“Madame First Lady –Mrs. Biden–Jill–kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name?” author Joseph Epstein wrote for his piece.
Epstein argues that because Biden’s doctorate relates to education rather than anything medical, the incoming first lady does not deserve the title.
“The Ph.D. may once have held prestige, but that has been diminished by the erosion of seriousness and the relaxation of standards in university education generally, at any rate outside the sciences,” Epstein argues, adding that “political correctness” is partly behind the decline of doctorate degrees.
Epstein claims that Biden’s “dissertation with the unpromising title ‘Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs’.” is not enough to honor her with the title, citing an unnamed “wise man” who opined that “no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child.”
“Forget the small thrill of being Dr. Jill, and settle for the larger thrill of living for the next four years in the best public housing in the world as First Lady Jill Biden,” Epstein, who possesses an honorary doctorate, writes in his conclusion.
The author’s blunt tone and questioning of Biden’s degree has set off a flurry of angry defenders on social media, many of whom have slammed The Wall Street Journal for running the “misogynistic” piece.
“What is this misogynistic crap you are publishing @WSJopinion?” Democrat strategist Eric Jotkoff tweeted.
“This piece is cringe-inducing and dripping with resentment,” Lincoln Project senior advisor Tom Nichols added.
“Translation of this piece: ‘I have status anxiety and I’m playing it out by attacking a woman for using the title Dr.–which she is fully entitled to use,’” Lawfare Blog editor in chief Benjamin Wittes wrote.
Epstein’s use of the term “kiddo” to address Biden was also particularly triggering for critics.
Jill Biden earned her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007 at the age of 55 and has since then been mostly referred to as “Dr. Jill Biden” in official documents.
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