Dr. Jill Biden should not use her ‘Dr.’ title, claims Wall Street Journal douche

Dr Jill Biden at the Women For Biden Drive-In Rally

Weeks before Election Day, Dr. Jill Biden posted a vintage photo of herself and Joe Biden on what must have been the year they met or married. When I saw the photo, I suddenly realized that Dr. Jill was a major Hot Blonde back in the day. I would even argue that she’s still a Hot Blonde! But you know what I mean – she was beautiful, blonde and perky, and she even modeled for a time. But Jill was always more than a pretty face – she had a good heart, she loved teaching, and she was able to gather up the broken pieces of the Biden family and put them back together. Beau and Hunter loved Jill. Joe adores her so much.

Jill had her Bachelor’s degree when she met Joe and fell in love, but throughout the early years of their marriage, she worked as a teacher and slowly got her Masters in Education in 1981, the same year she gave birth to Ashley Biden. She took some time off to be a mom, then went back to work and went back to school. She got her second Masters, this time a Masters of Arts in English, in 1987. For years, she continued to work as a teacher and a professor, raise a family, and go to school. In 2007, at the age of 55, she earned a Doctorate of Education. The entire time her husband was VP, she continued to work as a community college professor. She’s already indicated that she would like to retain her professorship as First Lady too. Which brings me to this – a Wall Street Journal op-ed Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” Sub-head: “Jill Biden should think about dropping the honorific, which feels fraudulent, even comic.” The piece is by Joseph Epstein. Here’s part of it:

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? “Dr. Jill Biden” sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic. 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. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc.

I taught at Northwestern University for 30 years without a doctorate or any advanced degree. I have only a B.A. in absentia from the University of Chicago—in absentia because I took my final examination on a pool table at Headquarters Company, Fort Hood, Texas, while serving in the peacetime Army in the late 1950s. I do have an honorary doctorate, though I have to report that the president of the school that awarded it was fired the year after I received it, not, I hope, for allowing my honorary doctorate. During my years as a university teacher I was sometimes addressed, usually on the phone, as “Dr. Epstein.” On such occasions it was all I could do not to reply, “Read two chapters of Henry James and get into bed. I’ll be right over.”

I was also often addressed as Dr. during the years I was editor of the American Scholar, the quarterly magazine of Phi Beta Kappa. Let me quickly insert that I am also not a member of Phi Beta Kappa, except by marriage. Many of those who so addressed me, I noted, were scientists. I also received a fair amount of correspondence from people who appended the initials Ph.D. to their names atop their letterheads, and have twice seen PHD on vanity license plates, which struck me as pathetic. In contemporary universities, in the social sciences and humanities, calling oneself Dr. is thought bush league.

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. Getting a doctorate was then an arduous proceeding: One had to pass examinations in two foreign languages, one of them Greek or Latin, defend one’s thesis, and take an oral examination on general knowledge in one’s field. At Columbia University of an earlier day, a secretary sat outside the room where these examinations were administered, a pitcher of water and a glass on her desk. The water and glass were there for the candidates who fainted. A far cry, this, from the few doctoral examinations I sat in on during my teaching days, where candidates and teachers addressed one another by first names and the general atmosphere more resembled a kaffeeklatsch. Dr. Jill, I note you acquired your Ed.D. as recently as 15 years ago at age 55, or long after the terror had departed.

[From WSJ]

No. F–k you. No. Cancelled. No. “A wise man once said that no one should call himself “Dr.” unless he has delivered a child.” What about giving birth to a child while studying for her first Masters? What about raising three children while studying for her second masters? And sorry, men and women who want to raise their kids and work and THEN go back to school because it’s their dream to get a MA or PhD – you suck, according to this douche. We will call her Dr. Jill Biden or Dr. FLOTUS or Madame First Lady Doctor Jill until we are blue in the face. She earned her degrees and I admire her so much.

Jill Biden Hosts Educator Mobilization Rally in Montgomery County

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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153 Responses to “Dr. Jill Biden should not use her ‘Dr.’ title, claims Wall Street Journal douche”

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  1. Daisyfly says:

    Man without a doctorate angry at woman with doctorate because he doesn’t have one. Also, man angry at woman because she’s a woman.

    • Esmom says:

      Exactly. I can’t believe this screed saw the light of day (“kiddo”?!?). Actually yes I can. The WSJ has gotta pander to the MAGAs somehow.

    • AnnaKist says:

      What Daisyfly said. I was just reading this on another site. Aw, he sounds like a real sore loser Republican. Suck it up, buttercup.

    • Lauren says:

      💯💯💯. You summed it up right there.

    • EJOB says:

      EXACTLY. And Northwestern has already issued a statement about this guy–he was an “adjunct speaker” there and has not been there for over 20 years. Not a professor. Not on staff. Not on campus in decades.

      • VS says:

        yep, I saw how NWU rebutted Epstein with a public statement! can you imagine be associated with someone like that?

      • windyriver says:

        A legend in his own mind, apparently.

        Apparently also a homophobe from way back, prior to his tenure at American Scholar, if what Wikipedia says is true about the article he wrote in 1970.

        It’s going to be a tough four years for these people. A VP who is a woman, and a POC, and has a husband who’s Jewish. A FLOTUS with three advanced degrees. Multiple high profile administration officials who are women, or POC, or women who are POC.

        These snowflakes really are just melting down all over the place at the prospect.

    • VS says:

      I got so angry yesterday about that column; how did the WSJ let something so nasty be published? maybe it is time I cancelled my subscription…..

      • Courtney B says:

        My husband said the same thing. The WSJ leans conservative but to publish THIS? What the hell?

      • Eleonora says:

        Cancel it and tell them why you did.

        I boycott and stop buying stuff from those who attack women all the time. It’s very satisfying.

        Loss of money is the only thing they care about

      • liz says:

        The WSJ is controlled by the Murdochs. The same family that controls Fox News. The Journal is simply the more sophisticated & literate outlet for their bigotry.

      • Hi VS —- Rupert Murdoch owns the Wall St Journal and Fox News. That should tell you everything about why this article made the WSJ.

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      THANK YOU!! FIRST thing that popped: “I have only a B.A. in absentia from the University of Chicago”. PETTY LITTLE MAN (remind you of anyone???) JEALOUS that a WOMAN has what he failed, or lacked the ambition, to achieve!! That is ALL this article amounts to.

      • Courtney B says:

        Well it’s obviously because it was soooo much more rigorous then. If he was getting it now OF COURSE he’d have one. Anyone can apparently get one.

      • Oh-Dear says:

        I wrote this on twitter – this is peak white male mediocracy patting himself on the back for falling into success while tearing down a woman who had to work hard for hers. The fact that this piece could be published in a national editorial is why we have to continue to amplify women/womxn’s voices, experiences, opinions, perspectives and contributions.
        I am one chapter away from completing my EdD dissertation so I am invested in this conversation personally and professionally, and I recognize that this attitude crosses all kinds of careers, roles, and positions, including those who opt out of the paid workforce.

    • Eleonora says:

      This. A large part of male population can’t stand well-educated women.

      With the constant attack on women, I start to lose more and more respect for male BS.

    • LahdidahBaby says:

      Thank you, Daisyfly. I’d say that sums it up perfectly.

    • khaveman says:

      So THAT’s how we’re starting this administration coverage, was all I could think. We’re saying a woman shouldn’t be able to appear as educated? The last flotus posed for nude photos, ffs. Come on, man. This would never have been printed about a male. Let’s go for some basic positivity in the next few years, not this tear-down stance.

    • 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼TOTALLY Kaiser and DaisyFly.

    • Margaret says:

      Yep. You nailed it. Male-chauvinist-piggery in its most basic form.

    • Egla says:

      What the F did I just read? I mean I have been told to my face- once by my uncle who is a university professor- that my university, diploma and master attached are worthless because I didn’t study in XYZ university instead. Also I didn’t study during their years but much later when it was easier. But writing it openly for everybody to read it’s…wow. And the beginning of this article its so ridiculous that I thought it was a parody. Why the need to write it? She IS a Dr in science and she didn’t invent that title. She worked earned that. Whatever university you choose or can afford it’s not easy to get one. Even the shittiest one. It takes time, effort, hard work and determination that that pathetic, small man is missing.

    • Sandy says:

      I have my doctorate and this kind of rhetoric is so rife, especially against female PhDs and academics, I have to physically stop myself from yelling at every person that says to me ‘oh but you’re not a real doctor are you?’.

      For some comedic relief, please watch this clip from Brooklyn Nine Nine about this exact topic: https://youtu.be/_5QoYZuMILo.

      • JanetDR says:

        Thanks Sandy!

      • Pusspants says:

        To all you ladies (and gents) with PhDs on this blog, the next time someone tells you that you aren’t a real doctor, here’s what you can tell them. A PhD is a doctoral degree, hence the shortened term Dr. It dates back to the 13th century when PhD degrees were first issued. Training for medical degrees came much later and the term Dr was used to give the medical degree legitimacy. So the original Dr. is a PhD.

        And it doesn’t sound like Mr Epstein is speaking from a position of authority on this issue. He has neither a PhD or MD.

      • schmootc says:

        “Apparently that’s a trigger for me.” I just love Andre Braugher so much.

      • Anna says:

        oooo @pusspants ! Thanks for this history lesson! #epic #burn

    • E.B. Mann says:

      “No one should call himself “Dr.” unless he has delivered a child.” Um, Douchehat, no man has EVER delivered a child. Women deliver children. It’s kind of our thing. Men, if they are present at all, are nothing more than glorified cheerleaders. Climb back in your time machine and GTFO.

  2. ABritGuest says:

    fragility & misogyny galore. No surprise from a title owned by Rupert Murdoch. I’m glad the article is being widely condemned. Do your thing DR Biden

    • josephine says:

      Right? This man is completely undone because she merely exists, an educated woman. She’s not flaunting anything (even though she has the right to). He’s just so very, very small and has so little self-worth that he has to lash out at something as stupid as a woman using Dr. because she has a Ph.D., something so common that no one else thinks twice about it. Such a sad and pathetic little creature he is. I guess he got tired of cursing homosexuality. That the WSJ gave him a platform is truly a sad day for that publication. I used to think it had some integrity but it’s clear that it’s just a vehicle for bashing women.

      I’m guessing that the author didn’t call out the former first lady for lying about her education while under oath?

    • I still can’t get over the fact that Mick Jagger’s Ex — Jerry Hall — is now married to Murdoch and Jagger hangs with them all the time. Life is truly bizarre. Jerry obviously sold her integrity and self-respect to a rich old man.

    • Joan Rivers says:

      The “Second Gentleman” stepped up here nicely — it’ll be great to have two smart, modern couples.

      The “Second Couple” will push a lot of buttons, but hey, this is modern life!

  3. Lauren says:

    Well fck him. She earned her doctorate and she should proudly call herself doctor and be called doctor until the day she dies.

    • Jellybean says:

      Too flaming right. I am proud of my doctorate. Funily enough, my supervising professor was married to a consultant surgeon. At dinner one night we all got a bit tipsy and she claimed that you need to be brighter to become a PhD than an MD. I think she was bemoaning the fact tht some of the students who came to her were better at memorising than thinking. I know I would have really struggled in medicine because of the amount they need to learn. I prefer figuring things out.

  4. Lily P says:

    ugh I live for the day misogynists (sexists) no longer have space to voice their dire opinions.

  5. equality says:

    So you have to be an MD to be called Doctor? Is he going to rail against veterinarians, dentists, and psychologists? Does he think he appears intelligent by claiming only certain degrees are worthy of the title? If the real title is no longer “prestigious” why didn’t he refuse the honorary, which is certainly NOT prestigious at all? I have never had a professor of any type who had a doctoral degree say they didn’t wish to be addressed as doctor.

    • Esmom says:

      And everyone I’ve ever encountered in education who has their doctorate is definitely referred to as doctor.

    • Juls says:

      According to this waste of air, those pesky people that have PhD’s in fields like chemistry and biology, that worked tirelessly on Covid treatments and vaccines, don’t deserve to be called Doctors either.

    • Embee says:

      Do I detect a dig at UDel as well? Snob.

      • Courtney B says:

        Double Blue hen here (myself and hubby) with two blue hen children. He can go eff himself. UD may be in a small state but it has renowned engineering, business, nursing AND educational programs.

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        Not just that, but he’s sneering at her research on Community College retention. As a Dr. (PhD History) who started out at a Community College and got a BA at a state school before heading to an elite university for PhD (thank you solid foundation from said CC and state school), he can f*ck right off!

      • windyriver says:

        He started his undergraduate education at U of I – Champaign Urbana. (Nothing wrong with that, my nephew is a recent graduate). But something that didn’t get mentioned while he was running down Delaware.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Not just an MD but one who delivers babies. I shall start greeting my dentist as “Patty,” my oncologist as “Barb,” my retina specialist as “Deepa,” and my liver specialist as “Jose.” My dermatologist will be “King Arthur,” which is the name he chose as a child when his family immigrated from China.

    • Oh-Dear says:

      never mind that doctorates in other fields reach back 800 years, the MD is only a few centuries new.

    • HockeyMom says:

      Exactly this. “Dr.” is an academic title used by many disciplines but it has become a social construct in the US to equivocate Dr. with physician. To practice medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, etc. one must have both a degree AND a state issued license. No one who has a doctorate and uses their academic Dr. title is trying to impersonate a physician. The WSJ oped with those who believe that misguided philosophy are offensively ludicrous. [long-time lurker, 1st time poster because I’m incensed at the elitism, classism, racism, and misogyny of that stance].

  6. CherHorowitz says:

    ‘Unless HE has delivered a child’ …. um exposing yourself a bit there buddy. How dare a woman pretend to be a doctor which as we all know is limited to men only?!?

    How pathetic that several people thought this was a printable and unembarrassing article for their publication.

    • Sigmund says:

      Good catch. We all saw the thinly veiled misogyny anyway, but the author is pretty blatant when he refers to this hypothetical doctor as “he”. F*ck this guy. We shouldn’t be surprised that fragile male egos are already being stomped on by DOCTOR Jill.

    • Another Anna says:

      This is the same douchebag who tried to get Birtherism going again but aimed at Kamala Harris. He’s a bitter crank and the WSJ should issue a full-throated apology.

    • kc says:

      A WISE man said that? What a joke.

  7. Millennial says:

    It’s sad to see WSJ, like so many of the newspapers, reduced to publishing click bait articles. And that’s what this is – they find someone willing to write a controversial opinion and the publish is for the clout and clicks. This one is cloaked in sexism, but then the WSJ opinion section has always leaned conservative and sexism is a central part of that belief system, so that’s unsurprising.

    Anyways, everyone go subscribe to your local newspaper before all we have left is WSJ, NYT and WaPo.

    • cer says:

      The WSJ opinion page was always a hot mess of terrible takes, well before Murdoch bought it. It operated in a completely separate, and often fact free, universe than the actual news part of the publication.

  8. TeamAwesome says:

    If he wants to talk about lax standards, how the f did he teach at Northwestern with just a Bachelors? At my community college, everyone who teaches a class that transfers has to hold a Masters degree in their subject. And trust, student retention in the community college world is the flipping holy grail with sprinkles on top.

    • Esmom says:

      I’m guessing the answer is he knew someone, sigh. And yeah, advanced degrees are more and more common in secondary education as well. Even many of my kids teachers in grade school had masters degrees. Because they are committed to learning. You can’t be a special ed teacher now, for example, at any level, without a Masters.

      • Lightpurple says:

        In MA, teachers must take continuing education in the field so pretty much everyone has at least one masters degree.

      • MinnieMae says:

        Back in the day, men could get professorships without needing an advanced degree. I’m guessing also that he got in with his experience as a writer. Lots of writing programs and lit depts will hire experienced writers with or without the MFA which counts as the terminal degree for writing. And that comment about doctoral degrees being easier to get is ridiculous. Nobody should get to the defense and not pass; it is standard to stop someone well beforehand if he or she is unlikely to make it through. It’s a huge black mark to have one of your students not pass the defense; it means you didnt prepare them well enough.

      • H says:

        I have a Masters in Education. It was REQUIRED within 6 years of employment in the state I taught in to get tenure. I paid $65,000 for my degree and got a $2,000 a year raise! Add in all the continuing ed classes every year to keep certification, and this guy can DIAF.

    • Grace says:

      @MinnieMae…YES! I also teach at a community college and it’s the same over here. Retention is everything!

    • Coco says:

      If yelling on a street corner in Evanston makes you a Northwestern employee…

  9. Dee says:

    This angered me like no other! He’s in the Trump basement of my fury! I have learned how important community college is for making a degree accessible. He’s coming from a place of ignorant privilege, by insulting her dissertation. He’s nothing but “Kiddo” to me.

  10. Porter says:

    For the record, I earned my PhD in 2013 and had to pass two language exams, a series of qualifying exams (the last of which was the oral exam) and defend my dissertation (it’s not called a thesis at the doctorate level). What standards is he saying have slipped?

    This is one of the most outrageous things I’ve read in a while, and that’s saying something!

    • Noodle says:

      @porter, I took my PhD in 2010, and while I didn’t have to take any language tests, my defense was intense. The process to get to the defense was intense. The research and writing required to get to the defense were intense. He clearly has no idea what he is talking about, as if earning a PhD is a walk in the park. Most universities require doctoral degrees of their full time faculty, with a few exceptions. I doubt Northwestern, where he taught, would hire anyone with just a BA and a Masters these days, unless they were ABD or a doctoral candidate. My best friend has a PhD in virology from Stanford, and using his criteria, I guess she shouldn’t be called “Dr.” either, even though her colleagues are the ones on the front-lines of this COVID fight in laboratories.

    • El says:

      My husband has a MS from the Netherlands. While he didn’t have to take any language courses or exams his thesis is in english. He jokes bad english is the international language of science. The author isn’t thinking why language requirements have been dropped for some disciplines.

    • Parvati Ph.D. Earned my doctorate says:

      I am writing to break down the long and arduous process required to receive a Ph.D. I earned my Ph.D. In 1997 and I have been a full professor (assistant, associate, full) for a decade at a Research 1 institute. I advise many ph.d.students and supervise their dissertations. I and my students all went through rigorous course work for first two years, qualifying exams (also known as comprehensive exams) -written and oral before a committee of five professors. Examiners can ask any question in their field. Dissertation proposals must include sufficiently original research questions that have
      not been asked before, require intense pilot studies with data collection and analysis,with results included in the proposal. Proposal defense itself is rigorous. This is all done within first five semester, while students also work as teaching or research assistants, present at conferences, write articles. Next, dissertation work begins with primary and secondary data collection, analysis, writing etc. Because of declining state support and funding cut backs, there are few tenure track job openings (whereas even back in 1997, we got job offers before finishing Ph.D.). So students must also publish in top peer reviewed journals to be competitive in the job market. My students do all of these within five years. I would say standards have risen, as now they have to do more because there is less resource. It is also tougher to receive credit as a woman, in our field, which is dominated by men. Females (esp. WOC) face the harshest criticism and are expected to perform at a much higher standard (both as a student and as a professor). I see my role as a nurturing mentor and have supervised many young women (white and WOC). I value my students and interact with them with empathy, kindness, gentleness and with total support. I am very protective, because I see how much they have to endure to succeed. The students are all brilliant and hard working and I ensure that they produce high quality research, guide them proactively, obtain funds for them, fight for their rights, stand up to bullies for them. I help them actively in their publication and presentstion efforts, because jobs are so scarce. It galls me to see such vile and dismissive comments from a jerk who has not even earned a Master’s degree.

  11. Megs says:

    UGH. Female doctoral student right here (also, actual PBK member so eff you, dude). While I personally don’t plan on using Dr. Megs (I don’t like being called Ms. Megs, so it’s more weirdness about titles), anyone who goes through this process deserves it. For my school, in addition to orals in 2 major and 2 minor fields, we have to take a foreign language reading exam to prove that we can conduct research in it, and many programs I know of still require two. Greek or Latin are still required for certain fields, but the emphasis now is on stuff you will actually use in your scholarship, not just academic dick waving. And then you get to write and defend your dissertation. So no, not a walk in the park.

    • Noodle says:

      @megs, I don’t use my Dr title often. I ask students to call me by my first name, or Professor first name. The one thing I will say about the Dr title is being able to break it out in times where people doubt your authority. There have a couple of times I have pulled the “Well actually…” card when my comments were questioned or when people talk down to me. I don’t do it often because I find it a bit obnoxious to throw your title in someone’s face a lot, but used judiciously, it is a fun bit of revenge.

  12. Tom says:

    Ph.D. And Ed.D. are higher degrees than M.D. Professor is a higher title than Dr. in the academic world. I’d prefer to call her Professor Jill Biden.

    M.D. is a professional degree, not an academic degree. M.D. takes 4 years. Ph.D. Or Ed.D. often takes more, plus you must finish and write about an original contribution to your field.

    - Professor Emeritus Tom, Ph.D.
    Cultural Anthropology

    • Elizabeth says:

      Professor is NOT AT ALL a “higher title.” It is more highly remunerated (since a Ph.D. doesn’t come with a job), but it simply denotes a profession.


      Elizabeth – Ph.D. in English, served tenure-track for six years, published five full articles and essays in academic journals and anthologies, co-edited two academic journals, and was forced out by a violently hostile environment of rape-apologist old white men who didn’t like me protesting their sexual harassment and assault of students. One of my former colleagues is currently in jail for it but most of my other colleagues support him STILL. So. Not saying a professor of cultural anthropology (emeritus) is automatically an asshole, but you bet I fucking side-eye that after what I went through and what I saw in that field. Being a professor emeritus means you MOST LIKELY successfully worked a corrupt system and stepped on a lot of less privileged individuals, especially women, “Tom,” to get there. Save it about professor being a “higher title.” I suppose you also think university professor is a higher title than community college professor, since you’re all about enforcing a hierarchy. But oh, where does Jill Biden teach?

      I took two written exams, passed a language exam, and passed an oral defense. I also won a university-wide competition for best dissertation of the year (in any field) and various other awards for writing during my time at the university. I routinely got described by my professors as among their best students ever.

      BUT. I recognize I was hugely privileged to be able to spend that time and effort. Academic success isn’t that meaningful in a world where white men are so privileged. I know this from personal experience.

      • Tom says:

        Elizabeth, you assume my gender is male.

        Cultural Anthropology has significantly contributed to understanding that gender roles are culturally determined and that race is not a biological construct but a cultural one.

        Academia is hierarchical. The WSJ loser doesn’t seem to be fully aware of how far it goes.

      • Noodle says:

        I would love to see the education breakdown of readers at Celebitchy. We have a ton of commenters with a PhD; I’ve never seen this with another gossip website, and it’s wonderful. I’m pretty sure if we all got together to form the University of Celebitchy, we would have most academic areas covered!

      • Jaded says:

        @”Tom” – quit playing adolescent games. Elizabeth isn’t assuming you’re a male, however your “nom de plume” plus your sanctimonious attitude about your field of study might lead people to think so. Many years ago I worked as an artist on a dig in Southern Mexico with a group of American anthropologists, all of whom were either Ph.Ds or working towards their doctorates. They all treated me, the lowly site artist, with the utmost of respect for my talent (they even bought my originals they were so impressed) WITH the exception of two “cultural anthropologists” who thought they were gods. They were a married couple, and everyone tried to avoid them as much as possible as they were both snotty, imperious and rude. I guess learning how to be an insufferable nob must be part of the curriculum.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Jaded: I’m not defending Tom, but will speak up for cultural anthropologists. I supervise one such individual and she is the opposite of ‘insufferable nob’. Tom must have learned that elsewhere.

    • BabySwans says:

      I have a doctorate degree & my husband is an M.D. It did not take me longer to finish my degree than it took him to finish his. He was in training for longer. He also took more exams than I did. An M.D. requires a residency program after graduation and if they specialize, they go to more training. Not a single M.D. can practice or teach right out of medical school. I find the argument of who works harder petty. Give and use the title
      that people have earned and stop arguing over who has the biggest ball on the playground.

    • Sigmund says:

      @Tom Jill Biden gets to decide how she wants to be referred to—doctor, professor, First Lady, whatever. It’s her call. Not some random person, whether that person is a writer from the WSJ or an internet commenter.

    • Oh-Dear, Doctoral Student (EdD), Professor says:

      I am a Professor but do not have my doctorate (EdD) yet. I anticipate defending in the spring if I can get my darn discussion chapter completed.
      The term professor usually indicates your role in the institution and your path on the tenure track. In my institution, promotion is related to publications, teaching experience, and contributions to the institutional and local community.

    • BeanieBean says:

      A friend of mine completed her PhD last year & I am beyond impressed. The process seems grueling. And at the end of it all? She found she doesn’t really like teaching that much.

  13. grabbyhands says:


    Who the hell thought it was a good idea for this sexist garbage to be printed???

  14. Leah says:

    Yeah I saw that on Twitter yesterday and I couldn’t understand why the guy had his panties in a twist. She’s never claimed to be a medical doctor, she has a doctorate in education. Big difference. Some people have to start drama where there is no drama. Some people are so jealous of the accomplishments of others they have to run them down. What a sad, little man.

    I call her Doctor Biden, and I am excited that education will become important again after so many years of republicans trashing it left, right and center. They want to keep “the great unwashed” uneducated and wanting. Keep them at heel where they won’t ask questions or object to anything that the GOP does.

  15. Busyann says:

    What an a$$. She’s completely within her right to use her distinction. She’s a working professor and it’s part of her brand numb nuts. He’s just so salty about his own widdle failings as a man.

    There are technicalities to using both professional and academic titles. I’m no medical doctor, but I have my name titled too. Only because my current job relates to my degree. If it didn’t ….if say I was a musician, but my title was for English, I wouldn’t/shouldn’t use it.

    Now, with that said, technically, if she wasn’t working in a capacity where the classification was appropriate….she shouldn’t use it. But she is, so shut it dude!

  16. Dr Chi says:

    I have an Md from Nigeria but currently in Canada. Unfortunately since it is a tedious process to match for residency in Canada, I decided to study Nursing. When I am done with nursing I am so getting a masters and will proudly put all my achievements down. I have spent years getting that education, I am not going to let anyone downplay it. They do this to women a lot. It is admirable to get all that education with distractions like family and kids.

  17. Peanut says:

    University employee here! He was a Lecturer at Northwestern. The title of Lecturer is a bit more lax than your traditional academic titles you normally see. He does not have to have a Master’s to hold the title (minimum would be BA, but if the person had a significant amount of professional experience it would suffice as well), but he would never be considered for tenure or rank while in this title. It is more of a “We admire your professional work and would love if you taught here full or part time to share your expertise” kind of job. This can be pretty common, especially within music, art, and literature departments (really anything, but I am using my experience for the school I work for). I could see Northwestern reaching out him 30 years ago to teach when he was at the height of his career. Either way, the guy is a idiot.

    ALSO, Northwestern did a “I don’t know her” and removed his information from their website! https://www.newsweek.com/jill-biden-doctor-northwestern-1554383

  18. Keen Kate says:

    Lovely Americans, may I borrow Dr Jill to take over my Early Years Project? I think I got in over my head. Thanks SO much.

  19. carmen says:

    Shame on the WSJ for paying for such garbage. What a petty, zero value opinion piece.

  20. curachel20 says:

    Wow. Just wow. I’ll be sure to tell my friend who got a PhD in economics from UVA that he’s not a Dr. I’ll tell my friend who is a professor of Respiratory Therapy(you know, training the people who are working to save people from Covid) and getting her PhD, while raising 2 school age kids (so virtual learning) and while her husband has been out of town for months for work, that her doctorate won’t be real. I’m sure she will be pleased. This is one of those times when an opinion doesn’t need to ever be heard.

  21. Lolo86lf says:

    The writer of the article at WSJ is clearly a sexist misogynistic pig but that can be expected from a man, but what about from a woman? Ann Coulter tweeted her disagreement of Dr. Jill Biden using her hard-earned title. Coulter is just wicked towards her own gender.

  22. readingissexy says:

    Fake PhD in English here! lol

    I can honestly say that my professional life is defined by sexism. As an MA student, I was harassed by a professor. When I was in my PhD program, I was told I was “too feminine.” I also had peers shame me for wearing “too sexy” of clothing and that I wasn’t “smart” enough to be in the program. When I arrived at my first tenure track job, a colleague’s email was accidentally forwarded to the listserv that suggested I was nice but unimportant and can’t do research (I had already published). Students will show deference to male colleagues and even forget to thank or acknowledge me. (Literally, I wrote a letter of rec for my mentee (I am her primary advisor) for her to win an award, and I presented the opening remarks for her winning the award. The student didn’t acknowledge me and instead thanked the two male colleagues present who have done nothing to help her and who even declined to speak on her behalf for this award.)

    I am 100% serious when I say my feminist rage is real, and I have to try and deal with it everyday!

    • Joanna says:

      I am so sorry you have to deal with that!

    • Pusspants says:

      Are you kidding? I know you’re not but wish you were. I’m sorry these things have happened to you.

      It’s so important to talk about this because it brings awareness to others. I believe some people are completely unaware of their biases & would change if made aware. Who knows, someone reading this blog may become more mindful when interacting with a female professor.

      • readingissexy says:

        Thanks, Joanna and Pusspants!! Unfortunately, I wish I were kidding! LOL.

        I also saw this sexism in a completely different job field: working as a barista. While I never was harassed within the company, the customers’s sexism was heinous. I worked as a barista for several years in a high income, Silicon Valley city to help pay for school. While working, there were several sexist incidents: I had men ask me about my underwear, reach over the counter and touch me, ask me to come clean a fake spill only to tell me I have a good Irish figure, etc. Apparently, when wealthy men think you’re in a blue collar job, that means they think they have free access to you and your body. (And by the way, I never wore revealing clothing here–ever. Long sleeves and pants or get burned by coffee and grounds!)

  23. Dss says:

    I busted my hump just to get my Masters in Nursing and I have colleagues with both masters and PhD degrees who deliver babies as highly educated midwives. So dear author a-hole you don’t have to be a man or a MD to deliver babies.

  24. Sofia says:

    Utterly ridiculous. People put their blood, sweat and tears to get a doctorate. If they want to call themselves a doctor and they have successfully completed a doctorate, then they absolutely should. Heck I would too if I had done one.

  25. My3cents says:

    I’m guessing this has more to do with her being a woman in the educational field that got his male fragility all hot and bothered.

  26. Lunasf17 says:

    What a sexist piece of garbage. Also women deliver their own babies always! They are literally pushing them out or being cut into. Doctors, nurses and midwives assist with delivering babies. What an idiot. I hope he is embarrassed with all the backlash.

  27. Atti says:

    «Kiddo». FU.

  28. Insomniac says:

    Nothing triggers right-wing assholes more than smart Democratic women. I will be absolutely sure to call her nothing other than Dr. Biden from now on. And I’m an actual PBK, thankyouverymuch.

  29. P says:

    PhD is short for Doctor of Philosophy. Sooooo she is indeed a Dr, you jealous asshat.

  30. Feedmechips says:

    This clown can fuck all the way off.

  31. Zaya says:

    The kiddo part sent my bp through the roof yesterday when I read it. It’s dripping with condescension. I guess he doesn’t realize that doctor comes from the Latin word for teacher and was used by phds, before mds ever did. She rightly earned her degree, so she is a doctor in every sense of the word.

    I bet he has no problem calling male phds doctors. What does he call dr Phil for instance. If he only calls md, doctors, what about do? And drs aren’t the only ones who deliver babies. For example, do he call a midwife doctor? I doubt it.

    • Sumodo1 says:

      Kiddo. Unless I am wrong 😑 Kiddo is a male put down. I have NEVER heard a woman “patronize” another woman by dropping “Kiddo” on her. Once, I thought my boyfriend of three years was proposing to me, until he called me “Kiddo.” Those were immature tears. I’m fully mature now, and farking HATE “Kiddo.”

  32. enike says:

    to be honest, with academic titles, Ph.D. comes after the name, its not equivalent of Dr before the name.
    The media did a disservice to Jill calling her Dr before the name. I dont believe she started it herself, as in academic circles you know full well Ph.D. is not Dr

    • Nic919 says:

      It is literally a doctorate in philosophy and the word doctor actually means teacher. Thus they can use the word doctor before their name. This has been the case since the Middle Ages before the MD degree even existed.

    • hmmmmppy says:

      Enike, at least in the US this is just false.
      I am in academic circles getting my PhD. As soon as you have your PhD, people change their titles to Dr. soandso.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Huh. The dons at Cambridge style themselves as ‘Dr.’ Want to tell them they’re wrong?

  33. FancyPants says:

    Isn’t honorific “doctor” what celebrities get when they give a commencement speech? If you put in the work for an educational PhD, then you are “doctor” regardless of anything else! Even in the hospitals where I work where the PhD-educated nurses/PAs/PTs/etc. can’t go by “doctor” (for the physician title-clarity for patients), they still have PhD listed after their name on their ID badges.

  34. Murphy says:

    That guy can eat a bowl of dicks.

  35. Nic919 says:

    When I first started university, any prof, male or female would go by Dr. Last name if they had a PhD. He’s just targeting her because he’s a sexist prick. In academia if you have a PhD you go by Dr. and there’s no further discussion.

    Mr barely got a BA is simply jealous of her extra education. She put in the years of work while raising kids while he didn’t bother to do anything more beyond his BA. It’s clear he can’t multitask.

    If he knew the history behind degree nomenclature he would have known that the PhD has existed for centuries before the MD became a thing. And the amount of work involved, after you complete a bachelor and masters is extensive.

    For this garbage to be posted in the WSJ just shows how Murdoch has ruined another paper. He’s going to turn it into one of the sketchy UK papers of it hasn’t happened already.

  36. Bettyrose says:

    Fuck you, WSJ for publishing this.

  37. hmmmmppy says:

    Also note the inherent misogyny in his statement. “A wise man once said that no one should call HIMSELF “Dr.” unless HE has delivered a child.” Glad he’s automatically assuming it is a man.

  38. Courtney B says:

    My aunt studied alongside Dr Jill at UD and eventually got her own higher degree in the same field. Epstein can go eff himself. The sheer condescension dripping from this piece is stomach turning. ‘Kiddo?’ ‘Unpromising title (of thesis)?’ ‘Comical?’ And I’m sure, since he considers only MDs worthy,he doesn’t realize that his little ‘delivers a baby’ probably excludes like 90% of MDs plus nurses with doctorates. And, of course, only me in the first place. What a piece of crap (person and editorial).

    On a side note, my cousin (daughter of aunt mentioned above) has a doctorate in psychology. She just got a piece of mail addressed to Dr X but with her *husband’s* first name. Because obviously the doctor in the house is the man.

  39. Sumodo1 says:

    I’m proud of Dr. Jill Biden. Education was back-burnered for 4 years by an education secretary who had no business being there. The next four years, our kids will have a public schools advocate in the White House. I’m looking forward to American kids no long being COVID after-thoughts.

    • Anna says:

      @Sumodo1 This! So excited to see what initiatives she brings and to see how her advocacy influences her partner the POTUS in the best of ways

    • Bettyrose says:

      He’s a dinosaur but the WSJ shouldn’t have given him a platform. That’s what’s so troubling.

  40. JaneEyreApparent says:

    “I have only a B.A. in absentia from the University of Chicago…” tells you everything you need to know about this bitter sack of poo.

  41. Midge says:

    Not helping to redeem the name Epstein.

  42. OriginalLala says:

    I have a PhD and women in academia deal with this kind of garbage all the damn time, it’s exhausting. Men are always trying to find ways to minimize our achievements…

    • Call_me_al says:

      Yep. Happens a lot. This is pretty obvious sexism. F this guy. I hate to admit it, but it really hurts and stuns me to see a major newspaper printing this crap. Like, this is just dumb. We don’t have time for this bull. Who are the people who okayed this? No one thought to say, “Hey man, it sounds like you just don’t know what a doctor is. Also, you sound like a prick with an inferiority complex. Maybe you should focus on yourself.”
      I’m not even going to get into his ignorant claims that getting a Ph.D. or Ed.D. is somehow easy. Again, did you even ask anyone who has a doctorate what they had to go through to get it?

  43. Amy Too says:

    Can we just agree that if your last name is Epstein AND you have the disgustingly misogynistic view that women should always and only be for your fun and play (“kiddo”), AND you consider your sexist want to lord it over women to matter more than a woman’s dignity and self-respect, you should never speak in public again? I mean come on… this guy’s name is EPSTEIN. And based on the sexism expressed i. his op-ed one could be forgiven for thinking he was Jeffrey Epstein come back from the grave.

  44. AA says:

    When is the world going to stop giving these dinosaurs ink? Do we seriously have to wait until they’re all dead? I can’t believe the WSJ printed this. I wonder what the average age of a WSJ management employee is & what their overall diversity looks like. The world is changing and apparently the WSJ isn’t changing with it, if they seriously thought this was worthy of print. Clearly they were just looking for clicks but all they’re doing is permanently turning off any reader who is under 70.

  45. Insomniac says:

    On top of everything else, this guy really tells on himself by bragging about how easy it was for him to get positions without extensive qualifications. Yeah, dude—how easily do you think a woman with your same qualifications would have been handed those positions?

  46. GuestwithCat says:

    It’s interesting how there have been all these pathetic efforts to embiggen Melania the last four years, but as soon as we get a First Lady of substantive achievement again, something like this gets attention. I didn’t realize Murdoch owns WJS. That explains why their headlines and articles flowing across my Apple News feed have that Fox News stench lately.

    • damejudi says:

      I was thinking about Mel’s genius visa.

      Maybe we get Dr. Biden a jacket that reads “I have a Ph.D. Do U?”

  47. Lizzie says:

    This guy is a jackass.

  48. Liz version 700 says:

    This guy is a giant misogynistic jackass. Oh and also homophobic as he wrote a horrible essay in the 70’s bashing homosexuality. I will proudly call anyone with a PhD Doctor. Except this guy, I will call him other names.

  49. Josie Bean says:

    Years ago, I used to subscribe to the WSJ. I don’t even bother with it since Murdoch took it over.

  50. Other Renee says:

    My husband earned a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). As soon as he finished his defense, the professors turned to him and said, “Congratulations, Doctor _____.” (I have the video.) It is a title they bestowed even prior to the actual graduation! He is also referred to as “Doctor ___” when teaching nursing students. AND… he refers to Epstein as a condescending idiot and commented that he would never have written this piece had Dr. Biden been a man. My husband has seen enough gender bias in his nursing career in the reverse direction to be very sensitive to Dr. Biden’s situation here.

    I have 3 advanced degrees of which I am very proud. Two come with titles and you bet I use them!

  51. Reece says:

    As soon as I saw the word “kiddo” my only thought was “THIS MF”!

  52. Valerie says:

    This is… What do I even say? lmao. I am at a loss. Maybe t’s because I only have a BA. ;)

    • Watson says:

      The author only has a BA too. But unlike you, he’s a throughly fragile and sexist loser for this article.

      • Valerie says:

        Haha! I’m a better writer, too. What a trashy, outdated article. The WSJ knew what they were doing when they published it, which is even more pathetic. They should have rejected him. Someone like that is not used to being told ‘no,’ and they could have had the honour of being the first to do so.

  53. NikkiB says:

    Say that about Dr. Martin Luther King and see what hell comes to you Mr. Doctor of Stupidity Epstein. So sad that this is even a thing.

  54. Meg says:

    When I hear Dr. I initially assume it’s a medical dr and have to remind myself that you can have a doctorite in many other fields- and I felt like this guy is just acknowledging that but instead of learning there’s more fields to be a Dr in than medicine and don’t assume any dr is a medical dr- he wants a woman he’s threatened by to adapt to his lack of knowledge which is of course sexist and shows men are used to others adapting to them but they don’t adapt to others. Like women being raised taught how to avoid being harassed, attacked, raped, etc instead of men being taught not to harass attack and rape

    • Valerie says:

      At the end, he says she should give up the title for the next four years and take on the coveted title of First Lady. Can’t she be both? It’s not as if “First Lady Dr. Jill Biden” is a mouthful!

  55. Joan Rivers says:

    Doug Emhoff’s comment was great, too. He looks like he’ll be a real asset to Kamala, they’re a modern couple. The Clintons got resented for being a two-career couple and it’s taken this long for us to represent.

  56. nuks says:

    They’re trying to “Hillary” Jill Biden. Remember cookiegate? They always try to paint the democratic first ladies as nasty-lesbian-feminist-commie-devils and it’s just… not going to stick here. Don’t engage, don’t click, just laugh. They’re desperate.

  57. Vincent says:

    The funny thing about MD doctors, is while they have to be smart obviously , they are akin to highly trained mechanics/technicians. Very few of them are trained in scientific thinking, they make all sorts of cognitive errors in diagnosis ( read ‘How Doctors Think’ by Jerome Groopman or listen to his interview on NPR. He’s a physician who had a misdiagnosis happen to himself). Very few of them can do statistics at a high level. I work in a physics department at a cancer hospital. The PhDs in physics generally smarter than the MDs.

  58. Jayna says:

    In the legal field in our community, we have several renowned Ph.D. experts (economists), two of which are also part-time professors at our local university, who testify in court and depositions all the time, and they use the title Dr. (Fill in the name). I have always addressed them as Dr. Smith or Dr. White, because that is what they’ve gone by. Everyone addresses them as such, and it has never been called into question.

    The Presbyterian Church I attended for many years decades ago, our minister was Dr. E……. He had his Ph.D. I’m sure, looking back, the whole church was majority Republican. He was always treated with great reverence. I Hmmm. I wonder if the Wall Street Journal would publish an op-ed ripping him apart in a condesceding manner. Nah. He was an older white male..

  59. Juju says:

    I didn’t know they have people this, well dumb, working at the Wall Street Journal. Actually joke’s on him. Anybody who knows a little bit about doctorate titles knows that medical doctorates are the easiest to get since the dissertations don’t need to meet high standards and the research period is usually quite short. I guess it’s due to the nature of the university programme and the duration of the studies.

  60. MeTou says:

    Forget jill!! Look at joe when they were young

  61. Katie says:

    W-what? So she has a doctorate but he wants her to drop the Dr. because he thinks using it is vain? BWAHAHHAHAAHA Okay.

    Does he go to his dentist and ask them to remove all the diplomas from the walls too? AHAHAHHAHAHA this is just too funny

    • Jay says:

      I think he’s okay with her having the degrees she earned, just that she should probably hide or play down her life’s work in order to protect his fragile ego.

      Sort of like how VP elect Harris is “too ambitious”. I’m “too bossy”, what about you guys?

  62. Jo73c says:

    She delivered 3 babies – personally, out of her body. She just wasn’t the doctor in the room at the time!
    Honestly, the anti-intellectualism of these conservative douchebags is sickening. He should STFU until he’s got something intelligent to say, no matter where he went to college.

  63. Jay says:

    Kaiser, as a style note for this site, can we refer to Jill biden with as many titles as possible? “First lady doctor professor mrs kiddo” has a nice ring.

  64. Carrie says:

    Is he confusing Jill with Kate? He does know that her two Masters and her PhD required coming up with more than 5 questions right?

  65. Blondems says:

    “In contemporary universities, in the social sciences and humanities, calling oneself Dr. is thought bush league.” What a shitweasel! Obviously, he knows bugger all about academia, because from my experience (having postgrad degrees myself and my Dad being an Emeritus Professor and ex-Dean) that is totally and completely false. I don’t work in academia anymore but I still keep my titles – because I’m proud of them – and no condescending, patronising prick is going to tell me otherwise.