The doctorate understander has entered the chat.
On Friday, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by essayist Joseph Epstein calling on first lady-elect Jill Biden to stop calling herself a doctor even though she is literally a doctor of education, holding an Ed.D. from the University of Delaware.
Epstein—a former lecturer of English at Northwestern University who holds an honorary doctorate, himself—defended his “Sir, this is an Arby’s”-level, out-of-nowhere argument by claiming that it’s “fraudulent” and “a touch comic” for doctors who aren’t medical doctors to using the “Dr.” honorific, as Biden does. But after reading the op-ed, which opens with “Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo,” it’s pretty clear that he’s just grappling with some unprocessed, garden-variety misogyny by way of boring, intra-academic elitism concerning something that no more than 37 or 38 people max could possibly truly care about? I mean, I’m only speaking for myself here as a humble bloghag, but who fuuuuucking cares? People with doctorates are doctors. It’s not that fucking deep. Does anyone think global warming is a good thing? I love Lady Gaga. I think she’s a really interesting artist.
Anyway, Northwestern, which up until recently listed Epstein as an “honorary emeritus lecturer,” appears to have removed his profile from its website. “Northwestern is firmly committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and strongly disagrees with Mr. Epstein’s misogynistic views,” the University wrote in a statement to student newspaper The Daily Northwestern, per Newsweek.
Biden has not commented on the matter directly, but a spokesperson for the first lady-elect has called the op-ed “pretty gross.”