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Wall Street Journal Condemned For Demanding Jill Biden Drop Her ‘Doctor’ Title

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The Wall Street Journal sparked widespread backlash for publishing an opinion piece on Friday calling on incoming first lady Jill Biden to “drop the doctor” title before her name, saying it “sounds and feels fraudulent.” Several public figures slammed the op-ed, calling it “trash” and “misogynistic.”

In the op-ed, conservative columnist 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.

“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.”

By Saturday afternoon, “Joseph Epstein” and “Dr. Biden” were the No. 1 and No. 3 top trending topics on Twitter in the U.S.

Several people, from medical doctors and Ph.D. holders to political figures, took to Twitter to criticize Epstein’s argument.

Fellow education scholars also came to Jill Biden’s defense, with Ebony Elizabeth Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education writing, “President and Dr. Biden will be how they are addressed. Period.”

Multiple users holding medical degrees also vocalized their support for Jill Biden to use the title of doctor, including Cathleen London, a family medicine physician from Maine.

“Dr. Biden can absolutely use her honorific,” London tweeted. “It was not bestowed upon her, she earned it. Those of us with MD will not suffer for her using it.”

Read some of the reactions below:

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