In light of the recent scandal in which nude photographs of some military service women were distributed by their male colleagues, hundreds of female Marines and Marine veterans have launched a new group. The goal of this group is to end to misogyny in the Marine Corps.
Lt. Colonel Ann Bernard and her peers spent more than 20 years trying to insure that the next generation of female Marines would be judged on merit and not on gender gender. Lt. Colonel Bernard has begun a closed Facebook group that is called Actionable Change. The group already has more than 400 members.
Bernard is a Marine Reservist and said the military has allowed “a culture where women are devalued, demeaned, and their contributions diminished, and in some cases allowed it to thrive”.
For decades, female leaders in the Marine Corps have remained silent in order to fit in.
The group has issued an open letter to all Marines, vowing to speak on behalf of women and to advocate for changes in Marine Corps culture. Among the group’s stated goals is to increase the percentage of women in the Marine Corps from approximately seven (7) percent to twenty (20) percent, improve gender integration in the military, make revenge porn illegal in the military and address existing problems with new training that includes firsthand stories from female Marines.
Nearly 100 currently serving Marines and veterans signed the letter.
“I’m not going to have the next generation of Marines dealing with the same thing that we’ve had to deal with,” said Bernard, who will soon deploy to Okinawa with III Marine Expeditionary Force. “We love the Marine Corps, and this is about making it better,” she said. “We fought the fight and thought we got the job done, and now we’re realizing we’re not quite there yet.
According to Bernard, at this time men are not allowed in the group. However, they will be allowed to join once this group moves beyond its formative stages.