Friday, July 22, 2005

Republicans really do hate flip-floppers

So I have finally discovered some consistency in the Republican platform--they will not tolerate alleged flip-floppers. First it was John Kerry and now the women of the NCAA DIV I championship Northwestern lacrosse team. Apparently this is old news but I only just read about it and found it oddly fascinating.
Some of the women wore flip-flops for their brief photo-op with President Bush at the White House earlier this month. And it made national news. Polls have been started, TODAY show appearances made, flip-flops auctioned off on E-bay for charity--and yet the question still persists--was this inappropriate attire?
Part of me wants to say, "who cares?" But I think this knee-jerk response allows us to overlook the question of why some are calling the appropriateness of women athletes' footwear into question here. Is there a certain way female athletes are supposed to look? (That's a rhetorical question, of course.) Perhaps some see the flip-flops as not quite feminine enough. The fact that the media jumped all over the flip-flops suggests that what these women wear is more important than what they have actually accomplished: an NCAA Div I championship.
Also interesting is the fact that the women in question play lacrosse--play women's lacrosse--which is a much different game than the men's version. Women play with much less padding and no helmets. This is supposed to prevent the women's game from becoming as aggressive as the men's which has been likened to football with sticks. It is essentially a feminized version of the sport. [A former student of mine who grew up playing lacrosse with boys refused to make the switch in college and consequently had to give up the game because she was not allowed to play on the men's team.]
But obviously the flip-flops just didn't make the feminine footwear list. These women have likely toed the femininity line throughout their athletic lives because of their chosen sport and then they get called out for flip-flops. I am doubtful this footwear will become the new sign of non-conformity in women's sports, but if perchance, they do then I say "Long live the flip-flop!"

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