Marines United spokesman says nude photo leak proves women shouldn't serve

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

A spokesman for Marines United seemed to draw all of the wrong conclusions when asked to explain why members of the 30,000-member Facebook group made up of current and former military personnel distributed nude photos of their female colleagues.

In an interview with the Daily Beast, former U.S. Marine Marshall Chiles suggested the scandal was the result of "integration" problems in the military — proof that perhaps women shouldn't serve alongside men at all. 

"I think the exploitation of sharing nudity of other service members online will eventually get solved, but ... you still have special cases going on inside units," Chiles said. "So when you integrate women, those numbers are going to spike up within those infantry units and that's just more things for the Marine Corps to worry about."

Chiles dismissed the incident with a "boys will be boys" kind of attitude, telling the Daily Beast that bad behavior is inevitable when you get a group of 30,000 men together; there will always be "1% or 10%" who will make bad decisions. He saw attempts to put an end to the military's problem with sexual harassment and assault as futile.

"The Marine Corps is supposed to go out and win wars, being the front line of defense for America," he told the outlet. "So why should would we integrate women when we know it's going to happen and it's just going to continue to be a huge distraction?"

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand questions Marine Gen. Robert Neller during a March 14 hearing regarding the Marine nude photo scandal.
Source: 
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Despite Chiles' suggestion that women be made scapegoats for their male colleagues' indiscretion, Savannah Cunningham — one of the women whose photos were share din the Facebook group — said she's hopeful the Marines' toxic masculinity problem will change.

"Someone needs to stand up and say this does not represent the values of the Marine Corps," she said in an interview with the New York Times. "If not me, then who? Yes, for a long time it was a boys' club, but there needs to be progress."

Cunningham, 19, starts basic training in the Marine Corps in April.

"We have to be positive examples of the change we want to see," she told the Times. "Courage, integrity, honor: I want to live those values."

As hearings and investigations into the nude photo scandal continue, senators like Kristen Gilibrand are pressing the military to make substantive changes to its culture. 

"It is a serious problem when we have members of our military denigrating female marines who will give their life to this country in the way they have with no response from leadership," Gillibrand told Marine Gen. Robert Neller, who said he didn't know who was being held accountable for the scandal.

"I can tell you, your answers today are unsatisfactory," Gilibrand said. "They do not go far enough." 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

New York politicians used NYC Pride to stand with LGBTQ people in their fight against oppression

Politicians used 2017 New York City Pride to assure LGBTQ people that they would stand for their rights.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

New York politicians used NYC Pride to stand with LGBTQ people in their fight against oppression

Politicians used 2017 New York City Pride to assure LGBTQ people that they would stand for their rights.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.