Hartwick College's Student Newspaper

The View From Oyaron Hill

Response to 

“Why feminism is not necessary”


Kayce Savoie

One day as I was scrolling through Twitter, as one does when bored or avoiding homework and/or the stress that comes with being a college student, I came across a picture of an article that sparked my interest. The article, titled “Why feminism is not necessary,, written by Wesley Joubert, was starting a small uproar with some of the people I follow on Twitter. In the article, Joubert tries to tell his readers that things such as the wage gap don’t exist and only certain kinds of sexual harassment are worthy to be seen as a wrongful act. He wrote so confidently, yet with each line I read, he was unable to make me believe a single word he was trying to convey.

I am currently taking the course “Women, Men, and Politics” with Professor Laurel Elder this semester, and a large section of our course deals with feminism and what role it plays for women in politics and in general. While some individuals and groups believe that the term “feminism” should change, because it is too specific and needs to be switched with a term that could include any type of human being trying to gain equality, that is not what Joubert is attempting to do in his writing.

He says that feminism shouldn’t be a “thing” because there is absolutely no need for it anymore. Joubert thinks that women are trying to keep it around as an issue. He actually wrote, “The wage gap isn’t a real thing. The thing is, we don’t do the same jobs.” He then tries to say that more men are hired as businessmen and lawyers, while more women are hired as secretaries and teachers. Then he says women seek out these jobs because they are looking to receive health benefits and time off for when they are pregnant. 

Something that should be taken into consideration is that maybe, just maybe, women are in those jobs because that’s what they love to do? But that is crazy, right? Women are only here on this Earth to make babies. Why is this still even a discussion we are having? It is 2015, we should be past all of this. If a woman wanted to go to college and get a job as a teacher, she should not be seen as trying to get the easy way out to create a good life for a non-existent baby that she may or may not have in the distant future.

Joubert also tries to make a point about women and sexual harassment, which I do not think was the smartest thing he could have done. The only part I agree with is that when we tell people not to do something, some people are still going to do it. But that doesn’t mean we stop trying to tell people not to do it anymore. Joubert thinks that men shouldn’t have be told not to sexually harass women anymore. While I am well aware of the fact sexual harassment, on any level to any person, man or woman, will continue until the end of time, at least to some degree, this does not mean that people shouldn’t be punished for it. 

He attempts to say that a woman who feels uncomfortable with the way a man talks to her shouldn’t, and has no reason to bring it to anyone’s attention. He says that it is “disrespectful” and gives women a “borderline victim complex.” He writes as if women are attacking men when they feel offended or uncomfortable, which is not always true but is understandable with the world we have grown up in. Growing up, I was told to watch out for men and the things they say; while it may seem like a compliment, that’s not always the case. This is twisted, I will agree, but you cannot blame women for this. Blame older generations or past societies, but not women. You cannot tell someone they should feel a certain way; they should not have to justify their feelings.

I would also like to point out that not once in Joubert’s piece did he bring in factual knowledge about the wage gap, instead simply stating what he believes is happening. The thing is, the wage gap does exist, along with gender bias. These are things that are still occurring in society today, and this article is a sign that they aren’t going away any time soon. The fact that Joubert is denying that there is a problem, is the problem. Until we, as a whole, can accept the issue of inequality throughout all aspects of our culture, and not just for women, nothing is going to get better for anyone. The longer people are ignorant about inequality, the longer feminists and other activists will seek to educate them about inequality.

So stand up for yourself and what you believe in, and feel the way you want to feel. If you ended up reading this whole semi-rant I had about something I found on Twitter, thank you. You rock.