Stories & Articles

Sailors and half-clad women? No! Whoever would have thought of it?

Vanessa de Largie | The Spectator | April 16, 2021

To twerk or not to twerk? That is the question. I wonder what the Bard would think?

Australia has its g-string in a knot because the Royal Australian Navy hired a “doll squadron” to perform at a commissioning ceremony in Sydney last weekend for a new vessel, the HMAS Supply.

The “most trusted news source”, their ABC, deceptively edited footage to make it appear that the Chief of Navy and the Governor-General were in attendance when 101 Doll Squadron performed their energetic dance routine. It’s since been confirmed that all dignitaries and officials were not present during the hip-thrusting moves and arrived at the official launch post-performance.

The ever-classy Daily Telegraph gave the dance troupe a two-page spread, exploiting the professional female dancers with the headlines: “Shake Yer Boaty” and “21-bun Salute”. And various politicians have voiced their horror and disapproval of the sexualised choreography.

But let’s get real. The problem at the core of this media frenzy is Australia’s obvious sexual repression.

Hip-hop dancing is an art form, much like ballet, jazz, modern and tap — and has been since the eighties. This group of women are trained dancers and their art form is as worthy as any to open a military ceremony. It’s not as if sexually fierce women have never been connected to the military.

Look back on history and find the erotic dancer Josephine Baker entertaining the troops in the Middle East and Africa. Marilyn Monroe flew to Korea and wiggled in a tight dress on a stage in front of 100,000 horny and lustful soldiers.

Apparently, the Navy hired the dance troupe to include the Wooloomooloo community. One would assume that various “female entertainers” from the Loo and the Cross have been acting as (umm) liaison officers with the Royal Australian Navy and visiting fleets for generations, no?

Smoke and mirrors, much.