Monday, December 14, 2020

Dr. Jill Biden and the War against Sexism

Apparently, Joseph Epstein really stepped in it this time. If you don’t know what “it” is you should move on to another column.

Anyway, Epstein wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Friday. In it he suggested that Jill Biden cease referring to herself as Dr. Jill Biden. In truth, if we want to be accurate, its husband Joe who keeps referring to his wife as Dr. Jill, though we imagine that he has been instructed to do so by a higher power.

As it happens, Dr. Jill Biden possesses a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware. With this credential she teaches as an adjunct at a community college somewhere. You might say that she is doing God’s work, but comparing her academic status with that of, say, Dr. Henry Kissinger feels like a bit of a stretch. Dr. K, you recall, held a chair at Harvard and served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.

Between a chair at Harvard and a gig teaching education at a community college, there is, dare I say, an extremely large chasm.

No one likes to say so, but the academic world, like most professions has a status hierarchy. This does not mean that those who occupy the lowest rungs did not earn their titles, but still, insisting on being called a doctor when one has a doctorate in Education and when one teaches in a community college, is, dare I say, a bit much.

How many teachers in community colleges, including those possessing a doctorate in Education, insist on being called Dr. In truth, most Harvard professors do not use the title under any but the most august circumstances. Nearly everyone who teaches in a university possesses a doctorate of philosophy, but just about no one uses the title on an everyday basis. Incidentally, a doctorate of philosophy is of a considerably higher status than is a doctorate in education.

To my sensibility, unrefined as it might be, insisting on being called Dr. Biden is an affectation. It causes confusion. In truth, no less than Whoopi Goldberg actually believed that Dr. Biden was a medical doctor. For that reason, most people who possess doctorates of philosophy do not insist on being called doctors. They do not do it in the classroom or when writing op-eds. 

Anyway, the leftist commentariat is up in arms about all of this. Isn’t it the essence of sexism? Doesn’t it derogate women’s splendid professional achievements? Besides, would anyone ever have said what Epstein said about a male of the species?

Of course, if you show me an adjunct education professor possessing a D. Ed., teaching in a community college, who insists on being addressed as Dr., I will grant the point. Custom tells us that Dr. Biden is suffering from an affectation.

So far, so good.

In some sense this is a misdirection and a distraction. After all, Dr. Biden’s husband, the man who is most likely to become president of the United States has notably and publicly been seen thrusting his nose in the hair of teenage girls and grown women. 

I dare any other man to do so and not to be arrested on the spot. If not arrested, at least exiled to social Siberia.

Joe Biden, as everyone knows, has a hair sniffing fetish. It is a vulgar and ugly habit, one that Joe cannot control, even in public. One does not want to imagine how this fetish manifests itself in the conjugal boudoir, but certainly, forcing it on women and girls who are not one's wife is gross and grossly disrespectful. It is a violation and an assault.

What does Dr. Biden say about that? Has she ever been asked? Will anyone dare ask her how she likes watching her husband performing simulated rapes on women and girls?

Between mildly criticizing Dr. Biden for using her title as though she were suffering an affectation and her husband’s repeated assaults on women… there is a chasm.

And, of course, no one much cared when one Tara Reade accused Joe Biden of sexual assault. No one asked Dr. Biden what she thought. In truth, the mainstream media disparaged Tara Reade and dismissed her persuasive account. Perhaps, if she had been teaching at a community college, and called herself Dr. Tara Reade, they would have taken her more seriously.

Then again, where was Dr. Biden during the Christmas parties held at the vice president’s residence for secret service agents during the Obama presidency? You will recall that Joe Biden created a considerable amount of trouble because he could not keep his hands to himself. He was manually assaulting the wives of secret service agents, in his home, in the presence of Dr. Jill Biden—to the point where the agency ceased holding such parties.

Did Dr. Jill Biden know what was happening? Did she simply ignore the assaults? Was she aspiring to emulate the example of the nation’s leading enabler of sexual harassment, one Hillary Clinton?

Given the Joe Biden record of public sexual harassment, you can understand why all of the feminists, the ones who offered fulsome support to an accused rapist named Bill Clinton and who offered total support to an accused sexual harasser named Joe Biden, want to reduce it all to a question of honorifics. Yet, when your husband systematically fails to respect women's honor, your protestations sound a bit empty, indeed.


whitney said...

Remember when Whoopi Goldberg said she would make a great Surgeon General??! These people are not smart. It is one of the myriad of reasons that all this is going to fall apart, God willing in our lifetimes. It's like the entire civilization has climbed to the top of a long thin needle and now we're just swaying in the wind, inching higher and higher. Eventually it's going to break and it is going to be spectacular.

trigger warning said...

My experience in academia and consulting is that Ed.D.s are the most likely "doctoral-level" individuals to insist on being called "Dr". I've concluded it's because they know they are frauds (cf., "Dr" Blasey-Ford) . I did read this morning that a Nexis scan of recent NYT articles revealed that community remedial reading adjunct Jill is 3x more likely to be referred to as Dr than Ben Carson MD, HUD Secretary and former Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you for the correction. I know fewer people who possess doctorates in education, so I fear that I have to qualify my statement-- apparently they are all suffering from the same affectation.

Sam L. said...

"Apparently, Joseph Epstein really stepped in it this time. If you don’t know what “it” is you should move on to another column." Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, I wouldn't say he "stepped in it", I'd say that he took a picture of it and talked about it To "Dr. Jill's" dismay. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo not bummed for her. Yep! I Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

(Incidentally, my daughter is nearly finished with her doctorate work.
But then, even if I say it, she's sane.)

a bee ee? said...

I don't think Whoopi Goldberg would make a great Surgeon General.

370H55V said...

What's really revealing about all this is Jill Biden's silence in this. Rather than magnanimously making a joke and dismissing Joseph Epstein as someone beyond his literary shelf life, she is complicit in the belief that "deplorables" need to be crushed and that we bow to the New Elite's power and "enlightenment".

And how soon we forget little Ava Martinez, who created a brief youtube sensation playing "mini AOC"? For that she was mobbed and doxxed (an eight-year old girl, for God's sake!) Also revealing that AOC stood by and let it happen, rather than defuse the situation by inviting Ava and her family to visit her in Washington.

David Foster said...

A lot of people would like to claim that status of Aristocrats based on their educational credentials (not on the actual knowledge content of their educations) and are as sensitive on this matter as an English Lord who somebody forgot to call "Your Lordship."

See my related post Living in the Hate of the Common People:

Anonymous said...

I worked many years at a university and called all the profs "Dr" (they were PhDs). THAT BEING SAID, no one should insist on calling Jill Biden "Dr" when she isn't at work.

Anonymous said...

I say let her call herself "Dr". Christ, she is married to a guy who is going to have all sorts of titles thrown his way, and he could be one of her students!
And she got her 'terminal degree' - gotta love it - at an advanced age; she didn't waste her youth pursuing the paper.
Dr. and President Cornpop. Has a ring.

trigger warning said...

For the record, folks, it's "Dr" Al Sharpton. Thank you.