One day after a Pentagon report revealed a jump in military sexual assaults, more evidence has emerged of disturbing behavior toward female service members.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) issued a letter Wednesday to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Marine Commandant James Amos and Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks, alerting them to a Facebook page displaying content degrading female members of the U.S. Marine Corps. She urged that action be taken.
The background wallpaper for "F'N Wook" shows a woman's breasts, and includes numerous pictures depicting women in various forms of nudity and being verbally and sometimes physically abused. The page also includes images of women taken without their permission, inviting commenters to add their own captions. Many of the pictures imply women only advance professionally by performing sexual favors and otherwise promote the idea that women are inferior and only useful as sexual objects and sandwich makers.
Speier added that the sexual assault numbers show reforms to be "woefully insufficient" thus far.
"The military cannot eradicate this problem without fundamentally changing its approach, including its tolerance of participation in these kinds of websites," she wrote.
(Warning: this contains graphic images.) To view a full copy of Speier's letter, click here.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a whistleblower alerted Speier to the incident. Stars and Stripes adds that the Facebook page in question has since been taken down, but contained more than 10,000 likes and hundreds of comments on various photos.
In Tuesday's annual report released by the Department of Defense, sexual assaults rose by six percent from October 2011 to September 2012. Approximately 26,000 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact -- a jump of 7,000 from statistics detailed in the military's 2010 report.
The Marines issued an e-mail statement Wednesday to NBC Bay Area, noting that service members are "responsible for all content they publish on social networking sites" and "there is no tolerance for discriminatory comments." The TV station's report added that the "F'N Wook" Facebook page has been on the Marines' radar for three years.