Women Say Marines United Scandal Was Decades In The Making

By Sig Christenson
San Antonio Express-News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The military’s latest sex scandal involving a secret website called “Marines United”, which posted nude photos of female Marines along with disparaging comments from its male members, brings back memories for some women veterans.

San Antonio Express-News

When Queta Rodriguez learned she was pregnant, her feelings of joy quickly were subsumed by a powerful sense of shame.

A career Marine, she considered the pregnancy a biological affirmation that she indeed was a woman in a corps so dominated by men that its female members did everything they could to be like them.

Marines’ highest value was strength, and getting pregnant was undeniable proof of weakness, of being a lesser Marine, she said. Toughness and femininity didn’t mix.

“I remember hating being pregnant. The most feminine thing you can be is pregnant,” said Rodriguez, 46, of San Antonio. “Of course I wanted to be a mom, but I remember there was nothing that I hated more than having to wear pregnant utilities because it’s so feminine.”

The military’s latest sex scandal involving a secret website called Marines United, which posted nude photos of female Marines along with disparaging comments from its male members, brought back memories for women veterans.

Both Rodriguez and Joy Craig, 45, of Beaufort, South Carolina, both harbor regrets for their silence at male Marines’ sexist comments and jokes.

Former Lance Cpl. Stacey Thompson, 36, was outspoken and insists she doesn’t regret reporting being raped, even though the attacker was allowed to leave the Marines amid an investigation and she was forced out of the corps with an other-than-honorable discharge.

She parented three children while waging a successful battle to win a general discharge under honorable conditions, which qualifies her for all veterans benefits except the Montgomery GI Bill. That fight took 15 years, she said by phone from Oceanside, California, where she now lives.

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