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Marines Were Just Busted Sharing Nude Photos Of Female Marines & Joking About Raping Them

Marines Were Just Busted Sharing Nude Photos Of Female Marines & Joking About Raping Them

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The United States military has just been rocked by an extremely disturbing revelation. The Department of Defense has just opened an investigation into a closed Facebook group populated by over 30,000 members of the Marine Corps where naked pictures of female Marines were being publicly shared without their consent – and some of which were taken without them knowing.

Veteran Thomas Brennan, who runs the War Horse news outlet, first brought the scandal to light.

The Marines were discovered to be sharing links to a Google Drive folder that contained nude photographs of more than two dozen active-duty women, officers and enlisted, who were identified by their rank, full name and location. 

Some of the photos were taken by the subjects and sent to partners and posted by the men as “revenge porn,” but others were taken surreptitiously without their knowledge as they changed or showered.

Most disturbing were the comments that the Marines were making about the pictures, which contained multiple references to sexual assaulting the women and jokes about raping their battle-sisters. 

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Lance Corporal Marisa Woytek said that pictures of her were taken from her Instagram account and shared without her consent. “Even if I could, I’m never reenlisting. Being sexually harassed online ruined the Marine Corps for me, and the experience” said Woytek. 

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Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ryan E. Alvis gave this statement in response to the shocking news:

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“We are thankful that Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran, notified the Marine Corps and NCIS about what he witnessed on the ‘Marines United’ page. It allowed us to take immediate action to have the explicit photos taken down and to prepare to support potential victims. The Marine Corps is deeply concerned about allegations regarding the derogatory online comments and sharing of salacious photographs in a closed websiteThis behavior destroys morale, erodes trust, and degrades the individual.”

Sexual violence is an oft-overlooked but rampant occurrence in the military, which recorded 6,083 reports of sexual assault in 2015 – a mere 1% reduction from the year before. 657 reports of sexual harassment were filed in that same time.

However, those figures cannot be taken at face value, as the military has been notoriously poor in their efforts to properly deal with sexual violence between servicemembers. Reports indicate that rather than deal with the predatory advances of military men, commanders would punish and try to silence victims, often issuing dishonorable discharges to get rid of them, as reported by Human Rights Watch: 

Carri Goodwin joined the Marines in 2007 when she was 18 years old. In the short time she was in service, her recruiter assaulted her and a higher-ranking service member beat and sodomized her after ordering her to report to him after work. After reporting her assaults, she still had to work with her assailant. Her journal indicated her peers “all took the assailant’s side” and said, “Don’t talk to her. She will say you raped her.” Her assailant taunted her with emails saying he gave her AIDS. She was not allowed to go on leave because they feared she would go AWOL.

Goodwin tried to cope with her assault with drinking and was dishonorably discharged for doing so. She was eventually found dead in her home after mixing alcohol and prescription medication Zoloft. Because of her discharge, her father could not bury her in a military cemetery.

These brave women have put their lives on the line for their nation – but aren’t even safe in their own barracks. What are they supposed to think when they discover their male peers are joking about raping them behind their backs? When their own commander-in-chief, himself a rapist, blames them for their own assaults? 

Politicians of both parties love to wrap themselves in the flag and hold up our troops on the highest pedestal for the sacrifices they make, but say nothing when it is discovered that the culture of toxic masculinity that animates the United States military enables the objectification and assault of their own comrades in arms.

It’s just more evidence of the institutionalized misogyny that runs through every branch of the United States government. Republicans in Congress and in the White House plot and scheme to deprive women of agency over their own bodies, cut off their access to reproductive healthcare, shame them for their own assaults, and give parental rights to rapists.

After all, only three in a hundred rapists will ever see punishment for their crimes – and that’s just a tiny fraction of the assaults that are actually reported. American society largely turns a blind eye to the epidemic of sexual assault and harassment against women -and this is just another depressing but sadly unsurprising example of how too many American men treat women in this country.

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