Stop Posting Nude Photos of Servicewomen Without Consent

Target: Mr. James N. Mattis, Secretary of Defense

Goal: Demand the closure of websites exposing servicewomen.

U.S. military men have been sharing nude photos of their female counterparts all over the Internet without their consent. Recently, a secret Facebook group of current and former Marines was uncovered and called attention to the apparently long-standing practice of online photo sharing. It turned out that Navy investigations found that non-consensual photo sharing is common in all parts of the military, not only in the Marines. The scandal is the latest allegation of sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual violence in the military and should be resolutely combated.

Pentagon investigations have revealed an unethical collaborative practice to shame female service members. Some servicemen request intimate pictures of female personnel online by first posting clothed pictures of them, and others check if they have or can get nude or semi-nude pictures, which are called “wins.” There are also posts motivated by revenge porn, in which ex-partners hand over pictures that have once been for private use. Posts sometimes provide names and personal details of the women, along with duty station and other professional information, and are often accompanied by disrespectful comments.

Sexual harassment and sexual violence are pervasive in the U.S. military. To make things worse, the vast majority of cases of sexual harassment and sexual violence go unreported, and retaliation against women who come forward is, unfortunately, the norm. A poll by the Veterans Health Administration reports that 1 in 5 female veterans admitted they had been the victims of Military Sexual Trauma (MST); 33% experienced rape or attempted rape, and up to 84% of women experienced sexual assault or harassment while on active military duty. Real statistics might be much higher, but these numbers give an idea of the risks of being a woman into the army. Numbers also indicate that the online photo sharing collaboration is not a mere irresponsible practice, but one of the mechanisms that perpetuate sexism and violence against women. Rather than harassed and violated, servicewomen should be praised for their service and courage. Demand that the investigation leads to the complete closure of these shameful websites and that accountability measures are implemented to deal with the online photo sharing practice.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Mattis,

Women in the military provide a valuable service to the country, and yet their physical and emotional integrity is constantly threatened by the sexist practices so pervasive in the military. In the past years, allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence against servicewomen have come up and exposed that far-reaching measures must be implemented to address such a serious problem. In the light of this alarming scenario, the recently found websites for online sharing of nude or semi-nude photos of female military personnel by their male counterparts should be fiercely hunted down and closed. Rather than a simple irresponsible practice, these websites perpetuate the sexist culture that put servicewomen at risk and discourage other women from joining the military.

I urge you to provide any necessary support to the ongoing investigations by the Pentagon and ensure that such investigations will be over only when the websites are fully mapped out and closed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Master Sergeant Alfred A. Gerloff Jr., United States Air Force

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11 Comments

  1. Kathryn Irby says:

    If the military persists in such trash as this, all integrity of it will be lost!! Unacceptable!!

  2. Sorry, but what do you expect from men who are trained to become remorseless killers? That they would devalue all people – including women – is a natural result.

    • I can see by that absolutely stupid comment that B Denno has never served his country in any capacity. If you had you would never have that attitude. I served for four years and three months during the Viet Nam era and I’ve now been a volunteer fireman for twenty six years. Does that sound like a “remorseless killer? What a crappy way to talk about people who have volunteered to put their lives in harm’s way for you! What a shame that you don’t appreciate what others do for you.

  3. B Denno -that is a sad commentary on men. These sexual assaults should not be expected and accepted when women volunteer to defend our country. It definitely should not be condoned rather than prosecuted. There is acceptance and encouragement of this rape culture according to recent reports, particularly in the Marines. Obviously, it is more widespread. Until it is prosecuted fully, they will not stop.

    • Sexual assaults and the posting of nude pictures of women are just a few of the awful things that military men have done.
      In fact, ex-military people are so traumatized by not only what they’ve seen in wartime, but also by the knowledge of the crimes they themselves have committed, that come back later to haunt them – that they are killing themselves at the rate of about 21 persons per day. There is a serious crisis going on here.
      I think it’s time people face up to the realities of the military – what the military does to the people that sign up for it, and what they themselves do as a result. The postings on the internet are just the tip of the iceberg – a small sampling of what is wrong with the military and military thinking, and most particularly about men.
      They can and should shut down all the websites, but what also needs to be addressed is the sexist, macho and aggressive way of thinking promoted in the military.

  4. Selena Brooks says:

    I myself served in the military before ALL this technology of cell phones and social media and we survived. Cell phones and social media should be for after work on private time. Has the military phased out landline ? phones for communicating while on duty? The military bans certain items for a reason. I feel cell phones while on duty is dangerous for criminal activity regarding sensitive, top secret and classified documents. Look at what happened to females military members and what will happen next.

  5. If Frank wasn’t so repeatedly abusive in his comments, I would be happy to reply to him. But I have my limits.

    • Denno, you’re a freaking idiot…a liberal idiot at that. I’m not abusive towards you, I’m simply realistic and take offense at the ravings of a liberal lunatic who knows nothing about service to one’s country. Your comments towards the military are out of line and not honest. Where do you come up with this stuff?

  6. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    it is no worse than touching or kissing without a consent. no means no! dont postung nudes of people without a consent!

  7. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & shared

  8. Frank is a bully and an abusive person not only toward me but toward other commenters on forcechange, and I refuse to reply directly to him anymore. He erroneously keeps labeling me as a liberal, which I am not. And needless to say, he is wrong about all his other slanderous accusations as well. By his nasty name-calling and accusations he proves he is abusive.

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