A young private first class told me a story one day following some volunteer hours. He explained that he was terrified to work with female Marines because, according to him, you can’t correct a female Marine.
This struck me as odd. I’ve never had this problem. None of the male Marines I’ve worked with have ever had this problem. What was this kid talking about?
He further explained that a staff noncommissioned officer (who also had seldom worked with females) once told him a story about a male Marine who was court martialed for correcting a female Marine. More precisely, the female had made sexual harassment claims against the male because she was mad, and the case had not only gone to trial, but the female in question won.
Naturally, the private first class could not recall any names, units, places or times that this might have occurred.
It hit me like a Mack truck: we are the Bogeyman.
Female Marines have become an imaginary catchall for any number of issues: males not getting promoted fast enough? Must be females performing sexual favors to take the promotions away from their more qualified male counterparts. Leadership problems? Males can’t correct females without facing sexual assault or harassment charges. The Marine Corps decides to modify physical fitness standards? Must be females who can’t hack it.
We are the monster in the closet that you blame for your fear of darkness.
A recent article by Stripes’ Jennifer Hlad included some fascinating numbers (that I wish were on billboards all over bases around the world).
She cited DoD statistics that for fiscal year 2011, only 2-10% of sexual assault claims were false reporting. Of the 489 sexual assault court martial cases, only 191 accused attackers were convicted. That is a shockingly small number considering the fact that close to 3,000* sexual assault cases were investigated.
191 convictions out of nearly 3,000 investigations. Just let that sink in for a moment.
With numbers like that, it makes one wonder who the real monster under the bed is.
Social media has helped fuel a fire across the Marine Corps, burning a clear message: females are not wanted here because they are the source of all problems.
A former infantryman asked me recently to explain the term “Wook”** as it refers to female Marines. You see, when he was still in the Marine Corps, Facebook wasn’t really a “thing.” Slang and slander stayed confined to specific units and regions.
Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find an active-duty Marine who isn’t familiar with the term (among about a dozen other derogatory names for females).
Well she has clearly demonstrated that she has no merit. Obvs.
Female Marines (and other services) now endure social media harassment on a viral scale. Any photo of a female, no matter how innocent or silly or identical to a male’s photo, is subject to vicious ridicule and lies. Females have seen their photos go viral to hundreds of thousands of current and former Marines, as well as their friends and families.
Remember ladies, you’re a slut just for standing next to an officer.
Time and again, these attackers claim that it is the female who is wrong for being upset that she is being called a slut, a bitch or not even a Marine. It is the female who is wrong for being concerned that Marines are accusing her of making rank because she performed sexual favors for her superiors.
Again I must ask, who is the real monster in this situation?
All service members must abide by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I have yet to see any provisions on those laws that say “unless the crime is committed on the internet.”
UCMJ Articles 88, 89, 90, 91 and everyone’s favorite catch-all 134 are laws with which Marines should be more familiar. Just because something is said on social media, does not make it less real or punishable under the UCMJ. Disrespect to officers and noncommissioned officers, as well as conduct unbecoming a Marine, are now daily occurrences in Facebook groups like “F’N BOOT,” and “Just the Tip (of the Spear).”
The massive popularity of these groups is indicative of the growing disdain and discontent between both sexes in the Corps, as well as disturbing low maturity throughout the ranks.
But this guy mosdef didn’t do anything wrong. Not once not never.***
Every time one of these groups is condemned, Marines raise the “freedom of speech” battle flag. That would be true, except that Marines are subject to the UCMJ, thus our freedom of speech is limited by law. If we truly had freedom of expression, Marines would be allowed to openly affiliate with white supremacist groups or lead anti-presidential political groups (remember Sgt. Gary Stein?). Hate speech, as well as disrespect toward officers, noncommissioned officers and political offices are illegal under the UCMJ.
These groups attack anyone (male or female) who dares to disagree with their approach toward comedy. The women are just whiny bitches and the men are nothing more than female sympathizers (because that’s such a bad thing.)
As far as these Marines are concerned, they don’t use a nightlight because they are afraid of the dark. They use it because the Bogeyman is hiding in the closet.
Until Marines can let go of this Bogeyman, and accept personal responsibility for their actions, we are going to remain crippled by virulent sexism in our ranks.
Females are not the monster under the bed. That’s just your own dirty laundry.
*Outcomes are pending for 580 cases. Even if all 580 investigations end in convictions, that means still only 771 of more than 2,900 cases resulted in convictions.
**Wook = Wookiee Monster = Walking Mattress = Woman Marine.
***I would like to make it very clear that I still think that guy is a hero, he just should have given his YouTube uploads a second thought before distributing that little gem.