When most of us think about the military, fashion is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But for thousands of women on active duty, the military is so much more. With their sisters in arms in the Navy getting maternal leave benefits last year, the women of the Marine Corps have taken it upon themselves to stand up for their rights in the service, and their letter to their male colleagues is both chilling and an inspiring reminder of how we can all stand up for our own rights.
Earlier this year, the men of the Marine Corps were involved in a major sex scandal after it was revealed that many of them were part of a secret Facebook group that involved sharing secretly snapped photos of woman marines in the nude. The letter, signed by 93 woman Marines, states that their intent is not just to call out the Facebook group (called Marines United), but to call out the overall view of women that is pervasive in the armed forces.
“Know this is not about Marines United. This is about the fact that many of you knew, and it took a former Marine to say ‘enough.’ This is about the time you said, ‘We don’t need any more females in this section,’ as if there were a quota. It’s about the time you made the joke about the female Marine and her face, her hair, her voice, her private life, or her sexual orientation. This is about pretending you don’t hear women when they speak. And about looking only at men when you speak. Or treating sexual assault training as a burden.”
The women have created their own Facebook group, dubbed, “Actionable Change,” and hope to create a space where woman soldiers can help create positive change in an environment where many of them feel unwelcome. In fact, The Washington Post noted that many women were afraid to sign their names for repercussions to their military careers.
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(h/t HelloGiggles; photos via Scott Olsen/Getty)