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Dr. Jill Biden

Doesn’t the right-wing media have anything better to complain about? I mean, seriously? We are having a 9/11-level catastrophe every single day with the coronavirus, Trump and the Republicans are doing everything in their power to destroy our democracy, Congress is teetering on the brink of having a shutdown, Russians have hacked into our government’s secret and sensitive computers (along with a majority of the computers of our largest companies).

Instead, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News (both owned by the Murdoch family) is bitterly complaining about our First-Lady-elect using the honorific “Dr.” in front of her name. Which she has every right to do.

What’s hilarious about this is that they are claiming that only medical doctors should use the “Dr.” in front of their names. Why is this hilarious? Because “Doctor” means “Teacher” (not “practitioner of medicine”).

Don’t get me wrong. I have a PhD, and I don’t use the honorific Dr. in front of my name, even though I worked hard for years to get it. And yes, I have taught classes in universities (including at the graduate level), so I definitely qualify as “teacher”. I have a bit of a thing against most honorifics (my readers have probably noticed that I typically don’t use them for politicians). Most people I know personally who have PhDs also don’t use their title. But I would definitely have the right to use it if I wanted.

However, I am very happy that Jill Biden uses that title. Why? Because I am sick and tired of right-wing attacks on science. We should be overjoyed that our new first lady has a PhD, and in education no less, something that we should surely celebrate and honor! On top of that, women have long been treated poorly in the sciences, and they richly deserve more recognition. Note that both of the people attacking Jill Biden for using this title are men, and neither of them have earned a doctorate. What gives them them the right to complain?

© Nate Beeler



  1. Rev. Dr. thefunrev wrote:

    Thank you for acknowledging the two-fold disparagement of Dr. Biden. There was a movement on Twitter this week for women with doctorates to claim our hard-earned titles loudly and proudly. And we did! The WSJ and Fox News can go pout in the corner with all the other people who are afraid of smart women. And may it suddenly be a very QUIET corner.

    Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 11:26 pm | Permalink
  2. Ray Gergen wrote:

    In the last 50 years of so, I have met a few people with a PhD. All male, and all wanted to be called “Doctor.”

    The WSJ (Fox-Lite)can shove that OpEd where the sun don’t shine.

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  3. Robert Williams wrote:

    Kind of ironic that just a few months ago the Wall Street Journal used the title “Dr.” when referencing former Second Lady. See,Emily Bobrow, Lynne Cheney’s Journey to the Founding Era, Sept. 25, 2020 (, last accessed December 20, 2020.

    Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Robert, thanks for pointing out that hypocrisy on the part of the WSJ!

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink