So far, no one has posted a response that echoes Kit Z. Fox and StoneyB`s suggestion in the comments under the poster`s question that the connection between the name Stella and the word wifebeater could include the film version of Tennessee Williams` A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). For much of the film, Marlon Brando`s character, Stanley Kowalski, wears various T-shirts and underwear — including female beaters, at various stages of impurity and old age. “Wifebeater.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wifebeater. Retrieved 6 November 2022. Barbara Kipfer & Robert Chapman, Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition (2007) offers the following definition of wife-beater: Subscribe to America`s largest dictionary and get thousands of other definitions and an advanced search – ad-free! Millions and millions of people know the film – or at least the “Stella! Stella! “, and someone who knew Wifebeater as slang for the undershirt Stanley sometimes wore in the film could have associated Stella DuBois with Stella Artois and Wifebeater with Stella DuBois. Considering how muted and potentially offensive the use of the word wifebeater can seem in a joking sense, the two familiar meanings of the word have surprisingly surfaced recently – long after the supposed era of political correctness began. On the other hand, if wifebeater as a shirt is attested at the earliest in 1994 and if wifebeater as a drink is attested by 1996 at the latest, this gives very little time to the term for jumping from the US to Britain in the sense of shirt and then transformed into a meaning of drinking before dying out (in the UK) in the sense of shirt. Overall, the most likely scenario is that the American and UK meanings of the term come independently, with no influence from A Streetcar Named Desire on usage in the UK. The first Google Books matches for Wifebeater im Shirtsinn date back to 2000 and 2001 – much later than the first example of a newspaper cited in Dalzell & Partridge (above): I first heard “wifebeater” as a colloquial term for a simple white cotton undershirt without sleeves (a garment I use as an undershirt or, if it was thick enough, a tank top) about eight years ago. when my son returned to California after his first semester of college in Kentucky. Apparently, wifebeater was the standard term for clothing among Lexington students. I was a little baffled when I discovered that the word wifebeater can mean something other than “a man beating his wife.” Its definition is as follows: Increased awareness and reporting of domestic violence has led to a widespread legal response since the 1980s.
Once seen as a problem that could be better solved without legal intervention, domestic violence is now treated as a criminal offence. Many states and municipalities have taken steps to crack down quickly and severely on domestic offenders. In addition, governments have sought to protect victims of domestic violence from further dangers and have launched programs to address the root causes of domestic violence. One example is Alexandria, Virginia, which began prosecuting repeat offenders in 1994 under a Virginia law (see § 18.2–57.2 Code 1950, § 18.2–57.2), which makes the third conviction for assault a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. In addition, the city has established a shelter for abused women, a victim task force and a domestic violence intervention program, which includes a mandatory arrest policy and court-ordered counselling. As a result, domestic homicides in Alexandria increased from 40 per cent of all homicides in 1987 to 16 per cent of homicides between 1988 and 1994. Other States have taken similar measures. States that already had specific laws on domestic violence toughened penalties in the 1990s.
For example, an amendment to California`s 1995 Abuse Act (West`s Ann. Cal. Penal Code, §§ 14140-14143) repealed a provision that allowed first-time offenders to have their criminal records expunged if they attended counsel. But do we need to be so unaware of the meaning of what we are saying? Why not call the shirt “Brando” or “Wolverine” instead? It`s time to send “Wife Beater” into retirement. Donald Tricarico, a sociology professor at Queensborough Community College, told me the terms date back to a time when some Italians didn`t really think they were white. They saw the sleeveless undershirt as working-class clothing, and someone—or a whole bunch of people—gave it this racialized label to “alienate” Italian immigrants, who were often poor and did physical labor. In fact, in 2018, it is difficult to articulate a rule that reliably separates those who wear the A-shirt from those who do not, beyond a general sense, the t-shirt seems to have been associated with an ambiguous white and a blue collar background. Tom Dalzell & Terry Victor, The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2015) has this entry: Studies on the incidence of domestic violence vary widely. Research by Murray A. Straus of the University of New Hampshire and Richard J. Gelles of the University of Rhode Island, both veterans of extensive domestic violence research, found that about four million people experience some form of domestic assault each year, ranging from minor threats and throwing objects to severe beatings.
This number represents women and men who report being attacked by partners. In a 1995 survey by Dr. Jeanne McCauley of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, one in three women who responded to a confidential questionnaire reported being physically or sexually assaulted, and half of these incidents occurred before the age of 18. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported in 1993 that 50 per cent of all married women experience some form of violence by their spouse and that more than one third are repeatedly beaten each year. I had never heard of the term applied to a person until I came across this blog. I needed a drink and stopped for vodka in a dark thirties liquor at the end of a row of shops that had been wandering on the edge of a housing estate.