It’s a sleeveless T-shirt, not a ‘wife-beater’

Wifebeaters_1Perhaps I am callous and unfeeling and reprehensible, but I have a hard time getting upset about the term “wife-beater” when it refers to sleeveless undershirts. Some people have a much easier time. It’s an issue right now in Boston, where a flier advertising a sale on “wife-beaters” has provoked some outrage. (In case you’re unclear on what a wife-beater looks like, Wikipedia may jog your memory: “Countless drunk and disorderly domestic-abuse suspects who were arrested on the TV show Cops wear such shirts.”) Advocates for domestic-violence victims are condemning the flier, and yes, I suppose the word could be left out of advertisements. Anway, the guy who approved the flier sounds remorseful and unusually candid about his stupidity: “It’s a slang expression, but we should have known better not to use it. I am supposed to read every word. Sometimes it’s busy or I am lazy. We are working on a retraction.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd