This week I learned a lot about the Marine Corps; as a former Army Officer,I have a working knowledge of how they are organized and experienced first-hand the differences in their culture as compared to the Army. I worked with Marines in Iraq, and was always impressed by their professionalism, and physical readiness. But this week, I learned some things about the Marine Corps that shocked me to my core.
First the numbers, and these numbers don’t shock me; but are worth noting. There are about 203,000 Marines serving our nation. Of these 203,000 approximately 12,951 of them are female; this is about 6.4%. Compared to the other Services, the Marine Corps have the lowest number of females in their ranks. However, 13,000 Marines is a lot of souls when one thinks about it.
I have always known that the culture of the Marine Corps is one of pride, elitism, and even swagger…no doubt they are a proud outfit. But this week I learned of a secretive, dark underbelly of violence, and almost criminal element to their culture.
It started when I read an article about a Democrat Congresswoman from California; for the record I am not a Democrat. Congresswoman Speier, after discovering images on various Facebook Pages that are devoted to promoting sexual violence and rape of female Marines, wrote a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps; General James Amos.
Rep Speier named the Facebook sites in question and provided some of the vile images from these sites in her letter. The images included: a female Marine with a black eye that read: “She Burned the Bacon…Only Once”, an image of a naked woman tied up and gagged with a caption that reads: “She Left the Kitchen Only Once”, and an image of a female Marine placing a male Marine in a headlock that reads: “This is My Rape Face”. Of course I went straight to the sites in question, and what I found there was shocking. On this virtual and violent platform I met 20,000 Marines and ex Marines who hate female Marines, joke about raping them, refer to them as “Wooks”, take violating photos of them without their permission, comment about gang raping them, beating them, and publicly threaten them if they report the site.
The numbers again…these numbers did shock me. There are currently about six Facebook Pages devoted to promoting sexual violence, rape and degradation of female Marines. These Pages are run by anonymous administrators and have thousands of Marines that “Like” and follow the posts. Shockingly the Marine Corps has known about these sites for three years. The two that have the largest following are: “POG Boot Fucks” and “F’N Wook”. “F’N Wook”, the worst of them has been taken down by Facebook, after Speier and thousands of women reported the site, “POG Boot Fucks” is still up, and has published a Meme in retaliation of Congresswoman Speier, calling her a “C#$t Bag”…hundreds of Marines “liked” the post.
I learned a lot about the Marine Corps this week. I learned that female Marines are called “Wooks”; this is their nickname. Perhaps if the Commandant ordered all his “Wooks” on every base into an auditorium for private discussions without their Commanders, he too, would learn a thing or two from his female Marines. A “Wook” might for example, tell the Commandant that her nickname is derogatory and that her superior officers and NCOs call her this regularly. A “Wook” might tell General Amos that she overhears conversations about gang rape in the barracks, she might tell him that she has witnessed photos being taken of female Marines without their permission, only to be handed over to violent Facebook sites that advise male Marines to add their own special captions, a “Wook” might tell the Commandant that she has been sexually assaulted, or even raped. After all 1 in 3 are pretty good odds that she has.
On May 9, the Commandant sent a letter to all Marines…he writes:
“More specifically, as you implement our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Campaign, there are a couple of things that I want you to keep in mind. Sexual assault is a problem. It’s a reality in our society and thus it’s a reality in our Corps. Statistics reflect that alcohol is a contributing factor to the majority of our sexual assaults, and something that we must address in our overall plan.”
The most chilling thing I learned about the Marine Corps this week was the one I garnered from the above excerpt. I learned that the Marine Corps thinks Sexual violence is a “problem” and that if it didn’t exist in the civilian world it wouldn’t in the Corps. Really? Perhaps the Commandant’s letter should have read:
“ATTN: all Marines: 1 in 3 civilians are not sexually assaulted, so it seems that sexual assault is a “problem” in our Corps and only our Corps. However I wouldn’t really call it a “problem”….more like criminal activity, an epidemic, a health crisis, a hyper violent environment, a tragedy…a little snapshot of what it looks like when the wheels start to fall off one of the most exceptional organizations the world has ever known. Finally my honorable and professional Marines, it’s not illegal for a Marine to get drunk, it is however illegal for one to rape or sexually assault someone. Semper Fi.”
A former female Army Officer and female combat veteran (Otherwise known as a former Army Officer and combat veteran)