Apparently, that’s how Jill Biden counterattacks: subtly.
“Together, we will build a world where the achievements of our daughters are celebrated, not diminished,” the future first lady tweeted on Sunday, referring – without reference – to a column published on Saturday in the Wall Street Journal.
The controversial article was written by an academic who urged Biden to lose his “Dr.” title as she assumes the post of first lady, citing “the erosion of seriousness and the loosening of standards” in university education.
Reese Witherspoon retweeted Biden on Monday, adding the comment “Yes we will” and a raised hands emoji. The ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ actress was joined in solidarity by former First Lady Michelle Obama on Instagram.
“[W]e all see what happens to so many professional women too, whether their titles are doctor, madam, madam or even first lady: too often our achievements are greeted with skepticism, even derision. We are questioned by those who choose the weakness of ridicule over the strength of respect. And yet, somehow, their words can stick – after decades of hard work, we are forced to prove ourselves again,” Obama wrote Monday on Instagram in a post promoting Biden for “carrying one’s accomplishments with grace, good humor, and yes, Pride.”
“Is this really the example we want to set for the next generation?” Obama said of the op-ed.
The opinion piece in question has been criticized by some as misogynistic and sexist. It certainly didn’t sit well with performer Bette Midler, who got tough on WSJ author Joseph Epstein.
“My God, Mr. Epstein, aren’t you on high horse. How easy it is to condescend and date a woman, especially the one you imagine needs some nurturing,” she tweeted. “Why don’t you pick on someone one your size and petty misogyny?You can start with #PresidentDonaldTrump.
“Madam First Lady – Mrs. Biden – Jill – kiddo: A little advice on what may seem small but I think it is not unimportant,” Epstein wrote in the WSJ on Saturday, borrowing one of the favorites from the President-elect Joe Biden. diminutives (kiddo). “Any chance you could drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name?’ Dr. Jill Biden sounds and looks fraudulent, not to mention a bit comical.”
The WSJ article went on to explain how a doctorate “may once have had prestige, but that has been diminished by the erosion of seriousness and the loosening of standards in university education generally, at any rate. outside of science.
(Incidentally, President-elect Joe Biden often used the term “kid” or “kiddo” when addressing young people of both genders, and memorably told Vice President-elect Kamala Harris before the second Democratic primary debate: “Take it easy with me, kid. »
Jill Biden’s thesis, which earned her an Ed.D. from the University of Delaware in 2007, was on “Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Student Needs”.
“Her name is Dr. Jill Biden. Get used to it,” said Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and presidential candidate. tweeted Sunday.
Epstein’s biography was reportedly removed from the former Northwestern University employer’s website after the op-ed was published.
“The Department is aware that a former adjunct lecturer who has not taught here in nearly 20 years has published an opinion piece that casts undeserved criticism on Dr. Jill Biden’s legitimate public claim to her academic credentials. doctorate and expertise,” Northwestern’s English department said in a statement. statement on Saturday. “The Department rejects this view and the diminishment of duly earned degrees of anyone in any field, from any university.”
Much was made of Biden’s doctorate and her use of the title when she became second lady in 2009. Other second ladies with doctorates included Marilyn Quayle, a lawyer, and Lynne Cheney, who has a doctorate in English. Quayle did not practice law while her husband, Dan Quayle, was Vice President of George HW Bush, and Cheney was called “Mrs,” not “Dr.”
Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones, who holds a doctorate in geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also defended Biden’s use of “Dr.”
“Like #DrBiden, I’ve learned that sometimes you have to add that ‘Dr’,” Jones tweeted on Saturday. “In the 1980s, I had to dress in shorts and a T-shirt to show that I was a geologist. Nice clothes at Caltech meant you were a secretary.
“In the 1990s, all the Caltech/USGS seismologists were on TV explaining earthquakes. The women were called the “earthquake ladies”. The men were called seismologists. I started using the Dr to remind reporters that women could be scientists too.
Jones said her title helped her in the 2000s and 2010s as she worked with policymakers through the state Earthquake Safety Commission.
“#DrBiden, me and all other doctors deserve to use our titles,” Jones concluded.