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Croc Blocked? Redditor says he lost a promotion because of his footwear. But maybe it’s really because he’s a huge goddamn creep?

By David Futrelle

There’s a little bit of drama going on in the Am I the Asshole subreddit, where Redditors who suspect that they might just possibly have behaved a teensy bit improperly (but probably not) go to tell their stories and get a ruling on their asshole status from their peers.

Yesterday, a fellow calling himself TheCrocDude reported in with this leading question: “AITA [Am I The Asshole] for wearing “crocs” to work? (Serious, I may have just been denied a promotion)”

It was pretty clear from the outset that he expected Redditors to weigh in on his side.

Thecrocdude

I work for a local remote IT firm. Since we have no direct physical interactions with customers our only line on the dress code is “be clean and dont wear anything that causes a distraction.”

As such I wear my Croc sandals nearly every day. They are comfy, they are easy and they are cool. No one has ever had any issue with them.

But today promotion annoucements were made and I was passed over. In the post mortem with my boss he flat out told me that the woman who was promoted to management was neck and neck with me on every aspect of customer and technical knowledge it’s just that she presented a much more professional image. I asked him to explain and he said “David, off the record...you wear fucking kids shoes every day. Give me a break from having to offer any explanations.”

To me I was within standards and maybe I’m looking at a case of anti-male bias and have some grounds to go to HR. But before that, am I the asshole for wearing crocs to work?

Huh. That was a pretty quick jump from “I didn’t get the promotion because I dress like a slob” to “maybe I’m being oppressed as a man!”

First, as many people pointed out, Crocs — while tacky — may be perfectly appropriate office wear in a casual office, especially for someone who works out of sight of the public, or for some non-office jobs that require people to be on their feet all day. (In my exceedingly casual home office, where my only work colleagues are cats, I’m barefoot most of the time, and so are they.) But people in management at tech companies are generally expected to not wear giant cartoon rubber shoes.

And, no, CrocDude, the woman who got promoted over you would not have been able to get away with Crocs because she’s a woman. There’s no such thing as a “Croc Pass” that applies only to the ladies.

But the petulance of CrocDude’s post — I’m not going to call him by his real name, as he is an embarrassment to all Davids — and his belief that he was somehow discriminated against in his tech job for being a man suggest that the Crocs are really only the symptom of his unpromotability problem, not the cause.

And his other comments in the thread more than confirm this judgement. For, in the least surprising development since my cats starting to pester me for dinner an hour before it’s usually served, it turns out that CrocDude kind of a creepy misogynistic douchebag

When one Redditor asked him how exactly “wearing goofy footwear relate[s] to gender bias,” CrocDude offered this, er, observation:

Dude you can see she wears thong panties under her dresses, that’s unprofessional

Wait, what? Maybe she’s the one who should be going to HR, not you.

When another Redditor wondered why exactly he was monitoring his co-worker’s ass at work, he responded “Why are they looking at my feet?”

I dunno, dude, maybe because you’re wearing giant neon-colored clown shoes?

And then there was the whole George R. R Martin question. In response to a question from another Redditor that’s since been deleted — presumably for being offensive — Mr. Croc complained that his office rival is

the “quirky hot girl” who claims to love GoT but couldn’t identify GRRM in a police line up.

That’s right. He apparently thinks she shouldn’t get the promotion because he’s convinced himself that she’s a FAKE NERD in addition to being a thong-wearer.

Jeez, dude, you’re making Croc wearers look bad.

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Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@kupo
I’m not trying to police anyone, and I’m not the only one here calling them ugly, and David himself referred to them as “Clown Shoes”. Just look back at the other comments before judging me alone.

If you think crocs are beautiful, I’m not going to argue that with you, but like I said, I also think it’s condescending to act as poor or disabled people can’t find them ugly or wouldn’t want better looking shoes if they had the option.

anon
anon
1 year ago

the problem with shaming poor and disabled people for our clothes, regardless of if you know why we wear them, IS the lack of choices.
(not only that but yea).
Which are sometimes not known to you.

Like my example; if I wanted a bra, I would have still felt bad.
The specific persons who made the error arent as important as everyone just kinda listening?

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

Just look back at the other comments before judging me alone.

I wasn’t talking only to you. It was the number of comments made and the escalation of the comments by all people involved that caused me to speak up. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer that I was addressing everyone.

it’s condescending to act as poor or disabled people can’t find them ugly or wouldn’t want better looking shoes if they had the option

I never said that. I said it’s ableist (and I’ll add classist, now, as well) to police people’s clothing choices (which is what everyone here is doing by mocking the shoes as ugly). No one needs anyone’s opinions on how they dress if it’s not a safety issue.

I also said not everyone finds them ugly, which I guess is what you’ve twisted into saying disabled people can’t find them ugly?? Those aren’t the same thing.

Honestly, I don’t understand why so many people are pushing so hard for the ability to mock people for their clothing choices. This is fucking ridiculous.

anon
anon
1 year ago

bc they dont wanna feel bad?

You dont have to sweat it yall. You dont have to agree.
You *could* just quietly be aware it bothered some folks and maybe drop it in this space, for now..?
It’s not like it’s a great new bit that’ll slay. It’s been said.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Alan

I have to ask, is Hoxton one of those places where women used to get their teeth knocked out as a wedding present? Because if so, a sudden trend for braces seems like progress.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Sophy Cooper
Welcome! Looks like your post was in moderation and then a new page started by the time it showed up. 🙂

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@anon, kupo
Like I said, I never wanted to police anyone, it was just a silly remark on a thread where most other people already mocked them.

Honestly, I don’t understand why so many people are pushing so hard for the ability to mock people for their clothing choices.

I’d say it’s because most people here know it’s wrong to mock somebody for their gender, skin color or sexuality, but clothing choices are still still choices, and at least from my perspective, nearly all people I’ve seen wearing them were perfectly healthy middle class people, and they aren’t really that cheap in my homeland either, here they started out as a teen boy fashion trend introduced by a famous hockey player, so it’s been hard for me to see how mocking crocs means mocking the poor and disabled.

anon
anon
1 year ago

being able to choose your clothes is a luxury you should be thankful for.

People told me being homeless meant I shouldnt have a cell phone so I really dont care about guessing someone can afford something.

Gifts, charities, changing fortunes, disabilities etc exist.

I literally made it clear Im not interested in any one person’s behavior and so did Kupo, it’s not about one of yall its about the issue.

I am now gonna be clear in saying I don’t need to continue being part of this tbh, Ive said my piece

Catalpa
Catalpa
1 year ago

I’d say it’s because most people here know it’s wrong to mock somebody for their gender, skin color or sexuality, but clothing choices are still choices

Even assuming that everyone has the means and the ability to wear everything that’s available, and no one has budgetary or physical/sensitivity constraints, what is the point of mocking a choice which harms no one?

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@anon, Catalpa
I don’t see anyone deliberatly trying to mock poor people, but to many, it’s hard to see the difference between mocking someone for their clothes and say, making fun of what band they like or what sports team they cheer for.

what is the point of mocking a choice which harms no one?

I admit it’s a good point, I guess it’s since people have a need to bond over something, and the easiest way is to band together to mock someone else, but since the vast majority here doesn’t want to perpetuate racism or sexism, silly remarks on clothing choices seems a harmless choice, and as I said, neither I nor several others here had ever heard of crocs as associated with the poor or disabled before, it was just making fun of what seemed like a terrible fashion fad.

Catalpa
Catalpa
1 year ago

neither I nor several others here had ever heard of crocs as associated with the poor or disabled before, it was just making fun of what seemed like a terrible fashion fad.

Even if I do accept your premise, and that no ableism or classism is at play, it still seems like a mean thing to do.

Let’s say that someone wears a silly-looking hat because doing so simply makes them happy. They have absolutely no barriers preventing them from buying a different hat or simply choosing not to wear a hat at all.

It still seems like a dick move to look at that hat which is bringing someone else joy and say “ew, that thing is objectively ugly.”

Especially since saying something like “objectively ugly” implies that anyone who has a different opinion on it is wrong. That’s different from something like “I think that hat is really ugly”, you see?

There’s a lot of mockable things that are not harmless. This blog is dedicated to a fair number of them. If bonding over mockery is something that you’re looking for, there’s no shortage of better targets.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
1 year ago

@Big Titty Demon

Is it really! I always thought it was slang for the butt!

It is in North America; in the UK it’s slang for the other side of that end of the torso.

Doethreetwoone
Doethreetwoone
1 year ago

I’ve never been able to escape the suspicion that the names bum bag/fanny pack were intentionally chosen in their respective country to screw with people in the other country.

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

@Catalpa
I understand your point, but on the flip side, why single out one case of what was intended as comedic hyperbole and treat it as a deliberate attack on the poor and disabled? From my perspective, I was just writing another snappy joke where everyone else were already joking about the same subject, hoping others would find it funny and figuring that those already wearing something as popularly maligned as crocs in public did so because they didn’t care of others comments in the first place, and I never saw mocking clothes ever mentioned on the commenting rules page here before.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

I understand your point, but on the flip side, why single out one case of what was intended as comedic hyperbole and treat it as a deliberate attack on the poor and disabled?

Again, the request was to everyone to stop. Your comment was used as the example I quoted because it was the most egregious. And no one said it was deliberate. You seriously need to stop assuming that when people tell you a thing you said was *-ist that means we’re saying it’s deliberate. Most ableism and classism is the result of unconscious bias. Just because it’s not deliberate doesn’t mean I’m not going to ask you to stop.

I never saw mocking clothes ever mentioned on the commenting rules page here before.

Does every goddamn rude thing you could do need to be spelled out with its own separate line item in the comments policy or could you at least try to be nice and when people point out “hey, X is harmful to group Y and here’s why” not argue back that well YOU’VE never heard of that so you’re not going to listen? Just try not mocking people for shit that doesn’t hurt you. It’s not that difficult.

Catalpa
Catalpa
1 year ago

From my perspective, I was just writing another snappy joke where everyone else were already joking about the same subject, hoping others would find it funny

Yeah, you tried to make a joke and ended up sticking your foot in your mouth. Happens to us all. I know I’ve said things that I meant to be lighthearted fun and didn’t realize the hurt it might cause until later. It’s a shitty thing, realizing that you’ve done something like that, but it’s not the end of the world. Just try to do better next time.

Just because something isn’t specifically spelled out in the comments policy as being against the rules, that doesn’t mean it will always be 100% acceptable behavior.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
1 year ago

I was recently mocked for my hair cut – which is a choice, and I like it and I think it suits me and it is part of my identiy. the person told me they didn’t like it. so I simply asked them why I should care what they think? I like it – it’s my choices and I still don’t think I deserve to be mocked for it any more than I deserve to be mocked for things i can’t chose.

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
1 year ago

Fine, I won’t joke about peole’s shoes anymore if you find it upsetting or discriminating, but I still feel singled out when I’m the only one quoted or called out, and I will say that I’d never had made that joke if so many others hadn’t already been mocking them.

Ingmar
Ingmar
1 year ago

Hi, what a food for thoughts. Yeah, indeed I’m finding, observing conversations, in real life, but especially on internet “stills”, their development and dynamics, that lots of bigotry stems on the idea that a given observation and judgement of harmless aspects like clothing choices, grooming, roles, stereotype, norms, conformity policing, etc. are objective assessments instead of subjective. Like many of you observed science is used not as an instrument of research, by reactionary types (or occasionally reactionary indulging, that can happen to the best of us), but as a club to beat their opinion, their debatable interpretation of the alleged “facts”. That’s why you see so many people enforcing conformity with this. So body hair on women becomes “objectively masculine”, makeup or some clothes on men becomes “objectively feminine” and the whole idea of objectively unattractive, is taken to its extreme logical conclusions by incels, with the idea of “currycels”, indian guys being objectively the least attractive race, that supposedly even indian women would prefer white guys, given the choice and are only past the number of 1 billion because of arranged marriages.
If something is objective, apparently you can’t call them on respect on the basis that it’s their subjective opinion, what they are used to, etc. maybe we can add that we are all influenced, if any, so they don’t feel attacked or perceive us as people above social conditioning preaching to gullible people, like superior beings.
Of course that’s their propaganda, the anti intellectualism, the strawman of people questioning problematic notions and stereotypes, where they come from as something coming from pretentions people who claim (where?) their are immune to that.
But the whole platform is indeed that stereotypes have a reason, they are truthful and evolutionary, a race where the average height is lower is then objectively less attractive! We should stop fighting that and we can be as rude as we want with it, call people delusional, mentally ill etc. Peterson just gives this a pseudointellectual pass.
Why this screed? Well I increased the scope of the discussion too much, maybe, I admit, I maybe feel the urgency to fight this sentiment at the base, figuring their framework, the material aspects it hinges on, for a focused discussion.
But getting back to the topic, which is fashion and this guy’s perception that women are given more slack, very diffused on manospheres. I think I get why some people see criticizing fashion as objective ugly or “clownish” can be problematic.
For the reasons mentioned by many posts above me, especially class, the risk of enforcing conformity and, what I mention above, if I can say it :).
“Clown” can be problematic, there’s indeed a subreddit named clownworld, which is the worst thing you can expect and even worse, yeah, an altright sub where people are mocked bullied on the basis of being strange, freaky, clownish, ridiculous, awkward, most of the time including frailness, they’d hardly find arrogance, overconfidence, spitefulness ridicolous, just what they perceive as “losers”.

That’s of course parsecs apart from what we find here, but just that on the basis of ridicule, gender non conventional people can be considered inappropriate on tha basis of what we are used to.
I dunno about dress codes being more limiting for men or women, I guess it might depend on the local or specific rules of activities and firm. I’d say that as long as heels are mandatory you can certainly say it’s more burdensome, especially if it includes tights in all cases and no option for trousers.
In other cases, common complaints are instead that a woman can wear sleeveless or short sleeves lower cut tops in warmer days, bare legs sometimes even with sandals, while men have to stay covered.
Though if she’s not allowed to cover as much, a man is instead advantaged in cold days.
We should consider that sometimes even when uncovering is allowed, shoes or sandals have to be heeled and legs and underarms have to be shaved. Maybe men should be allowed the same option as long as they shave too :D. Mandatory social norms like shaving can be quite bad, we know, but at least it would be less gendered and based on display. A lesser evil? ^_^
I’d only call it an advantage as long as woman is also allowed, on top of lighter clothes, comfortable shoes like flats, loafers, low heeled dress sandals.
Not that eventual more leeway on women clothes necessarily have its roots on feminism, letting alone the strawman for which feminism only see what inconveniences women. The idea that an eccentric or “flamboyantly” men “dressed to impress” are less reliable, solid and authoritative, especially if you can see some skin on their arms and ankle, while a woman is apparently give a pass on that, seems another heteronormative trope (sorry for the term, anti-sjw’s, i know it’s a tough one) which happen to have negative externalities on men self expression and what is considered currently (but less than in past?) elegant and presentable for them, restricted to more austere clothing, while maybe it’s just expected that a woman can choose to be austere, but it doesn’t hurt if she chooses to show more, be it just for being comfortable in warmer days or, stille legitimately if she doesn’t feel like hiding her body if her dress code allow so. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it’s like the custom say, let’s her be more flirty, she’s a woman, as long as she stays presentable (maybe skirt not really higher than knee, if formal), we concede that she might be valued on her merits, we are already trying to go over the fact she’s a woman and we are on special pleading mode and if she’s also attractive it doesn’t hurt, though we might eventually use it against her, while a man is just normal, so he better act and dress normal and as usual hides the fact he has a body and wears a sort of uniform which exudes authority :D-
Some places still enforce how long a man can wear his hair and yeah, how short women can wear it, though maybe to a lesser extent.

And like people here noted eventual favourable double standards are called benevolent sexism, not because of the victimistic nature of feminism, but because take for example women being allowed to be more emotional compared to men, well it’s ok but it’s also used to say they are weaker and more unstable but it’s accepted as long as they stay on their traditional place, the farther they stray from it, the more it’s negative, see the whole explanation of the pay gap as women being more agreeable and hence less aggressive on negotiation and the perception of this (be it true or not and whatever the cause is if it’s the case) as faulty. At the same time accusing women of being heartless careerist losing their femininity if they adapt themselves to the disumanity required in certain environments.

anon
anon
1 year ago

just gonna reiterate that if I say Im trying to disengage from a convo, Id love to not be @-ed. As you can see, I do get tempted to go back and see where things landed, and I feel weird about ignoring direct addresses, so it helps me to not be addressed directly after I try to disengage. I mention this because I wish it would become a common understanding, and isnt. It helps me from getting too angry and making things too negative. Again, *Not Personal* Thank you.

eta: it’s actually more of an issue on forums like FB & twitter that notify you of tags, in DMs, & most of all in real life, to try to push a convo when someone wants to stop. Places like here arent as bad, its way more avoidable for me to just not return.

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
1 year ago

David, off the record….you wear fucking kids shoes everyday. Give me a break from having to offer any explanations.

👏 👏 👏( for his boss)

This dude needs to grow up and stop being such a whinypants. Learn your lesson. My boss wouldve scolded me if I showed up for work like that(I work in an office too).

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
1 year ago

Hi, late as usual, but @Techwitch, none in particular! Just see what goes best.

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
1 year ago

How about this:

Don’t make mast comments about a certain type of clothing in front of someone who’s wearing it. You can mock styles but not people for wearing those styles.

But remote IT workers like this guy aren’t exactly too poor to get different shoes. He’s just too lackadaisical to dress to impress.

Steven I Dutch
Steven I Dutch
1 year ago

There are few kinds of people I despise more than lazy twits who define “excellence” in terms of superficial factors like dress styles or using Comic Sans. Just imagine how people would react if boss-man had told the female employee she lost out because she wore flats and they weren’t as “professional” as high heels.

That’s the essence of discrimination; being too lazy (or incompetent, or both) to evaluate actual performance, and instead falling back on superficial clues like race, age, gender, and so on.

What redeems boss-man here is the extra sentence “Give me a break from having to offer any explanations.” That suggests there are other things, but offering them would merely get entangled in endless debate where the employee would offer endless specious rationalizations. Sometimes the only way to shut that kind of thing down is offer an incontrovertible fact.

I’ve had a few of these. I once had a student contesting a poor grade on a paper. Every point I made, he had a counter. Well, I didn’t say explicitly that he was supposed to look things up if he didn’t know them (!). Finally I had enough and just dropped The Bomb: “You spelled “Castro” with a “K” (he actually did). Silence.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

@Pyxxxie:

He’s just too lackadaisical to dress to impress.

“Dress to impress” is a red queen’s race that will inevitably by won by whomever can throw the most money at it — i.e., someone privileged who needs an income boost the least.

And to the extent that upper-class manners/mannerisms/know-how are a factor along with raw expense of the clothing, it will just further tilt the playing field in favor of those with the right sort of prep-school background — i.e., favor old money over new as well as favor more money over less. Even worse since it promotes even greater wealth concentration and diminishes the chances of upstarts.

Far from being “meritocratic” such a thing as an avenue to career advancement ranges from “oligarchic” to, depending on the importance of the right prep-school background, downright “aristocratic”.

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
1 year ago

You don’t need a prep school background to recognize that crocs are not becoming of an office work environment. Just common sense. Dressing better really does improve your reception in the workplace IME.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

Be that as it may, that does not alter the inevitable outcome of the red queen’s race: everyone one-upping each other until the ones left standing are the ones with the most money and/or the preppiest background.