What don't you see every day? A Marine Corps veteran criticizing the rampant sexual assault in the military and dismantling rape culture. In a powerful video for NowThis Rants, U.S. Marine Brian Jones tackles military sexual assault and rape, an epidemic that has been going on within the ranks, virtually unaddressed, for years. Although sex crimes among military members has recently attracted the attention of Congress and the Defense Department — with both groups taking measures to prevent sexual assault and penalize perpetrators — rape culture is still a predominant fixture in the military community.
So, let's rant about it — and change it. At least, that's what Jones is doing. The veteran Marine, who currently serves as editor-in-chief for the veterans-centric website Task & Purpose, is fed up with the treatment of women in the military. And it's not just sexual assault — though that's an undeniable aspect of it — but the overall culture of degradation of women soldiers.
Jones says in the video, which you can watch below:
It's hard to believe that in 2014 I have to tell my fellow Marines and my fellow veterans that they shouldn't make rape jokes about the women they serve with. It's hard to believe that I should I have to implore military leaders to take this seriously.
What Jones is focused on at the moment is the gross sexism stemming from various Marine Corps Facebook pages. In both the video and an article for Task & Purpose, Jones discusses the pages POG Boot Fucks, which has around 17,000 likes, and F’n Wook, which has about 15,000 likes. Both pages post pictures of women soldiers without their consent to degrade them. More often than not, the comments are vitriolic, using graphic language and imagery.
As Jones writes on Task & Purpose:
Referring to women in the Marine Corps as “wooks,” a derogatory reference to women as wookies from “Star Wars,” these pages with names like Just the tip, of the spear, POG Boot Fucks, F’n Wook, or Senior Lance Corporal, propagate harmful stereotypes that all women in the military are sluts, and that they only achieve rank through performing sex acts. They also serve as a forum for so-called jokes about rape, race, and homophobia.
According to Jones, these sites often go unaddressed by the Marine Corps, even though the Facebook pages "purport to depict junior enlisted infantry culture." Jones even calls out a horrifying message that threatens raping a female soldier; the message was made by an enlisted member of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment.
Although some of these pages have been shut down by Facebook, they always reappear, Jones says. He's calling for military leadership to step up, defend its women soldiers and put an end to the military's rape culture.
Jones says in the video:
There seems to be a really big issue in terms of priorities There's no greater indicator that something is accepted and something is tolerated by leadership than the fact that these men and women are posting these comments under their own names, with their own faces, with rank and unit information on their profiles. They think this is OK.
According to data from the Defense Department, there were 26,000 sex crimes committed in the military in 2012 — about 70 sexual assaults per day. This is not OK. So to Marine Corps veteran Brian Jones, we say: Keep ranting.
Screenshots: Now/This Rants