Karen Fratti
March 07, 2017 3:00 pm
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Brace yourselves, because this is some pretty rough news: A group of United States Marines is being investigated for posting nude pictures of their female counterparts in a secret Facebook group. So even when you’re one of the toughest, baddest women in all the land, you’re still subject to sexual harassment and threats of violence from men who are supposed to have your back in the field.

This was a pretty big group, too. It wasn’t just a group of some young recruits LOL-ing and “liking” naked pictures of women. It was called “Marines United” and comprised of 30,000 active-duty and retired U.S. Marines, Navy Corpsman and British Royal Marines. It was transcontinental and totally gross — not to mention dangerous for the women.

About two dozen active-duty women were on the page, along with their names, rank, and their location.

There were even more pictures shared of women via a Google Drive link, and many of them seemed to have been taken via stalking. They weren’t consensual selfies.

In addition to the identified female corps members, there were also pictures of unidentified women in “varying stages of undress.”

There were also, of course, lewd comments accompanying most of the pictures, according to the Naval Criminal Investigative Services, which is looking into the group. But some comments weren’t just “inappropriate.” There were conversations about assaulting and raping some of the women in the pictures. All the images have since been taken down.

The only glimmer of a silver lining is that the Marine Corps seems to be backing the investigation.

Marine Corps commandant General Robert Neller said on Sunday in a statement, “For anyone to target one of our Marines, online or otherwise, in an inappropriate manner, is distasteful and shows an absence of respect.” Let’s all hope he backs that up with disciplinary action. Senior Marines are now reviewing a suggested course of action.

The group was flagged by a retired Marine who now runs a blog called War Horse. Marine Corps spokesperson Captain Ryan E Alvis called him out.

But not everyone is thrilled Brennan spoke out. He told The Marine Corps Times that there is a “bounty on pictures of my daughter…It has been suggested that my wife should be raped as a result of this, and people are openly suggesting that I should be killed…Can you imagine being one of the victims?” These men mean business, and they sounds pretty scary.

It is up to other male marines to change the culture of the Corps. This wasn’t just a small group of men, but hundreds are under investigation for being a member of the group — even if they didn’t share any pictures, they let it happen (unlike Brennan) and should probably be disciplined along with the organizers of the group. Hopefully, the investigation will not just bring some sense of justice to the women who were taken advantage of, but also send a message to future recruits: This is not how soldiers are supposed to act.

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