What Do You Call …

What do you call these? (The shirt he's not wearing, not <em>him</em>! ... Geez! Nice locs on a man just do something for you, don't they?)

What do you call these? (The shirt he's not wearing, not him! ... Geez! Nice locs on a man just do something for you, don't they?)

Ever since I can remember, people have called these shirts “wife beaters.” I called them that for years, as a result. When I first heard someone say “A shirt,” what the package calls them, unless it says “ribbed tank,” I had no idea what they were talking about because no one at my high school ever called them anything but “wife beater.”

Thereafter, I wondered why they were called wife beaters, but that’s where the questioning stopped. It wasn’t until my college days that I considered how tacky it sounded to call a shirt a wife beater, especially when I was working so hard to empower myself as a woman. Plus, how did the “wife beater” get his own shirt? And why doesn’t the “wife adorer” have one? And what would that look like? A button down?

Do you still call ribbed tanks wife beaters? If so, STOP IT!


~ by MsInklination on July 6, 2009.

3 Responses to “What Do You Call …”

  1. Really now?! I had no idea. You just learnt me something, guhl! Now I *know* people should stop using that term. Who wants to be like the people on “COPS”?! Blech. And you’re totally right. If dude didn’t look like he’d beat your tail, he might make me have lust problems. But since I’m pretty sure he’d make me get down on my hands and knees and scrub the kitchen floor with a toothbrush then yell at me because that’s not the way his mom used to do it right before he locked me in the house for three days, his beauty wanes.

  2. Excellent photo selection by the way. Dude is looking kinda hot with those locs And his expression matches the subject perfectly. He has that “Don’t play with me!” Debo (Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister Jr.) look in his eyes. lol

  3. I heard “wife beater” derived in reference to the TV show “COPS.” Every time there was a domestic dispute with a male perpetrator, he was wearing a ribbed tank top. So people jokingly referred to that type of tank top as a “wife beater.” The joke unfortunately stuck. I bet it’s in the Urban Dictionary too. (Just checked, it is.)

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