“F’N Wook”: Sexual Assault in the Marine Corps

Mar1

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.”

V/R,

A former female Army Officer and female combat veteran (Otherwise known as a former Army Officer and combat veteran)

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4 thoughts on ““F’N Wook”: Sexual Assault in the Marine Corps

  1. If you had done some more research you would have ‘learned’ that the Marine Corps takes this matter very, very seriously. Your attempts at being snarky and tying to paint the Marine Corps attitude regarding sexual assault as being dismissive and trivial are completely without merit. Gen Amos addressed this very issue last year. I trust that if you actually take the time to read THAT White Letter, you’ll find the Commandants word choice a little more to your satisfaction and less subject to your attempts at manipulation. What I find genuinely disturbing is your half-truth application of this “1 in 3” statistic and suggestion that sexual assault is a “problem in the Corps and only the Corps”. That statistic is not unique to the United States Marine Corps. Rather, and more appropriately stated, that statistic is representative of data taken, compiled across and representative of ALL the military services…. to include your United States Army. Truly no military service is beyond reproach in this area warranting the utmost concern. Your seemingly wanton misrepresentation of the facts can only be attributed to either a serious lack of integrity or your failure to properly and thoroughly understand the subject matter before offering an opinion…neither scenario being acceptable for a ‘former’ military officer. Lastly the next time you have a word of advice, even in jest, for the Commandant (a 4 Star) or any higher ranking officer or public official in general, proper military custom and courtesy dictates that your sign “very respectfully”. I think he rates it.
    Respectfully
    A current United States Marine Corps Officer and Combat Veteran

  2. I had a look at the facebook groups in question and many of those pictures are using the old Marine Corps uniforms soo they obviously weren’t recent. As for the culture in the Marine Corps, I have been in for 5 years and there is no such “culture” on our base as far as I am aware. I am also a legal clerk at my unit and we have never had to deal with any sexual assaults since I have been here. What I have seen, though, and had to legally deal with since I have been here is female fraternization with higher ups, females committing adultery, and pregnancies with no admitted fathers. My personal opinion is that female and male Marines should be kept completely apart and if this was done there would be no more issues. In the rough physical environment that we live in females just do not mix. Give them all the same opportunities and let them be in all the same MOS’s as men but separate the genders in different platoons. This would definitely cut down on the number of incidents. Another interesting statistic that needs to be looked at in the last Sexual Assault and Rape report that the Pentagon released, fake accusations of sexual assault were up 17%. This increase outpaced the increase overall of sexual assaults !!

    And might I add females are terrible at PT. This does nothing to help the image male Marines have of their female counterparts. What message does it send to male Marines when the physical fitness test says females only need to do 8 pull ups for a perfect score while males must do 20, yet we are somehow supposed to be equal ??? How is that equal ??? The Marine Corps is currently in the testing phase of letting females join the infantry MOS’s and soo far it has been an utter failure. Not a SINGLE female Marine has been able to even pass the school of infantry !!

    In no way am I condoning the actions of those who do legitimately sexually assault another human being. My point is just that the female Marines are not innocent in all of this. They help create the environment that all of these problems are originating from, and the Marine Corps would be better off separating the two genders. Because quite simply males and females are not equal when it comes to war and the physical activity that war entails.

    • Get over yourself. Trying to paint a bad image on the marine corps? Good luck. You only fuel the fire. Marines are great at taking punches and exploiting your weakness in return. I hope this letter finds you well and you have since learned that the man can not keep us down. JTTOTS is always watching.

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