What's In A Name...

T-shirt... - T-shirt...
@twoey68 (13651)
United States
April 24, 2008 11:12am CST
Years ago in my first marriage, I had to deal with spousal abuse. It was a terrible road to travel and although I’ve gotten past it for the most part I still carry the scars inside. Certain things upset me and cause nightmares. A few years ago I came across a T-shirt called a Wife Beater. I don’t know how long they’ve been called that or why they earned that name. I used to love wearing them when I was younger and at that time they were simply called muscle shirts. When we had foster kids, I insisted they refer to them as muscle shirts b/c I didn’t like, and still don’t, the term Wife Beater. What do you call them? Does the name bother you? Do you know how it got started or why they are called that? **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
11 people like this
27 responses
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
24 Apr 08
I can see why this would upset you! My boys wear wife beaters. I didn't even know what they were until they showed them to me. I use to refer to them as Italian T-shirts because all of the italian guys who think they are something wear them.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (102468)
• United States
24 Apr 08
I have also heard them called A shirts for athletic shirts. I will even take that, happily.
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
24 Apr 08
I have not heard that term. I have heard them called muscle shirts. I have always called them sleeveless t-shirts. I think that name is tasteless and degrading.
2 people like this
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
24 Apr 08
Yes that bothers me, and if I were a man, I would be embarrassed to wear something like that, that is plan awful..I don't know what I would do if I saw someone wearing a t-shirt that said that, but they would definitely know I disapproved...
@GardenGerty (102468)
• United States
24 Apr 08
I am like you, I grew up calling them muscle shirts. My first hubby is the one who scornfully called them "wife beaters" when we grew up not ten miles from each other. He said it was because, and this is sterotyping, the kind of guy who liked to show off his muscles was also the kind who was ignorant enough to beat his wife. It was like saying that guys who wear them are second class.
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
24 Apr 08
I have never heard of any such thing and would be offended if anyone within ear shot of me were to say such a thing. I have never been married, but I was in an abusive relationship and I really don't think people should say such things.
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
24 Apr 08
I figured these were the shirts that you were speaking of. We call them tank tops. Maybe these are shirts that men wear around the house and that is why they call them that. Some men may wear them under their work clothes and come home and beat their wives after taking off the outer layer of clothes.
• Canada
28 Apr 08
i agree, wife beater is a terrible name for a piece of clothing. i've always known them as muscle shirts (for men) and tank tops (for women. i've read, however, that the official name for them is "A-Shirt", I guess because of their shape? i'm not sure...
• United States
27 Apr 08
I have never heard this type of shirt being called " wife beater" . I call them muscle shirts or sleevless shirts.I wonder why they have that name.
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
27 Apr 08
No i do not know how it started but to me "Wife Beater" is a very ugly pharse...It is downgrading to all women and it must have been made up by some abusive man that thought it was cute...Sorta tells you something about him doesn't it...
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
26 Apr 08
I call them muscle shirts and were them today. as for wife beaters I think that the feller s that beat thier wives all wore them when doing the beating
@J_Dawgs (217)
• United States
26 Apr 08
I have always hated and still hate that term. I have always called them tank tops or muscle shirts because THATS WHAT THEY ARE! The reason they are called that is because of a trend that got started between movies, rappers, and in schools. Between the three the trend was pickedup and never stopped and I have always hated it and it disgusts me. It is one of my TOP pet peeves when it comes to stuff like that. My two cents... ~*~J_Dawgs~*~
• Bahamas
25 Apr 08
Hi twoey. I feel that abuse of any kind is horrendous. I'm always sadden at the fact that anyone has to suffer at the hands or whim of another.I've always called them muscle shirts and could never call them wife beaters, as i feel that is inappropreiate.I do not know the reasoning behind the name, but i do know that it should not be called that.
@xtedaxcvg (3190)
• Philippines
25 Apr 08
I honestly don't like that T-shirt. It doesn't send a very good message to the public and it is downright offensive (yes, even to a guy like me). I love and respect women and I believe every man should do the same. If ever I get to see that T-shirt worn by someone who thinks he's cool, I'll rip it right from his chest.. Yes, I can and will do that..
@LouRhi (1502)
• Australia
25 Apr 08
I like you have only known them as muscle shirts and I am quite fond of them on the right man (ie one with muscles!) I do not like the term wife beater shirt, it is wrong and almost makes it seem ok for these sorts of actions, which is not. I think we should all make a stand to stamp out this term
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
25 Apr 08
As for the undershirt, I have probably always known them as "wife beaters". But, a muscle shirt is something different - that I know of... A muscle shirt is much narrower in the back and usually not worn as an undershirt, but as the shirt itself and it is made of thicker material. A regular tank top is neither, although it resembles a "wife beater" in shape it is also worn as a regular shirt, not an undershirt and it's made of thicker material also. The reasoning I see behind the name - and yes, it's very degrading, but to the man wearing it in my eyes - is because blue-collar workers wore them all the time and in low-income areas you would associate them more with this type of beaviour.
@DonnaLawson (4032)
• United States
25 Apr 08
I have heard that phrase and I do not like it either.. I haven't been in any abusive relationships, but I do have sisters who have.. It was horrible the things that an abusive husband can put a woman through.. so the term "wife beater" is very offensive to me also.. I have always thought they were, just like you did, muscle shirts..
@heidibur (310)
• United States
25 Apr 08
I too was in an abusive marriage and still carry the scars, I still cant go out after dark unless my new husband is with me. In my mind nothing is that important that it cant wait till morning, and just forget it if a balloon pops near me or a car backfires. It upsets me sometimes when we are out with friends and the P.T.S.D kicks in because I go into a panic attack but most of our friends know and they just wait until I can catch my breath. Its only been 8 years since I left and it was a leave or die sittuation but I will tell you what helps me, when I start to panic I get a wash cloth and wet it with the coldest water and sometimes ice and hold it on my face. the wife beater shirt...I have always hated that saying I call it a tank top always have.
• United States
24 Apr 08
I don't like such term Wife Beater either! People would get the wrong idea. On the negative side it influence others to beat up their wives. It is like a slogan that the person is admitting he or she likes wife beater. He may be a wife beater himself and is proud of it! Wife beaters are cowards. They should pick someone their size.
@whittby (3073)
• United States
24 Apr 08
When my daughter started wearing these, she called them "wife beaters". Honestly, you know it took me awhile before it sunk in what she was calling them. Then, oh then, I told her wear them, but don't call them that here - it's wrong, that's just wrong. I think the name came from the stereotype male in the movies who beat his wife, got drunk and always had one of these t shirts on.
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
24 Apr 08
I've always called them muscle tees. Never knew any other name for them.
@Darkwing (21588)
24 Apr 08
That's a strange name for a shirt... no I've never heard it. In my country, what you show in the picture is either called a tank top, or a vest, plain and simple! I don't understand why anybody would want to walk into a shop and ask for a Wife Beater shirt. Don't you think that's encouraging violence against women? Bad move, I say! Brightest Blessings.