Investigation Into Obscene Military Site; Rep. Speier Demands Immediate Action
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, has been working tirelessly for the past two years to call attention to the prevalence of rape and sexual abuse in the Marine Corps. Now thanks to a particularly offensive Facebook page, she may have the ammunition she needs to realize actual change in the military.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Marine Corps Commandant James Amos and deputy inspector general Lynne Halbrooks, Speier outlines the content of a Facebook group page that is dedicated to current and former member of the military.
"The background wallpaper for 'F'N Wook' shows a woman's breasts, and includes numerous pictures depicting women in various forms of nudity and being verbally and sometimes physically abused," Speier wrote in the letter.
That in itself is grounds for a serious investigation by the Marine Corps. and military heads, but it doesn't stop there. Many pictures were tagged with comments of an extraordinarily derogatory nature, showing little remorse or regard for the feelings of their victims.
"There are too many examples to recount them all here, but a few of the attached pictures and memes should give you an indication of the tone of the site," Speier wrote. "You'll find pictures captioned, 'This is my rape face;' 'She burned my bacon only once,' above a woman with a black eye; 'I can bang even when I'm not on my back!' for a picture of a woman holding a gun...."
The website has since been taken down, but Speier does not believe that such actions are sufficient to combat the culture of abuse and misogyny that she believes to be present in the military. She has urged military leaders to use the website as an impetus to further crack down on a sexual assault problem that has grown within their ranks in recent years.
A new Pentagon report shows that the number of sexual assaults in the military last year grew to a whopping 3374, and that is the conservative estimate. Some more liberal numbers put that total to as high as 26,000 cases of sexual assault, many of them unprosecuted.
"Marines must use their best judgment at all times and avoid inappropriate behavior that could bring discredit upon themselves, their unit, and the Marine Corps. This includes posting any defamatory, libelous, abusive, threatening, racially or ethnically hateful or otherwise offensive or illegal content," a statement released by the Marine Corps. said.
Speier insists that there needs to be a change in the military culture and the way they relate to women both within their ranks and outside of them. To date she has introduced three bills that aim to combat sexual abuse in the military, and has made it a point that those who received her e-mail must take action or at least respond to its contents by May 31st.
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