It's the year 2020. The world at large is battling a pandemic. And still, a man believes he has the right to tell a woman, that too the incoming First Lady of the USA, to drop the title of 'Dr.' from her name because it's a doctorate. Unfortunately, this isn't the premise of a strange post-apocalyptic fiction but actually what happened.
An op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal asked Dr. Jill Biden, the incoming First Lady, to drop the title from her name because she isn't a medical doctor.
And to ensure that the op-ed completely reeked of misogyny, the writer began the article by addressing her as 'kiddo', and within the first paragraph itself, dismissed her education, ridiculed her hard work by mocking her dissertation subject, and reduced the entire medical science to the ability to deliver babies.
The writer's intention may have been to be flippant or sarcastic, but the tone was purely sexist. It's not just unfortunate but downright despicable that even in 2020 a woman who has worked hard to earn her degree and done a commendable job at her profession is attacked for her qualifications, simply because she is a woman.
And there is no question about this op-ed being motivated by misogyny because Dr. Jill Biden is certainly not the first person with a doctorate to use Dr. as a title.
She does appear to the first person though who was questioned and 'called out' over it. Of course, she had the perfect response to the article:
Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) December 14, 2020
While the chauvinistic op-ed had no place in 2020, it was heartening to see former First Ladies Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton come out in support of Dr. Jill Biden. Because it's 2020, when women lift other women up, especially when certain men struggle to accept qualified women in powerful positions.
Her name is Dr. Jill Biden. Get used to it.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 13, 2020
Rightfully, many other people also took to social media to criticize the article for its sexist tone and outrightly rude 'suggestion':
My my, Mr. Epstein, aren’t you on a high horse. How easy it is to condescend to and patronize a woman, especially one you imagine needs taking down a peg. Why don’t you pick on someone of your own size and small-minded misogyny? You can start with #PresidentDonaldTrump https://t.co/hx0EMJ2m0M— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) December 13, 2020
All those words in the Wall Street journal complaining about Dr. Jill Biden when “Dr.” Phil exists— Rhea “defund the police” Butcher (@RheaButcher) December 13, 2020
Both non-medical doctors whose work benefits humanity does not = a comparison of experiences, contributions, leadership and influence.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) December 13, 2020
Please don’t contrive reasons to be frustrated. There are enough legitimate reasons. https://t.co/DNQ5VR4lH5
I've Tweeted this before but in light of the WSJ op-ed I thought I'd re-up this deposition of my mother in 1984. pic.twitter.com/QnbdWElvE1— Conor Dougherty (@ConorDougherty) 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
Disrespectful article and Joseph Epstein probably needs to get through his thick skull that not all doctors deliver babies. Shame on the Wall Street Journal for publishing this shit piece #WallStreetJournal— Rene Kunisch (@10MagicHat) December 12, 2020
Dr. Biden holds a doctoral degree, not an honorary one like #Epstein does.— TheWholeTruth (@manda_kalyan) December 12, 2020
"No one should call himself "Dr" unless he's delivered a child"
One of the most Idiotic & Outdated lines I've read.
By that logic, even Dr. Fauci doesn't qualify as one.#WSJRetractNow #WSJmisogyny
Just so I’m clear, the proper title for someone who is a doctor AND a First Lady elect is Kiddo? I’m surprised you didn’t mention her MRS degree. Seems about right for you. #WSJmisogyny #WSJRetractNow #kiddo @WSJ— Amy Montry (@MontryAmy) December 13, 2020
If The Wall Street Journal is asking Dr. Jill Biden to drop the “Dr.”, let’s demand that The Wall Street Journal drop the Journal! Cause they are not!— Common Sense 🇺🇸🇦🇫🏳️🌈 (@commons96055467) December 13, 2020
The anger over this is warranted. Dr. Jill Biden earned her degree she deserves the respect to be referred to as doctor. Case closed. Wall Street Journal owes Dr. Biden an apology. pic.twitter.com/hsYQcAK7KS— Will Thomas (@no1important701) December 12, 2020
Joseph Epstein, born in 1937, has a B.A. @WSJopinion @WSJ— mollyswordmcdonough 🌊 (@mollysmcdonough) December 12, 2020
Strange, but true, Mr. Epstein, but you don’t decide who is called “Doctor.”
That duty lies with the universities that confer doctoral degrees.
The misogyny is dripping from the pages of the Wall Street Journal.
The sexist #WSJ column kicked off by calling the future first lady "kiddo" and admonished her for using the title “doctor," that she obtained after 15 years of work while raising her three children— Nguyen #fbpe #fbr (@haaohaoo) December 13, 2020
Its author, #JosephEpstein, has only a bachelor's degree https://t.co/b99a9mZfaD
Joseph Esptein writes a Wall Street Journal opinion piece urging first lady-elect Dr. Jill Biden to stop using the ‘Dr.’ title in front of her name, even though she earned a doctoral degree.— ERIC JEM🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊 (@mubazieric) December 12, 2020
This kind of Chauvinism and misogyny has no room in a civilized world.#DrBiden pic.twitter.com/QIzmScfz2k
The Wall Street Journal @WSJopinion needs to get their facts straight or are they intimidated by strong women who have more education than the sum total of the lot of them? Obviously they haven't done their homework.— sjmiller (@sjmille64201139) December 12, 2020
Jill Biden, Ph.D spent +/- 10 yrs getting her doctorate, kiddo! https://t.co/9A2WXF8pH2
@WSJ - I have an earned doctorate in chemistry and ran medical labs for 27 years. Shall I tell all my former clients that I wasn’t a real doctor and that they should call me #kiddo? Fire #JosephEpstein https://t.co/UQi7bSO6Zg— tothehills (@tothehills3) December 14, 2020
Imagine being so full of yourself that you think the world needs to know your opinion of @DrBiden’s use of her professional title. But worse yet, imagine being the editor who thinks, “oh sure, we’ll publish that. This is what the world needs.” #WSJmisogyny— Celia (@CeliaMarshik) December 13, 2020
The word 'doctor' comes from the Latin word for "teacher." https://t.co/wUihrn6Hyq— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) December 12, 2020
Even physicians came out in support of Dr. Jill Biden, reiterating not just the importance of a doctorate degree but also the need to not pull down one person's achievements:
PSA: I am a physician who should be addressed as 'Dr.' and my best friend is a DPT who should be addressed as 'Dr.' and my college professors were PhDs who should be addressed as 'Dr.' and @DrBiden has an Ed.D. and should also absolutely be addressed as 'Dr.'— Averi Wilson-Raya, MD (@AveriWilsonMD) December 13, 2020
There 👏🏻 are 👏🏻 more 👏🏻 doctorate 👏🏻 degrees 👏🏻 than 👏🏻 just 👏🏻 a 👏🏻 medical 👏🏻 doctorate 👏🏻 and 👏🏻 they 👏🏻 all 👏🏻 are 👏🏻 valid 👏🏻 and 👏🏻 deserve 👏🏻 respect‼️@WSJopinion y’all really let this misogynistic crap make it into print?!?!? #DrJillBiden https://t.co/1x9P7aeEBp— Y’all Means All 🏳️🌈 (@almostdr_obrien) December 12, 2020
My fabulous physical therapist has a Ph.D in it, and my pharmacist has a doctorate in it. They are Doctors.— linda wick (@kokoyumyum) December 15, 2020
As a clinician, my Doc Pharm has educated me and helped my patients, when I could not by myself.
Dr. Biden worked damn hard for her doctorate so if she wants to be called Dr. Jill Biden than she damn well will be. And you can bet your ass if I decide to go back to school for my doctorate I’m gonna make damn sure that people refer to me as Doctor #TheView pic.twitter.com/QrEcBckZO8— Phenomenally Black ✊🏾 🌊🌊 Biden/Harris 2020 (@luvwinsresist) December 14, 2020
As of now, the WSJ editor has defended the op-ed, blaming the 'cancel culture' instead. Clearly, somewhere in the WSJ editorial room, there's a boys club failing to understand why a bunch of women are upset about their academic qualifications being dismissed so easily. Sadly, there's no doctor who can cure toxic masculinity.