Why is a white t-shirt called a 'wifebeater'?

I don't live in America so I never really hear that word around where I live

Is misogyny and wifebeating just normal in your culture that you had to market it?

Updates:
It's normal?

What if I make some new pants and call them 'sluts'


'Hey look at these new sluts I bought'

'Gosh these sluts are so dirty'

'Do you think sluts make my ass look big?'


people would go crazy because it's not already accepted


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Most Helpful Girl

  • It came from the movie A Street Car Named Desire, where Marlon Brando beats his wife while wearing a white tank top.

    But yes, institutionalized sexism is what keeps the slang so popular; just like terms like "man eater." I don't see why its so acceptable to call a shirt a wifebeater :p

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What Girls Said 6

  • @update: you can't just create slang like that, its not how languages work so thus it is not the same thing.

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  • Lol I'm in the US but I didn't hear someone call it a wifebeater 'til I was like 12. First time I heard it I thought 'WTF!? Who's beating his wife?' my cousin- 'It's a t-shirt' me- '...'

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  • Its just slang.

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  • Yea but it doesn't mean the men who wear them beat their wives my husband wears them when he workson car and he's NEVER hit me and never would even think about it

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  • They're used for beating around in. I heard it used to be called a white beater.

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  • Because men who wear them beat their wives :-P jk.

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What Guys Said 4

  • I assume it's because those shirts are typical daily wear for lower-class men who live in a shack and drunkenly beat their wives.

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  • Another example of someone taking offense without even knowing why...

    Just calling an item of clothing a "wife-beater", does not promote or condone domestic abuse in any way, and is clearly not intended to be hurtful to anyone. There is no reason why you should have a problem with it.

    The same applies to Stella Artois, which is also commonly known as "wife-beater" (at least in the UK).

    It's because of stupid comments like this that people are so sick of political correctness.

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  • It's not marketed as a wife beater, that's just a slang name for it..

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    • also, we in the not-so-great nation of the U.S.A. try to have a sense of humor

    • but still 'wifebeaters'?

      I must not get your comedy, I find a lot of American comedians(apart from a few) kinda crap

    • and that is your opinion kind sir. Wonderful thing about opinions? they're like a**holes; everybody has one, and they're all sh*tty KTHXBAI

  • White T-shirts aren't called Wife Beaters. It's a particular kind of stringy, thin top that you find men a lot of men in trailer parks wearing, hence the name.

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