't smoke, and whose hair was clean. And their casual garb was entirely different. And their prospects were better. Life was not entirely about working until one died of a heart attack. No need to drink oneself into oblivion, to drown out the disappointment and pathos of their lives.

The two generations were like different SPECIES.

Anyway, those teeshirts came to be associated with lower class men of Central and Eastern European extraction, who were 'brutes', like Stanley Kowalski. I have friends who describe "The Immigrants"... the men their aunts married during and just after WWII, when the better men had all been killed. "Oh, they're HORRIBLE... Greasy hair! And they sit on the patio, smoking and drinking beer out of glasses, in these black dress slacks... and black shoes in the daytime... and these horrible 'old man undershirts' ".

Well... those are the associations...

And I will add that men of the upper classes just started skipping undershirts under dress shirts. "They just look so 'Grit'." The advent of air conditioning, and the fact that men stopped developing man boobs, meant that those disgusting old undershirts were no longer necessary to hide sweaty man boobs showing under one's shirt.

I know about this generational shift better than most. We lived in a two-room abandoned sharecropper's shack. My Mom was a prostitute. When Mom had a client, I loved to crawl up under the house, and pull the kleenex out of my special knothole in the floor, and watch her 'entertaining' them. The hot, young guys had teeshirts with sleeves. The scroungy, ugly, young guys had Wife Beaters. The old men, particularly the disgusting ones, wore Wife Beaters.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:50 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,183 posts, read 56,825,794 times
Reputation: 33420
No one seeing you in that will think that you beat your wife, it's just a slang term for a kind of shirt. Not any different than the British calling jockey shorts "Y fronts", or "Daisy Dukes" or "____me boots".
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:28 PM
Location: Floribama
15,688 posts, read 32,501,747 times
Reputation: 14864
Ugh! Those shirts look so trashy! When I see them I envision some slob sitting in a recliner yelling at his wife to go fetch him a beer.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:31 PM
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 11,539,928 times
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Originally Posted by GrandviewGloria View Post
The hot, young guys had teeshirts with sleeves. The scroungy, ugly, young guys had Wife Beaters. The old men, particularly the disgusting ones, wore Wife Beaters.
The funny thing is, the hot young guys (I assume tall, well built, clean shaven, and muscular which all women rave for) are slowly starting to wear T-shirts without sleeves, and its not just in the gym. I frequently see it in lecture halls, dining rooms, and informal restaurants often with their GF. A number of these guys are cut and clean, not hairy and greasy like you mentioned.

Personally I don't do such things. I would only wear sleeveless T-shirts at home, and maybe for a very brief period outside (Going out to get my mail or stuff I accidentally forgot to take out of my car in the summer). Its a great way to ward off all those pesky street advertisers who pulverize you every weekend .
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