Dr. Jill Biden shall not concede to Epstein’s request to remove ‘Dr.’ from her title


Creative Commons image through Wikimedia Commons by the White House

On Dec. 11, Joseph Epstein wrote an op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal requesting Dr. Jill Biden remove the ‘Dr.’ from her title. The story comes off as misogynistic and disdainful towards Biden and her title.

Dr. Jill Biden should not drop the ‘doctor’ from her title regardless of the opinion of Joseph Epstein. Epstein’s op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal was misogynistic and discretionary towards Biden’s doctorate in education. She earned her title and will serve as a symbol to young women everywhere as a woman of power.

On Dec. 11, Joseph Epstein published an op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal calling future first lady, Dr. Jill Biden’s title ‘comic’ and ‘fraudulent.’ He suggests that since she has a doctorate in education and not a medical degree, she should not use it in her title. Controversy has arisen from this article as it was misogynistic, and Epstein finds a doctorate an easy title to earn, even though he only has what he call an “honorary doctorate.” 

Epstein argues that earning a doctorate degree has become very easy and barely merits an ounce of prestige, as well as the idea that someone should not go by ‘doctor’ if they lack a medical degree.

“Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the “Dr.” before your name?” Epstein wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

Epstein’s language, especially the use of the word ‘kiddo’ and choosing to address her as ‘Mrs. Biden’ instead of ‘Dr. Biden’ bluntly shows his misogyny towards women and their choice of title. Epstein comes off offended and disdainful with a superiority complex while discussing this topic, which gives Dr. Biden even more reason to stick to her title and stand by her education and achievement. 

Later on in the article, Epstein comments that “in the social sciences and humanities,” using ‘Dr.’ in one’s title is thought of as “bush league.”

Epstein finds that someone using “Dr.” in their title is fraudulent because they do not have a medical degree. It should be pointed out that ‘Dr.’ is a doctorate, a level of education that can be earned in any field, while an ‘M.D.’ is specific to the medical field and those who have this degree, use ‘M.D.’ in their title. It is not ‘fraudulent’ or ‘comic’ for Biden to use the doctorate she earned as her title, but however a right of passage, not to be disregarded by a reporter writing an op-ed piece. 

“It’s great that she [Dr. Biden] can do that, because it proves that it is possible for people and for women especially to be in higher power positions,” freshman Anya Williams said.

Although much has changed, women still feel pressures of misogyny in America’s society. Many find it crucial to see a woman, like them, in a place of power to pave the way for young women.

As a woman heading into the prestigious role of Madame First Lady, it is even more crucial for Biden to stand true to her title for all the young women throughout the country that look up to her. Women are empowered to see a woman in power such as herself taking control of and embracing her power.