Being a female marine must be more difficult than ever right now. In a field where women are already underrepresented, it recently came to light that a Marines Facebook group that called themselves “Marines United” shared hundreds of private photos of female Marines without their knowledge or their consent.
Now many female Marines are coming together and fighting back.
The Washington Post obtained a letter signed by 93 female Marines of all rankings objecting to the culture of toxic masculinity that makes it “easy to mistake barbarism for strength. Brutality for power.”
They went on to say in the letter that they disagree with an institution “where men are permitted or even expected to behave like animals, and women trespass at their peril.”
Many women were hesitant to sign the letter for fear of retaliation or losing their jobs, so the fact that it garnered so many signatures is impressive — and telling.
“This is about the fact that many of you knew,” the letter goes on to say. “This is about the time you said, ‘We don’t need any more females in this section,’ as if there were a quote…This is about pretending you don’t hear women when they speak.”
They’re not stopping there, either. 400 female Marines have created their own Facebook group, Actionable Change, to fight for dismantling the military’s misogynistic culture. The organization hopes to integrate more women into the ranks and to make revenge porn illegal in the military.
“We’re not quite there yet,” Lt. Col. Ann Bernard told the Post. It may be an understatement, but it also carries so much optimism in that “yet,” so much room for change.