Words unwisely chosen mean far more than we know. Consider this:
I have never liked calling white t-shirts "wife beaters" for obvious reasons. I've heard too many teenaged boys use the term, and think that it's cool. Unfortunately, Ms. Musings reports that the word has been accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary.
Wife Beater (noun) 1. tank-style underwear shirts. Origin: based on the stereotype that physically abusive husbands wear that particular style of undershirt. The site glorifies wife beaters showing Kid Rock and Ron Jeremy wearing the shirts and including a photo gallery of the Wife Beaters Hall of Fame. Other wife beaters shown are Ike Turner, O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson, Riddick 'Big Daddy' Bowe, Rick James, James Brown, John Wayne Bobbit, Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) and Sasha Mitchell. And, did I mention the "Bonus Beater"? Convicted wife beaters only. Buy one "Wife Beater" tank top and get the second one half-price. Add $1 to your order for each of the following stains and/or holes you'd like included: Natural Light, 10W-40, Blood or Cigarette holes.
Men's Stuff didn't approve.
We're not sure who the market is for these tank tops and T-Shirts. If it's intended as a joke, it isn't funny.
WTF: It's never too early to get your kids following in your footsteps down the path of total and complete, depraved ignorance.
However, it is an interesting concept if the judicial system would pick up on it. Include in the sentence of a first time offender a requirement to wear a shirt or jacket with Wife Beater (or better yet, "I'm a Wife Beater") visibly showing at all times whenever in public for the first three months of parole. Include a visit to their parole office weekly and participation in an Overcoming ViolenceFrom Men's Stuff.
In this, the first foray into the War of Words, the fight about phrases, our basic terms of engagement must now be defined. On the serious side, to what extent does including the term "wife beater" in the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary endorse and condone a negative attitude toward women? If an official reference text lists an offensive term, is it a willing partner in the crime or merely a neutral witness?
And on the other side of the argument, if the official reference does not mention offensive terms like wife beater, how complete and accurate can that official reference text actually be?
Are the politically correct only fighting those who say can't you take a joke?