Female Marines wrote their male colleagues a letter about sexual harassment, and they have bigger plans than that
After the scandal earlier this year about a bunch of men harassing women in a secret Facebook group, female marines wrote a letter to the Marine Corps asking them to please take action and knock it the heck off. There are 93 women who signed the letter reacting to Marines United and calling out their colleagues for thinking that they need to devalue women to be tough. The women wrote:
In a culture that prizes masculinity, it is easy to mistake barbarism for strength. Brutality for power. Savagery for ferocity. Yet we respectfully disagree with the notion that to fight and win our nation’s battles, we must preserve an institution where men are permitted or even expected to behave like animals, and women trespass at their peril.
They’ve also created their own Facebook group, called Actionable Change (right now it’s a secret group, so you’d have to be invited by another member) to talk about how to put an end to the ongoing gender war withint he armed services. There are 400 members so far. Actionable Change founder Lt. Col. Ann Bernard told the Marine Corps Times:
“I’m not going to have the next generation of Marines dealing with the same thing that we’ve had to deal with.”
Because it’s not just about Marines United, where men swapped pictures of women without their consent and talked about them sexually, it’s also about the overall culture. When Marines United was exposed by a former Marine and journalist, he was harassed for narcing on his boys. Right now, the pictures from Marines United are on the dark web. Because the men actually think the women are overreacting about this.
The women added in their letter:
This is about the time you said, ‘We don't need any more females in this section,’ as if there were a quota. t's about the time you made the joke about the female Marine and her face, her hair, her voice, her private life, or her sexual orientation. This is about pretending you don't hear women when they speak. And about looking only at men when they speak. Or treating sexual assault training as a burden.
The women also have goals for the Marines Corps. They want to increase female recruitment overall and then reforming early recruitment, so that men and women are together from the very beginning.
It’s not going to be easy to change the misogynist culture in the Marines, but if anyone can do it, it’s these women. They’re super badass.