WSJ op-ed says Jill Biden's doctor title 'sounds and feels fraudulent'

‘This story would never have been written about a man’: Backlash against ‘misogynistic’ WSJ op-ed writer who called Jill Biden, 69, ‘kiddo’ and said her doctor title ‘sounds and feels fraudulent’

  • Joseph Epstein labelled the future first lady ‘kiddo’ in the piece published Friday
  • Epstein wrote: ‘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’
  • ‘In the social sciences calling oneself Dr. is thought bush league’, he adds 
  • Dr Biden holds a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware
  • During President-elect Joe Biden’s eight years serving as vice president she was a full-time English professor at Northern Virginia Community College
  • Epstein’s words sparked a fierce reaction online with Pink, Debra Messing and vice president elect Kamala Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff rushing to defend her
  • Jill’s spokesperson Michael LaRosa called the piece ‘disgusting and sexist’
  • Harris’ husband said: ‘This story would never have been written about a man’ 

A Wall Street Journal op-ed has sparked fury after it argued Jill Biden’s doctor title ‘sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic’. 

Columnist Joseph Epstein, 83, labelled the future first lady, 69, ‘kiddo’ in the piece published Friday in which he said she should ‘think about it and forthwith drop the doc’.

Dr Biden holds a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware. During President-elect Joe Biden’s eight years serving as vice president she was a full-time English professor at Northern Virginia Community College. 

Epstein’s words sparked a fierce reaction online with singer Pink, actress Debra Messing as well as vice president elect Kamala Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff and her spokesperson Michael LaRosa, all rushing to defend Biden.  

Former White House photographer Pete Souza shared an image of Dr Biden on a golf buggy, calling the piece ‘ridiculous and misogynistic’ and adding: ‘The Dr. is on her way!⁣’

LaRosa called the piece a ‘disgusting and sexist attack’ and said the paper should be ’embarrassed’ to print it.  He added: ‘If you had any respect for women at all you would remove this repugnant display of chauvinism from your paper and apologize to her.’ 

Dr Biden holds a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware. During President-elect Joe Biden’s eight years serving as vice president she was a full-time English professor at Northern Virginia Community College. Dr Biden addresses from a classroom during the virtual DNC on August 18, 2020

Dr Jill earned four degrees while raising her family. She has a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, and earned a doctorate of education from the University of Delaware in 2007. She is pictured with Joe and their children 

Joe Biden’s communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, added: ‘Sexist and shameful. Be better @WSJ.’

And Harris’ husband Emhoff said: ‘This story would never have been written about a man.’

Dr Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice tweeted: ‘Dear @DrBiden: My father was a non-medical doctor. And his work benefited humanity greatly. Yours does, too.’

The View host Meghan McCain said: ‘I am so sick of the way accomplished, educated, successful women like @DrBiden are talked about in the media by misogynistic men. BEYOND SO SICK OF IT.’ 

Singer Pink called the article ‘bulls***’ and actress Messing tweeted: ‘What a disgusting display of misogyny. Your hatred for women is showing.’

And former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s husband Chasten said: ‘The author could’ve used fewer words to just say ‘ya know in my day we didn’t have to respect women.’

The Wall Street Journal op-ed has sparked fury after it argued Jill Biden’s doctor title ‘sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic’. Kamala Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff said: ‘This story would never have been written about a man’

Former White House photographer Pete Souza shared an image of Dr Biden on a golf buggy, calling the piece ‘ridiculous and misogynistic’

In his piece ‘Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.’, Epstein wrote: ‘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.’ 

‘In the social sciences and humanities, calling oneself Dr. is thought bush league.’ 

He also blasts honorary doctorates despite the fact Dr Biden holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in education. 

Epstein also acknowledges that he ‘only has a B.A. in absentia from the University of Chicago’, adding: ‘I taught at Northwestern University for 30 years without a doctorate or any advanced degree.’

But Northwestern sought to distance themselves from Epstein, saying in a statement it disagreed with his ‘misogynistic views’, and adding: ‘Joseph Epstein was never a tenured professor at Northwestern and has not been a lecturer here since 2002.’ 

They also wiped his online profile from their website.  

In 1970 Epstein was denounced after repeatedly using the n word and writing that the LGBTQ community was ‘afflicted without apparent cure’ in an essay for Harper’s Magazine., Newsweek reports 

Jill Biden gives the commencement speech at Borward College on May 4, 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jill has been married to the president elect for 43 years, becoming a stepmother to Beau and Hunter Biden , his two sons from his first marriage, after their mother and baby sister died in a car accident in 1972.

She has earned four degrees while raising her family. She has a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, and earned a doctorate of education from the University of Delaware in 2007.

Prior to moving to Washington DC, she taught at a community college Delaware, at a public high school and at a psychiatric hospital for adolescents.  

Writing in her memoir, she wrote: ‘Being a teacher is not what I do but who I am.’ 

In April 2019, she took a break from teaching for the first time since 1981 in order to help her husband on the campaign trail. 

One of her most high profile appearances during the campaign came when she delivered a rousing speech from a classroom at the virtual Democratic Convention. 

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