Backlash ensued after the Wall Street Journal published an anti-intellectual and misogynist op-ed calling on incoming First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to drop her professional title and forget about her doctorate degree.
In what can be considered the first big right-wing attack on President-Elect Joe Biden’s wife, college lecturer Joseph Epstein brought shame to Northwestern University and the conservative-leaning publication by insulting Dr. Jill Biden and the doctorate she earned.
“Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo, ‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic,” Epstein wrote in the op-ed. “Your degree is, I believe, an Ed.D., a doctor of education, earned at the University of Delaware through a dissertation with the unpromising title ‘Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs,’ a wise man once said that no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc.”
Seriously, does anyone remember any such calls for men to drop their professional titles and forget about their degrees when they entered public office? Would Epstein be saying the same thing if a Republican were about to take office? Would he have said this about Melania Trump if she had a doctorate and ‘Dr.’ in front of her name?
It’s not only sexist and misogynist, it’s a prime example of anti-intellectualism. But Epstein wasn’t done.
“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 wrote. “As for your Ed.D., Madame First Lady, hard-earned though it may have been, please consider stowing it, at least in public, at least for now. 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.”
In other words, Epstein is demanding that Dr. Biden be a good little housewife who hides her professional and educational accolades in shame. It’s truly sickening, especially since Epstein himself has a mere honorary doctorate that he did not earn. Dr. Jill Biden worked hard to earn her doctorate and deserves the respect and pride that comes with it.
People were outraged by the op-ed and expressed their disgust on Twitter.
The author could’ve used fewer words to just say “ya know in my day we didn’t have to respect women.” https://t.co/jr9hICPzV4
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) December 12, 2020
A waste of column space. After calling Dr. Biden kiddo & dismissing her dissertation on support for community college education, we have to endure a long brag because the author took his final exam on a pool table on a military base. Tired of the misogyny. https://t.co/M2UjbVsp9h
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) December 12, 2020
Mr. Epstein is clearly making up for something. Dr. Biden can absolutely use her honorific. It was not bestowed upon her, she earned it. Those of us with MD will not suffer for her using it. #misogynist much? https://t.co/jqFCtIRyt7 via @WSJ
— Cathleen London MD (@DrChaya) December 12, 2020
I am appalled and unsurprised that the @WSJ would print this trash.
She is Dr. Biden, First Lady-to-be, give her the respect she deserves. https://t.co/GYZUknPVBm
— Dara Kass, MD (@darakass) December 12, 2020
Dr. Biden earned her degrees through hard work and pure grit. She is an inspiration to me, to her students, and to Americans across this country. This story would never have been written about a man. pic.twitter.com/mverJiOsxC
— Doug Emhoff (@DouglasEmhoff) December 12, 2020
Frankly, not only should people contact the Wall Street Journal to demand a retraction and an apology from the publication and the author, they should contact Northwestern University and ask why they have a misogynist ahole on their payroll and if that ahole’s op-ed reflects the beliefs and values of the school. The school should be embarrassed enough to make Epstein a former lecturer instead of allowing him to continue teaching. Because Dr. Biden intends to be First Lady and continue teaching. We need more teachers like her, not Epstein.
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