Several public figures and others on Twitter are condemning The Wall Street Journal for an op-ed published Friday that suggested incoming first lady Jill Biden should “drop the ‘Dr.’” before her name, with some saying the piece was “trash” and “misogynistic.”
The op-ed, written by essayist and short-story writer Joseph Epstein, argues that “‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic” and opens by addressing President-elect Joe Biden’s wife as “Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo.”
“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,’” Epstein writes. “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,” the writer adds.
By Saturday afternoon, “Joseph Epstein” and “Dr. Biden” were the No. 1 and No. 3 top trending topics on Twitter in the U.S.
In the opinion piece, Epstein, who currently serves as an emeritus lecturer of English at Northwestern University, noted that he “taught at Northwestern University for 30 years without a doctorate or any advanced degree.”
“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.
“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,” Epstein concludes. “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.”
Several people, from medical doctors and Ph.D. holders to political figures, took to Twitter to criticize Epstein’s argument.
This is an excerpt from Thehill