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Biden Team Slams Op-Ed Urging Jill To Drop ‘Dr.’ Title As ‘Gross, Sexist And Patronising’

by : Julia Banim on :
Biden Team Slams Op-Ed Urging Jill To Drop Dr. Title As 'Gross, Sexist And Patronising'DrBiden/Twitter/PA Images

Members of President-elect Joe Biden’s team have slammed a ‘gross, sexist and patronising’ op-ed penned by The Wall Street Journal essayist Joseph Epstein.

In the article, Epstein – who holds no postgraduate qualifications – took a condescending tone throughout, referring to future First Lady Dr. Jill Biden as ‘Madame First Lady – Mrs. Biden – Jill – kiddo’ before going on to offer some unrequested ‘advice’.

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The crux of the article appeared to be Epstein’s apparant frustrations with Dr. Biden using the prefix ‘Dr’ in her title, despite not being a medical doctor.

Dr. Biden earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware in 2007, completing a dissertation focused on improving student retention rates in America’s community colleges.

She also holds not one but two Master’s Degrees in the field of education, which she studied for while working and raising her family.

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The future First Lady is therefore perfectly entitled to use the term ‘Dr.’, which she has earned through many years of hard work and dedication.

However, in his op-ed, Epstein stated that the title ‘sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic’, sneering:

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.

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Members of President-elect Biden’s team have now come forward to support Dr. Biden, with communications director Kate Bedingfield blasting the article as ‘patronizing, sexist, elitist drivel’:

Dr. B earned a doctorate in education, so we call her Doctor. The title Mr. Epstein has earned here is perhaps not fit for mixed company.

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Jen Psaki, who will serve as the White House press secretary under the new Biden administration, tweeted:

You are not alone if today is the first day you googled ‘Joseph Epstein’ because you were curious who popped out of a 1950’s time warp to write the below for the WSJ.

Meanwhile, Dr. Biden’s transition team spokesperson, Michael LaRosa, described the article as ‘pretty gross’, a sentiment that appears to be widely shared among those who appreciate the time and commitment that goes into earning a PhD.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Jill Biden, Joe Biden, Now

Credits

Wall Street Journal and 3 others
  1. Wall Street Journal

    Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.

  2. Michael LaRosa/Twitter

    @MichaelLaRosaDC

  3. Kate Bedingfield/Twitter

    @KBeds

  4. Jen Psaki/Twitter

    @jrpsaki