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Flip-Flop faux-paus at the White House.
July 19, 2005 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Flip-Flop faux-paux at the White House. On a recent visit to the White House, the 2005 national champion Northwestern women's lacrosse teams choice of footwear is causing quite a stir. Let the Kerry jokes begin.....
posted by cpchester (72 comments total)

 
Quite a stir?

One lame article a whole week later? Thanks, but if I wanna subject myself to Matt Drudge's latest MEGA-SCANDAL, I'll just click through from his site instead.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 8:25 AM on July 19, 2005


Kerry jokes? Wasn't his campaign was enough a joke?

As for the flip-flops, I think wearing a pair of wellies to the White House would be more appropriate.
posted by three blind mice at 8:28 AM on July 19, 2005


In other news, a senior White House official outed a covert CIA agent, our President is business partners with the family of the guy who bombed the World Trade Centers and Pentagon and the Vice President's old company lost about a billion dollars in Iraq.

But thank goodness the press is all over this major news story.
posted by fenriq at 8:29 AM on July 19, 2005


flip-flops

Via Drudge. I don't know, they don't look that bad to me. Then again, I wear my sandals as much as possible during the summer.
posted by sbutler at 8:30 AM on July 19, 2005


also... you butchered faux pas
posted by sbutler at 8:43 AM on July 19, 2005


MaxVonCretin, don't you mean MEGA-SANDAL??
Bwah hahahahaha!
posted by mikeweeney at 8:43 AM on July 19, 2005


I rarely run into a female not wearing flip-flops during the summer, so no real surprise here.

In other news, a senior White House official outed a covert CIA agent, our President is business partners with the family of the guy who bombed the World Trade Centers and Pentagon and the Vice President's old company lost about a billion dollars in Iraq.

But thank goodness the press is all over this major news story.
posted by fenriq


The courant equals the press? One paper? Keep grinding that axe fenriq.
posted by justgary at 8:44 AM on July 19, 2005


For some reason the over-popularity of flip-flops has been bugging me lately. Actually not the flip-flops themselves, but rather the flip-flop themed products. Every time I go to a department store, there are flip-flop earings, flip-flop pendants, flip-flop purses/bags, flip flop patterned shirts, skirts, boxers, etc...

Is there some sort of implicit statement involved by decorating yourself in flip-flop accessories? Is the flip-flop shape really that aesthetically pleasing as to deserve it's own design icon?
posted by p3t3 at 8:47 AM on July 19, 2005


The courant equals the press? One paper? Keep grinding that axe fenriq.

I did see that NBC's Today show decided to throw its enormous journalistic weight into covering the sandal crisis as well. I, for one, felt better knowing how Katie Couric and Matt Lauer felt about it.
posted by COBRA! at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2005


Why did you post this?
posted by 517 at 9:20 AM on July 19, 2005


What 517 said. And how.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 9:23 AM on July 19, 2005


OMFG! You mean to say, fashion styles actually change! No way!

To this generation, flip-flops are acceptable in a broad range of situations (sort of like how sandals are acceptable to at almost any time to folks from parts of the Middle East). Just as men don't universally wear suits to any non-physical-labor job, as they did in the 50s. Some folks are stupid, and will cry about the end of civilization, bad manners, yada yada...

But like I said, those folks are just stupid.

(And enough with the fucking FPP griping, for crying out loud.)
posted by teece at 9:24 AM on July 19, 2005


Could have been worse. Sneakers, shorts and polo shirts?! For shame!
posted by sellout at 9:27 AM on July 19, 2005


I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, those young women are dressed quite nicely aside from the footwear, and on the other hand our war-time president seems to be wearing black socks with his Tevas.
posted by Floydd at 9:28 AM on July 19, 2005


HOW DARE THEY ENTERED THOSE HALLOWED HALLS SANS CORSET AND PETTICOAT!

Wait.

HOW DARE ANYONE SUPPORT A WIGLESS PRESIDENT! ALSO, WHERE THE FUCK ARE HIS STOCKINGS AND PUMPS?
posted by loquacious at 9:30 AM on July 19, 2005


justgary, no, all I'm trying to do is remind people that this is not news, this is fake news intended to distract people from what's really happening in our government.

Damn right I'll keep grinding my axe. I will hone it until this administration is indicted on massive corruption and fraud charges and George Bush is brought before the International Court for war crimes. Got a problem with me exercising my Constitutional rights?

Yeah, I bet you do.

COBRA!, do share? I'm dying to know what that cute little Matty Lauer had to say.
posted by fenriq at 9:31 AM on July 19, 2005


The Courant is the President's hometown paper.
posted by hortense at 9:32 AM on July 19, 2005


In other news, a senior White House official outed a covert CIA agent, our President is business partners with the family of the guy who bombed the World Trade Centers and Pentagon and the Vice President's old company lost about a billion dollars in Iraq.

All lies!

Why not?
posted by Necker at 9:33 AM on July 19, 2005


Those chicks are hot, dude.
posted by billysumday at 9:43 AM on July 19, 2005


COBRA!, do share? I'm dying to know what that cute little Matty Lauer had to say.

I wasn't paying very close attention, but it was pretty clear that Today's editorial position was that this was a terrible, terrible offense. They acted very grave and kept offering ridiculously leading questions to the Noted Shoe Experts brought on to weigh in on the matter (Noted Shoe Expert: "Well, there's a time and a place for flip-flops." Couric: "So you're saying that flip-flops in the White House are on your 'don't' list, then?").

It truly may have been the high-water mark of American journalism.
posted by COBRA! at 9:44 AM on July 19, 2005


also, we're trying Saddam for crimes he committed when we were friends with him.

I personally think that this administration wouldn't be such criminal, lying, deadly, arrogant asses if they would loosen up a little. Caring about the appearance of people and things more than the people and things themselves has gotten them into tons of trouble already, with more to come.
posted by amberglow at 9:46 AM on July 19, 2005


billsumday, so you're thinking the real offense was having them wearing anything at all for their photo-op?

COBRA!, thanks, I can rest easy now knowing that Katie and Matt ARE. ON. THE. CASE!
posted by fenriq at 9:46 AM on July 19, 2005


OH-MAH-GAWD!!!!!11!!1!

The terrorists have already won.

*Burns flags, hangs head in shame. Starts trying to figure out which way Mecca is.*
posted by Pollomacho at 9:53 AM on July 19, 2005


I was hoping it was going to be a symbolic protest concerning our dear president's recent comments concerning the punishment of leakers, but alas. (roveroveroveroverove...)

I hate flip flops. My students come to class in them all the time. This bothered me only slightly less than them coming to class in pajamas, which they do with startling regularity. Somehow all this violates my inside/outside distinction. (or the oikos/polis distinction for the classically inclined...)
posted by Dr_Johnson at 9:53 AM on July 19, 2005


amberglow: White House spokeswoman Erin Healy wouldn't comment on whether the White House has a dress code.

Not that I'm usually one to defend this administration, but I don't think the White House is to blame for this story being overblown.
posted by sellout at 9:55 AM on July 19, 2005


This whole story points to the larger, more important issue that is being ignored by the media...

Men have abandoned proper hats! This is obviously a plot by the major pharmecutical interests to promote hair regrowth products! I for one choose hats.
posted by tweak at 9:59 AM on July 19, 2005


I've always thought that how you dress for an occasion conveys how you really feel about it. If you dress overly casual you give the impression that the event is just not terribly important to you. Some people will counter that they just want to be comfortable; frankly I think that is a horrible excuse. You are basically saying that your comfort level for a few hours is more important than the atmosphere of the event. How selfish.

Yes, what you wear matters. It is important.

Oh, Teece, nice strawman you built there. Yes, fashion changes but there are still appropriate levels of formality and dress. Suits may no longer be de rigueur for men and women may not wear slips as often. But showing disrespect for an event is not simply the result of changing fashions.
posted by oddman at 10:06 AM on July 19, 2005


My students come to class in them all the time. This bothered me only slightly less than them coming to class in pajamas, which they do with startling regularity.

I'll do you one better. A few freshman I know have started showing up to class in bathrobes. Just bathrobes (and bunnyslippers, I guess). I thought it was a California thing - anything goes here.
posted by muddgirl at 10:08 AM on July 19, 2005


< of the nine women in the front row with the president, four wore flip-flops. the rest wore heeled sandals.>>

Please help the fashion impaired: WTF is the difference between sandals and flip-flops?
posted by Marky at 10:13 AM on July 19, 2005


I have to agree with oddman on that one. Whatever my feelings toward the Man, if I ever were invited to an event at the White House, I would be there in my absolute best, if only to show respect to the Office and to the occasion.
posted by psmealey at 10:18 AM on July 19, 2005


There's not much that's more fatuous than fashion news. How on Earth does the number of straps on her shoes get media attention? Or is the offense that one of the straps goes between her toes?

You are basically saying that your comfort level for a few hours is more important than the atmosphere of the event. How selfish.

Or the other way: My event is so fancy that its atmosphere is more important than the comfort level of all my guests!
posted by Happy Monkey at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2005


When you go to have your picture taken with a war criminal, you go with the shoes you have, not the shoes you want.
posted by trondant at 10:27 AM on July 19, 2005


I don't see what the fuss is about, flip-flops are perfectly appropriate wear when meeting President Bush.
posted by clevershark at 10:29 AM on July 19, 2005


... which isn't to say that this whole thing (flip-flop flap?) isn't a frivolous POS story. Just sayin' is all.
posted by psmealey at 10:32 AM on July 19, 2005


/me slouches about comfortably in his jewelled battleshorts.
posted by loquacious at 10:37 AM on July 19, 2005




Savages!
posted by gigawhat? at 10:42 AM on July 19, 2005



Those chicks are hot, dude.


"Beefy" is more what I'd say. But the freshman fifteen was a couple years ago for most of them I'm guessing.

Beefy Girls in Flip-flops
posted by pwedza at 10:42 AM on July 19, 2005


wait, why did they superimpose a picture of bush over that picture of clinton with all his new interns??
posted by spicynuts at 10:43 AM on July 19, 2005


Why do the Northwestern women's lacrosse teams hate America so much?
posted by clevershark at 10:44 AM on July 19, 2005


actually, there is a dress code. --Q: How has life inside the White House changed with the Bush administration? There's a dress code, for instance.
WALLACE: Life has changed quite a bit inside the White House. As you noted, the Bush administration instituted a dress code, which means no jeans in the West Wing. This is a difference from the Clinton White House, when during the weekend, you would often see senior staffers in their jeans and T-shirts toiling away in the West Wing. ...


and this: ... He expects unswerving loyalty to Bush and a respectful - some say buttoned-down - attitude that extends to an Oval Office dress code: coats and ties for men, "appropriately dressed" for women. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:53 AM on July 19, 2005


and this: Decoding the White House dress code
-- One of the very first decisions President Bush made after his inauguration was to reinstate the White House dress code. Like much of what he does, this move seemed to be primarily aimed at pleasing his father. It can't be easy having George Sr. for a dad, and it's too bad about the president's inner child, but it's hard to watch Bush use policy to gain his father's approval and not feel uncomfortable -- it's like we've walked in on something really private.

The dress code was established initially by the first Bush administration, and, at the time, it specified that women wear knee-length skirts and stockings in the West Wing. In other words, during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and Bush the Elder, only the boys wore pants. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:55 AM on July 19, 2005


Bush apparently has a no jeans policy in the White House. He realizes how very important it is that no one be disrepectful in choosing their clothing ... well, unless you are Dick Cheney and wore a freakin' parka and a ski cap advertising a ski resort to a memorial service for the people murdered at Auschwitz.
posted by terrapin at 10:57 AM on July 19, 2005


It's interesting, perusing the other NCAA team/president photos...female teams are dressed however, while all the male teams are in straight-up suit and tie.
posted by nomisxid at 11:00 AM on July 19, 2005


Oh, Teece, nice strawman you built there. Yes, fashion changes but there are still appropriate levels of formality and dress. Suits may no longer be de rigueur for men and women may not wear slips as often. But showing disrespect for an event is not simply the result of changing fashions.

Not even the littlest bit of a strawman, oddman, and that you think it is makes me wonder if you are able to separate what you think is appropriate vs. what others think is appropriate.

First: appropriate is 100% arbitrary. It's a social construct. Second, these young women think flip-flops are appropriate for the White House. You don't. That's reality, not straw man, and that's what I was trying to convey.

Now tell, how exactly do we decide who is right? "Appropriate" changes, and apparently flip-flops are being changed into the "appropriate" category by younger people. Railing against it as wrong is both stupid and pointless.
posted by teece at 11:00 AM on July 19, 2005


in other news, Bush has chosen O'Connor's replacement. but let's stick to the important stuff, ie the choice of footwear of one among dozens of White House visitors.

and yeah, Cheney's parka at the Auschwitz memorial -- not to mention that polite "fuck you" on the Senate floor -- kind of disqualify this White House anyway.
posted by matteo at 11:01 AM on July 19, 2005


Um, Amberglow, Bush Sr. was President after Reagan, so if he established the dress code, then girls could have worn pants in the Ronnie days had they preferred. Sorry to nit-pick.

Flip-flops are tacky. I don't like Bush too much, but I don't think I'd schlock it up for any Presidential meeting.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:28 AM on July 19, 2005


Maybe they thought they were going to be invited to drink a beer with him...I mean, his whole persona is based on that, yes? And flip flops are perfectly appropriate for that. Also, Hawaiian shirts and gimme hats.

Matt Lauer and Katie Couric make Baby Jesus cry.
posted by emjaybee at 11:34 AM on July 19, 2005


Those chicks are hot, dude.

"Beefy" is more what I'd say. But the freshman fifteen was a couple years ago for most of them I'm guessing.


Huh? What are you getting at? I hope you're not saying they are fat, because from the picture, they're anything but. Not to mention these girls are athletes - not out of shape at all.
posted by agregoli at 12:09 PM on July 19, 2005


I don't think the flip-flops look disrespectful so much as they look "young." And girls that young can usually wear things like that, if they don't mind looking young. Me, if I were to go to the White House, I'd want to look a bit more grown up and sophisticated -- flip-flops in that setting are ridiculous at my age (41).
posted by JanetLand at 12:17 PM on July 19, 2005


they look fine
posted by sophist at 12:22 PM on July 19, 2005


At first glance, Bush seemed to be posing with a walker. Can't wait to see who the hobbled man proposes as SC Justice tonight! (Purposefully ignoring flip flop talk as this link should never have been posted.)
posted by superfem at 12:23 PM on July 19, 2005


I like chocolate pudding.

That's what I have to say about flip-flops at the White House
posted by chibikeandy at 12:23 PM on July 19, 2005


The Courant is the President's hometown paper.

The president of Trinity College, maybe, but not the President of the US. Hey, Connecticut may be small, but Greenwich is still quite a ways from Hartford!
posted by psmealey at 1:03 PM on July 19, 2005


emjaybee writes " Maybe they thought they were going to be invited to drink a beer with him...I mean, his whole persona is based on that, yes?"

Unfortunately these "little spontaneous getaways" are much too expensive to hold on a daily basis. Besides he only drinks that non-alcoholic crap anyway, because it's in his image -- all fizz, but there's no "there" there.

I'd rather have a beer with Kerry, because at least then I'd know that Kerry would be having a beer with me.
posted by clevershark at 1:47 PM on July 19, 2005


PC reminder for the day: Those are not girls. In sports, it is high school girls, college women.
posted by Cranberry at 2:00 PM on July 19, 2005


who gives a flying fuck?
posted by docpops at 2:00 PM on July 19, 2005


I'm still wondering why anyone would characterize any one of those women in the picture as "beefy." Still not sure if that refers to weight or muscle, and regardless, seems an odd moniker.
posted by agregoli at 2:24 PM on July 19, 2005


Not that any of this matters but Foreign Policy has an article about fashion choices in the White House.
posted by rdr at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2005


Sigh, I just turned on the TV and what did I see on the local news but some stupid reporter surveying people on the streets about flip-flops. Is there really nothing better to talk about?

I'm still wondering why anyone would characterize any one of those women in the picture as "beefy." Still not sure if that refers to weight or muscle, and regardless, seems an odd moniker.

Me too. Those girls^H^H^H^H^H women are hot!
posted by gyc at 2:58 PM on July 19, 2005


Is this a "scandal" because people are legitimately concerned about these women wearing sandals or is it simply because one person noted it and drew a parallel between the election and their footwear and now we must all express our fear that others might actually care.

I have seen this story appear in a few different mediums but each time it was delivered as "look how asinine other people can be," I now see it her and there are quite a few posts but not too many think this is a serious deal. I think we all just want to comment on how stupid the idea is that it could be drawn as a scandal by someone, not that any real people think it is possible this was a slap in the face.
posted by herting at 3:32 PM on July 19, 2005


It makes perfect sense. The Whitehouse flip flops on weapons of mass desruction, first there are some, then there are none.

Obviously the lacrosse team is making a political statement appropriate for the occasion, which the media overlooked. How could that be!?
posted by alicesshoe at 3:47 PM on July 19, 2005


Teece, the question isn't "are they entitled to differing views of propriety" the question is "did they where something inappropriate". Unfortunately for them (and you) in matters of respect it is the taste of the person who might be offended that counts.

Switching the debate from whether they wore the proper attire to whether proper attire is up for revision is creating a strawman. You see, at this moment right now it is inappropriate to wear sandals to see the President. Perhaps years from now it won't be.

It is unfortunate that comfort continues to win over appearance. The world is a little bit worse off for it.
posted by oddman at 4:00 PM on July 19, 2005


I love that this is the best thing Karl Rove could come up with.
posted by interrobang at 4:30 PM on July 19, 2005


Yet another Bush flip-flop. Can't live up to high standards but want to claim it? Do just that, then drop the standard gradually with time.

Perhaps the ladies were actually trying to put a political message out there.
posted by clevershark at 4:58 PM on July 19, 2005


oddman: It is unfortunate that comfort continues to win over appearance. The world is a little bit worse off for it.

Oddman wins!

Wait, you're not serious, are you?
posted by Sinner at 6:10 PM on July 19, 2005


Really, we should all be over these fashion faux-pas.
Aren't there other things to really worry about than flip-flops, (even tho it was used as a political smear against his opponent) or skirt length, or shorts?
I fully expect, no DEMAND, that the Drms bring forth a candidate that will only tell the truth, 'else his balls be removed, (Especially Condi), and he doesn't care what you wear in the white house, congress, supermarket, or even what you choose to wear at home.
Show up naked to the white house, and have a good arguement, and be heard!

This country has gone downhill in recent years..
Anything for a technicality, I suppose!
posted by Balisong at 7:08 PM on July 19, 2005


Switching the debate from whether they wore the proper attire to whether proper attire is up for revision is creating a strawman. You see, at this moment right now it is inappropriate to wear sandals to see the President. Perhaps years from now it won't be.

Um, bullshit. A thousand times.

You seem to completely fail to understand what a term like "proper attire" even means, so please don't lecture me on straw men when you don't even understand the point I'm making.

There is no book of proper attire. Bush's attitude (and more to the point, your attitude) on what constitutes this "proper attire" is no more or less valid than the women on the LaCrosse team's idea of it. I doubt it ever occurred to them there might be those that considered their flip-flops improper -- that's why they wore them. They felt the dress was proper, and their views on the matter as equally as valid as anyone else's.

You imply absolutes where they simply do not exist. That's why you're seeing imaginary straw men.

There once was a time when my Grandpa would have been offended at the lack of a hat and a three piece suit on a coworker. There was absolutely no way for the standard of "proper" to change without offending him to some small degree with improper attire. And yet, today it is very odd to see a professional man wear a three piece suit and a hat. So what? In some countries they wear turbans. These things are 100% arbitrary and they change. That is reality. That's what I am talking about. Bringing that up is as far from a straw man as is possible.

What you are seeing is young people deciding that flip-flops are proper attire to meet the President. That's their prerogative. You're not seeing any kind of "break-down" or disrespect, simply a change in fashion sense. The kind of change that has gone on for time immemorial.
posted by teece at 9:14 PM on July 19, 2005


If it was a political statement, wouldn't all of them be wearing flip-flops?

If this story is a week old, why is it only now making the rounds in the sports circles? I thought ESPN was more on top of things than that!
posted by somethingotherthan at 1:27 AM on July 20, 2005


Damn that Katie Couric for demeaning the dignity of network news...
posted by Vidiot at 8:35 AM on July 20, 2005


justgary, no, all I'm trying to do is remind people that this is not news, this is fake news intended to distract people from what's really happening in our government.

This isn't news? And metafilter is only for news? And metafilter's purpose is to make people aware of our government's actions? I'm guessing the whole purpose of metafilter changed the day you signed up. Now all 16,000 members who came before you must adjust.

Your comment gave the impression that this story pushed the war off the front page. It didn't. And with all the war/rove/etc posts on metafilter every single day you would have plenty chances to rant endlessly.

I've been accused of 'shitting' in threads that I didn't think belonged on mefi. And that's what your'e doing here. The link has nothing to do with what YOU want to talk about, so please return to what YOU find important, right?

You're shitting on a thread. Either flag it, take it to metatalk, or realize that this isn't your personal webpage.
posted by justgary at 1:00 PM on July 20, 2005


Unfortunately for them (and you) in matters of respect it is the taste of the person who might be offended that counts.

I don't see Bush complaining. In fact, I see the White House specifically saying there was no breach of etiquette. Given that, I doubt he was offended, so kindly quit being offended for him. He's meeting a sports team, not a head of state.


of course, I've worn Tevas almost exclusively for nearly 10 years (I add socks when the snow is too deep). Not everywhere, and I wouldn't be comfortable wearing them to the White House, but I applaud those who are. "Fashion" is moving ever closer "functional", and I can't see this as a bad thing. The world is a little bit better off for it.
posted by ulami at 1:40 PM on July 20, 2005


justgary, thank you.
posted by cpchester at 6:32 AM on July 21, 2005


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