By Liana Jacob
RETRO SCENES from nineteen-seventy have emerged that instruct how military women must present themselves while going on dates.
The scenes start with a military captain instructing a glamorous girl on how to dress appropriately while on-duty and off-duty and to ‘show good taste’.
The footage presents dating rules including the ways military women can make mistakes while on dates, including feeling the need to open the door for a man. The woman corrects herself by letting the man open the door.
Other scenes show the point of the date when they order their food; instead of the woman ordering for herself, the scene shows that this is wrong and to avoid talking over each other, the woman must let the man know what she wants before the waiter arrives for him to order.
The scenes are part of a public information film called Pleasure of Your Company: Military Etiquette and Grooming, which was created by the Department of Defence and published in 1970.
“We do have certain ideas about how you should look in your uniform, about the tailoring, the fit and how it should be kept, and I guess sometimes we do express these feelings rather strongly,” Captain York said.
“But really only applies to your uniform, the way you dress in your off-duty hours is another matter. Now, we do expect the girls to show good taste in everything they wear.”
Britain took the first step internationally in establishing uniformed services for women in 1938 and in late 1941, Britain began conscripting women, sending most of them to work in factories and some in the military.
“Always tell your escort what you would like to have and then let him place the order for you,” the narrator said.
Another scene shows a blonde woman struggling to decide whether to open the door for her date, or to let him open it.
“It was only a little thing, but it was so confusing, I have to stop and think these days because I can’t remember when I’m supposed to open the door and when I’m not,” the narrator said.
“All day long, I open doors and stand when I talk to the officers I work with, after a while you get used to that.
“But I get kind of confused because after seventeen-hundred hours this little pumpkin changes and becomes the lady.”