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Navy Cancels Bathing Suit Fashion Show

August 11, 1988

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) _ The Navy has canceled a bathing suit ″fashion″ show intended to give a parting charge to the crew of the USS Enterprise before the aircraft carrier takes off for two weeks of training at sea.

Capt. Robert Spane, commander of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, said he canceled the show after reading news reports that the show could be construed as sexually oriented entertainment forbidden under Naval regulations.

More than 3,000 men were scheduled to crowd the decks for a half-hour show at the Alameda Naval Air Station base. The show was to feature models in bathing suits and aerobic wear bouncing rhythmically to pop music.

″The boys are going to be charged up before they go out for two weeks,″ Ivan Cutler, a spokesman for the swimwear and aerobics clothing manufacturer that was to put on the show, said Tuesday before the cancellation. He called the scheduled show a ″morale booster.″

However, Navy regulations ban sexually oriented entertainment at base clubs, stating that ″entertainment that could conceivably result in embarrassment to the Navy shall be avoided″ because it could cause abusive behavior toward women who serve aboard Navy ships.

The San Francisco-based Feminist Bookstore News, which publishes a monthly magazine for women’s bookstores, called the dance show idea ″outrageous.″

″It looks like the Enterprise brass still haven’t discerned the difference between sex and war,″ said publisher Carol Seajay. ″Using women and sexual innuendo to gear men up for war games perpetuates that confusion.″

On Wednesday, Cutler said he was disappointed the event had been canceled.

″It was an opportunity to entertain - within bounds of propriety - sailors, who respond to a variety of stimulus,″ he said.

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