Thursday, December 02, 2004

Wife Beaters?

I don't go to the mall very often and I certainly didn't buy anything on B.N.D. (Buy Nothing Day Nov. 27th) but the very next day I mysteriously found myself coaxed into going to the Beverly Center Mall. I was waiting for my Vanilla Latte* when I overheard this bit of dialogue between two twenty-something young women.

Huge Orange Purse Chick: "Uch, Trish, forget about him he treated you like shit.

Unnaturally Blonde Chick: "Yeah... (long pause) ...yeah, I know. Can we not get into it right now?"

Huge Orange Purse Chick: "Okay, sorry. Hey, let's check out this store, they sell these cute little wife beaters with rhinestones on them."

This struck me as odd. Essentially they're saying let's not talk about your abusive husband/boyfriend, lets go buy a wife beater instead.

* I am straight, I just like vanilla, okay.

They were once called tank tops or muscle shirts. How very weird that we have quickly taken to calling a certain kind of tank top a "wife beater." Why? Because the guys who used to wear them were the type of guys who got a reputation for beating their wives? Or is it what they decided to slip on when they did beat up their wives?

(Must be tough finding attractive models in Dallas)
I guess balding gay men and fatty-armed female field hockey players with bad dye jobs are what sell. Can you tell I've been reading FUGLY?

It makes no sense. According to that logic we may start calling some provocative female outfit a "gang raper." As in "Oh Tiffany, you would look so cute in that little blue "gang raper" All the boys would line up for a chance with you!" Language, slang and the way it evolves is very strange. A shirt named after a violent action towards women. I understand how sexuality relates to fashion, but violence towards women? I know sex and violence are linked because I grew up listening to plenty of Nine Inch Nails. But isn't this giving props to the "tough guys and "bad boys."

I think it's gone a bit overboard. See.

wife beater (noun) 1. tank-style underwear shirts. Origin: based on the stereotype that physically abusive husbands wear that particular style of undershirt.

Wife Beaters site, I love the music choice. Check out the infamous wife beaters.

They even have a Wife Beater Hall of Fame here on the site:

Oh, they have special discounts for men who can prove they beat their wives.

Please make your check or money order payable to James Doolin.
____ I am a convicted wife beater. Please send me a second beater at half price. *Note: You must enclose proof of conviction, court records, restraining order, probation officer's phone#,... photos are NOT acceptable.
Your name or handle:________________________________________________________Address: ______________________________________ Trailer# or Apt#______________City: __________________________ State: __________________ Zip: _______________Phone # __________________________ E-mail: __________________________________

So here we are today. Go to the Mall and get a "cute, little, wife-beater."

Let's see how it started.
Does this guy look like a wife beater. He's wearing one and he's drinking...

Poor example. He doesn't have that contained rage look.

Better example: He slips on his camo wife beater and heads down to the bar.

Best example: "Dude, dude, officer. I swear I never touched that fucking bitch. She's a drama queen and a slut. We got into a fight cause I was mad that she keeps getting bruises from falling down the stairs and boning my friends.... Huh, burn? What- Oh, that burn. I guess she just musta walked into my lit cigarette. Seriously, spend five minutes with her, you'll want to smack her, too."

The fashion trend started innocently enough.

She's a good little tank top model.

She's even better.


This is the sweet husband guy and sure he digs Kid Rock and drinks Budweiser, but would probably never lay a hand on his lady. Unless she scratched his Van Halen Box set.

"Please, please... buy this shirt from me on ebay. My husband says he'll hurt me again if it doesn't sell. He doesn't mean to hit me. He just has a short fuse and sometimes I just push his buttons. I bring it on myself. I know it's mostly my fault 'cause he says he loves me. Also he gets mad when I let myself get over 100 pounds. We also have an El Camino we're selling."

Absolutely no idea what's going on here because of the big black dot. But I imagine he's simply gone down to the Barber shop to get himself a little trim.

Okay, maybe it's a crop top, maybe it's a wife beater, but damn if he doesn't pull the look of with a raw, sensuous style. Sorry Halle Berry, but he's the top model.

Don't you just love her adorable "gang-raper" shorts?


Puffin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Puffin said...

ick! for the inventors of political correctness you guys put up with some pretty offensive stuff over there.

maybe they should change the name to "cunt bashers" in recognition of the diverse configurations of the family unit. Surely you can't exclude defacto partner bashers or lesbian domestic violence?

ms fits said...

Gang raperific! x

Anonymous said...

Where can I buy a cute little gang raper? My sister's birthday is coming up and I want to get her a gift that will keep on giving.

Sherriff said...

I like, REALLY, want to comment.

But the Feds are breathing down my neck, and not in a good way.

tealou said...

I remember seeing "Boy Bashers" on the No Doubt merch site (shut up) a few years ago. Now it all makes sense...that may have been in repsonse to the term "wife beater".

That term is plain disgusting and yeah... god. egads. whatever other throat noises...

As much as I hate to go all serious on y'all...making light of anything to do with domestic violence...ew.

We call them singlets or tank tops. Slightly less offensive...

~cassidy~ said...

hey! thanks for the comment, it helped. man, my boyfriend can just get so pig-headed and arrogant that he forgets about everyone else's feelings but his own. it's basically verbal abuse. and high school's gay because i'm not like everyone in high school. i'm too mature for high school. man, high school sucks. i actually have NO idea what i'd like to do after graduation. i'll probably spend 12 years in college just majoring in everything until i can figure out what to do. kinda like that movie son-in-law. ever seen that? man, good movie. so anyways, capricorns rock! except i think we often tend to overanalyze way too much. good or bad thing? i don't know. oh well. for my birthday i'd like i think..a cute little puppy. yep. i need a companion i can talk to that actually won't talk back. well, laters kraki. love forever,

Anonymous said...

That little vixen wouldn't have the nerve to scratch up a Van Halen box set; mind you, she no doubt has the nails for it. Plus with those tits he'd forgive her after a little boxing. Mmmmm...foxy boxing.

Homer Simpson - Oh! What's the one where the chicks whale on each other? I thought that was tennis.
Marge (disparingly) - That's foxy boxing.


Anonymous said...

That little vixen wouldn't have the nerve to scratch up a Van Halen box set; mind you, she no doubt has the nails for it. Plus with those tits he'd forgive her after a little boxing. Mmmmm...foxy boxing.

Homer Simpson - Oh! What's the one where the chicks whale on each other? I thought that was tennis.
Marge (disparingly) - That's foxy boxing.


Anonymous said...

It's a happy coincidence that the film a Streetcar Named Desire features Marlon Brando wearing a wifebeater and has a scene where he's standing at the bottom of the stairs in it after beating his wife (Blanche Dubois)shouting up to her " STEEEEELLLLAAAA!" - and there's a Belgian beer called Stella Artois that has the nickname of " Wife beater" on account of it's extra alcohol content which makes some men who drink it violent.

Also, there's a band from Seattle calling themselves the Wife Beaters, this upsets me because I had the idea for a band named that a few years ago and even wrote 30 songs with a wife beating theme - when I checked out a review of one of their records it was a poor one which rankles because I know they are wasting a good band name with their rubbish music and my own songs are much better - here's an example of the lyrics from one of them:

"Beat her 'till she bruises
Give her some abuses
She's a parasite
And you're the one she uses
When your welfare comes
She always does the sums
And asks for dough
That could be spent
Drinkin' with the bums"

Pure genius I'm sure you'll agree.

Anonymous said...

There is a band called The Wife Beaters.

Anonymous said...

The Wife Beaters punk rock & roll band who play garage and new wave. They're sick criminals.

Anonymous said...

Yeah the punk rock 'n' roll band The Wife Beaters are brilliant - and definitely use the name with humor. Really good band