Woman's tweet about leaving the Marine Corps shows the challenges women in the armed services face

A US Marine Corp cadet attends the United States Naval Academy graduation ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 25, 2018. (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Women have been a part of the Marine Corps for 100 years, but that doesn’t mean the Marines are free of sexism. As a woman’s recent tweet has illustrated, females in the military still face plenty of backlash, no matter how good they are at what they do.

“If you want to know why I’m not re-enlisting, go to the Marine Corps Instagram page and read the comments on ANY picture of a female,” Jessica Casey wrote on Twitter. “Props to the females who want to stay in and prove these comments wrong, but personally it demotivates me,” she added in a second tweet



A quick visit to the official Instagram page of the Marine Corps demonstrates Casey’s point. On Thursday, the U.S. Marines shared a video on Instagram to mark the 100th anniversary of women being a part of the organization. A number of comments on the post suggest that females are not as capable of fulfilling Marine duties as males are.

“God didn’t create men and women equal. That’s why literally forever men have been fighting the wars. Our bodies are better suited for it,” reads one Instagram comment, in part. “The standards are lower than they have ever been in the history of the Marine Corps,” another comment says.


 

Another recent post from the Marine Corps Instagram account shows 1st Lt. Marina Hierl, the first woman to become an infantry officer in the Marines. Her words and image should serve as a proud example for Americans of all genders, but there are a number of sexist comments on that post too.


 

“Women should not be in the infantry, period. Mixing men and women in combat only detracts from the mission and in the event of a dual casualty who would be saved first regardless of combat effectiveness,” reads a comment on that post, in part. And as with the other post, there are plenty of arguments in the comments section about standards in the Marine Corps.

Based on Casey’s tweet and her Instagram, it appears she is a corporal in the Marine Corps, but she has chosen not to reenlist. Casey also tweeted recently that she was accepted to the University of Alabama, so it seems she is choosing to focus on her education. Casey didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo’s request for comment via Twitter.

She also posted previously about how she was just trying to be a Marine, and her male counterparts always told her she didn’t belong.


One person who responded to Casey’s tweet encouraged her to speak up to her superior officers and thanked her for her service.


Amid other the responses to Casey’s tweet, one Twitter user linked to a Department of Defense report about sexual assault in the military. The report, published in April, found that the 2017 fiscal year saw an increase in the number of military sexual assaults that were reported. The report notes that there were 6,769 military sexual assaults reported in that year, an increase from the 6,172 reports in the 2016 fiscal year. That’s not necessarily bad news, though — it likely signifies that the rate of reporting has increased, not that there have been more assaults.

Of course, sexual assault is a different issue from sexist comments on social media posts. But the responses to Casey’s tweet are a reminder that there are many ways women in the military can be mistreated. There’s a reason the tweet seems to have struck a chord with so many people with military experience. Women in the Marine Corps are making tremendous sacrifices for their country — and they deserve the same respect as their male counterparts.

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