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America was taken aback on Dec. 11 by an article published in the Wall Street Journal. The author, Joseph Epstein, entitled it, “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” The article contended that because Jill Biden (the soon-to-be First Lady) had not delivered a baby, she should not be referred to as Dr. Jill Biden. This statement is not only false, but is inherently misogynistic and demonstrative of society’s continuous disdain for women in power.
In Epstein’s article, he writes, “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.” He goes on to write that calling Biden a doctor feels “fraudulent” and “a touch comic.” It isn’t.
Biden studied for years to obtain her doctorate and deserves the right to be celebrated for that milestone. It doesn’t matter if she has a doctorate in education or medicine or archaeology; if you have a doctorate, you are a doctor.
Epstein, a man with only a bachelor of arts degree, calling Biden “kiddo” and giving her demeaning advice is incredibly sexist. Chances are he would never question the legitimacy of an identical doctorate were it held by a man. Furthermore, he would probably never attempt to give a man advice concerning their use of the “Dr.” title. Perhaps Epstein should try to achieve his own doctorate (not in a field of medicine, might I add), and then see if he would like to be known as a doctor.
This article is the perfect example of society looking down on and suppressing highly educated women. Epstein subliminally mocks Biden for getting her doctorate at the University of Delaware by comparing it to his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago. It is mind-blowing that a man who has spent far less time educating himself than Biden is trying to put down her intelligence time and time again.
Why does he feel the need to mock her? Does it make him feel powerful? Does it make him feel better about himself? Apparently so, as Epstein spends much of the article bragging about his achievements as a professor. However, being a professor does not make him better than Biden. In fact, his ill-informed, poorly written argument only emphasizes that Biden, as well as anyone who has a doctorate, deserves to be respected for their work.