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Today in things that make us scream incoherently

Facebook Finally Pulls Page of Sexist, Violent Jokes About Female Marines… Three Years Late

After three years a Facebook page dedicated to making violent jokes targeted at female marines has finally been taken down. All it took was a state Representative writing a letter to the Defense Secretary and top military brass to say “Hey, this is really messed up and contributes to the culture of sexual abuse in the military, and you’ve known about it for years, but it’s still there. Maybe you should do something about it?”

It wasn’t actually the military that took action against the page, though, but Facebook, which removed it because its administrators were using fake accounts. Really, Facebook? After three years you yank a site for a bogus reason like that when it clearly violates the rules in your Terms of Service that “You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user” and “You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence”? Read this excerpt from California representative Jackie Speier and tell me both those things don’t apply:

“[The page] includes numerous pictures depicting women in various forms of nudity and being verbally and sometimes physically abused. The page also includes images of women taken without their permission, inviting commenters to add their own captions. Many of the pictures imply women only advance professionally by performing sequel favors and otherwise promote the idea that women are inferior and only useful as sexual objects and sandwich makers… Individuals who reach out to the administrators of the site to express their concerns have been mocked and made the target of future posts.”

But what of the Marines? The Marine Corps Inspector General has monitored the page for three years, so clearly they were aware of its, eh, problematic elements (see: the whole darn thing). Says Capt. Eric Flanagan in a statement:

“Marines are responsible for all content they publish on social networking sites, blogs, or other websites. There is no tolerance for discriminatory comments. It goes against good order and discipline.

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.”

According to Flanagan’s statement complaints show that “both active duty and reserve Marines have been involved.” I would  hope that in the three years the site’s been around the military has made some effort to find out exactly who those Marines are, seeing as sexual assault within the military is a huge problem and they’re so concerned with “good order and discipline” and all.

Aw, who’m I kidding? Sexual assault is a problem (26,000 members of the armed forces were assaulted in 2012 alone, up 37 percent from 2011), but so too is the military’s attitude toward it. Basically the way it’s set up is that sexual assault cases get handled in-house, with little to no oversight, with the result that little effort is made to prevent sexual assault, punish the perpetrators, or support the victims. It’s a fact that’s gotten increased public attention over the last few days since the Pentagon released a report detailing the rise of sexual assaults in the military. Oh, and the Air Force official in charge of the military’s sexual assault prevention program was arrested for groping a woman in a parking lot.

The Marine Corps says they’re investigating the page. Too little too late, guys. The page is down. Three years late, but it’s down. The bigger problem is still there. Work on that, maybe?

(via: The Daily Dot, USA Today)

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  • TKS

    Several years ago (back when it was “THEfacebook”) my friend and I made corresponding groups as a joke. His was “TKS is a jerk!” and mine was “Dave (not his real name) is a tool!”

    My group was closed that week, and his about a month after. What took so damn long here?

  • Anonymous

    I had no idea this page existed, though I’m not surprised. I really wish Facebook would take down all those other misogynistic pages too. As for sexual assault in the military, I have a personal experience with that.
    [CN: Sexual assault, victim blaming]

    It’s been just over a year now that I was assaulted from our ex-friend in the military. While the SAPR program was AWESOME, dealing with the base police and Navy legal, eh, not so much. Lots of victim blaming questions, like: questioning my husband about our sex life (like that has ANYTHING to do with what this asshole did TO me), including a sentence in my statement, that said “I should of moved to the armchair [instead of staying on the couch with the rapist]” lolwhut. Really?, and…what else…oh, they wanted to empathize that I had been assaulted in the past, and suffered from PTSD, because in order to pin this guy, I had to come off as The Perfect Rape Victim; they also remarked that it would be hard to do this case, since I reacted positively to the assault (ie pleasure), because, ya know, no one’s EVER had an orgasm, etc during their rape…..Oh! Yeah, ‘nother “favorite”, was when the dudebro of Navy legal was all “So, why didn’t you fight back?” Um, I don’t know, maybe because HE WAS MY BEST FRIEND AT THE TIME. And also, I’m a seriously non-violent person, AND I’m a woman, who’s been socialized to NOT fight (like, at all) her whole life. They also asked my husband similar questions, like “Why didn’t you stop it and/or hit this guy?”, like my husband was suppose to swoop in and Save Me from Teh Rape. lol, okay player….
    So yeah, in short…lots of bullshit. And my experience isn’t even the worst of it.

  • Sara Sakana

    Cool story, bro.

  • Calum Syers

    I really want to say that this surprises me, but, alas, it does not. This, along with Donald Trump’s incredibly moronic comments on Twitter, have made it a very bad week for enlightening discussions on this subject.

  • TKS

    I aim to please.

  • TKS

    Thank you for sharing your experience. That was brave. As was serving in the military.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Thank you for sharing and for your service. I can’t believe the BS assault victims have to put up with from the military, like the assault itself isn’t bad enough.

  • Anonymous

    Because even though pages like this Marines’ page should violate facebook’s terms, either under bullying, or under violence/threats, facebook usually refuses to delete them claiming free speech. I had a friend get threatened with rape and violence after she objected on a group page to a photo meme joking about rape, and facebook claimed it didn’t constitute a violence and threats violation because it didn’t “result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism.”…several others had reported it also, and all of them were given the same quote about theft/vandalism. Which is completely absurd, as the violence category of the terms addresses far more than just that. Soraya Chemaly had a recent article on facebook’s inaction on these kinds of pages (major trigger warnings for domestic violence and rape).

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Wow. It can’t be easy to share this. It’s disgusting the shit they put you through, as if what happened wasn’t enough.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed; it was bs. I stopped the prosecution for more reasons then them detering me, but still…how many cases would actually go through if they didn’t pull this shit?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, but I’m just a dependent (corrected my post above). It was hard to share the first time on the internet, but it really, really, really helps to post in a safe space. So for that I am very grateful to The Mary Sue.

  • Anonymous

    I am a mililary wife, so in a sense I suppose (corrected my post above :p). And thank you.

  • Clara Zawadzki

    “sequel favors”?