It is not sexist to avoid calling Jill Biden Doctor Biden in situations where her doctorate is not relevant. Almost nobody says Doctor Albert Einstein, Doctor Stephen Hawking, Doctor Marie Curie, Doctor Emmy Noether does that make those people who “refuse” to call them doctor antisemitic, ableist, or sexist? If I simply refer to Doctor Richard Feynman as Richard Feynman am, I dis respecting him? No one has ever said that about any of those towering historical figures in the fields of theoretical and experimental physics. The most fundamental of the sciences and acknowledged as being one of the great mental challenges, an intellectual mount Everest that never ends. Yet this week we are told on social media it is sexist to not pedantically, repeatedly, and without fail refer to Dr. Jill Biden Ed. D. as “Doctor Biden”.
While the tone of a certain Wall Street Journal Op Ed was nasty the content is not wrong. We do not call Albert Einstein “Doctor Einstein” so we should not always call Jill Biden “Doctor Biden”. When introducing her, her most distinct, most special title is First Lady Jill Biden. First Lady Jill Biden Ed.D. in writing. There have been only 46 First ladies. A title of high distinction that cannot be bought.
Denigrating her because her doctorate is an Ed. D. is foolish. Working at community college an Ed. D. makes as much if not more sense than a PhD. I even thought about that myself. A PhD gained by studying black hole physics will not make me better at teaching Physics 101 or 238. An Ed. D. is / was a smart choice for someone in her position. Let me make that clear the WSJ op Ed is all wrong about that.
Let me make it even more clear that they are correct about their basic idea that it is aburd to call her "Doctor Biden" in every sentence as some media seem to do.
College Faculty Tend To Not Use Titles Outside Class.
I am not a doctor myself but if I ever am, I would no more insist on being called it, in situations where my education is utterly irrelevant / unremarkable than I insist on being called Prof. Farmer by students off campus. What I am is a character at best more like Satyendra Nath Bose or Freeman Dyson who famously did not have PhD’s but contributed massively anyway… though nothing I have done reaches that level. It hinders me little to not have it in a way. Since ultimately what one’s name means in physics so long after graduate school is not their post nominal letters but their publication record. Which since I have dared to counter a narrative may be attacked so here is an accurate version to go after. My main area is in Fundamental Gravitational Wave physics and Quantum Field Theory in dynamically curved space times.
In speaking of campus having been on many as an adjunct faculty member even at a community college the fact is most faculty do not call themselves doctor so and so. Most of the faculty below the level of a Dean or perhaps just go by first name. We are just people who work there. The same seems to be true at universities. I would wager that Jill Biden herself does like wise. In fact, a colleague proposed a little observed day every October where we should all wear our caps and gowns just to celebrate education itself. The fact is so irrelevant once one has an academic job what matters is what you are doing with the credential.
I am hardly the only one who thinks this with the current year political context. This is just political.
Calling this point of view sexist and elitist is utterly hypocritical.
Let us remember some basic realpolitik. Dr Jill Biden EdD is a college professor a career choice that our country rightly respects but does not pay very well. Calling the notion that she should not use Doctor an ist or an ism is a thought policing power play. It shows a very elitist disregard for “lower classes” of people.
The real reason for calling her Doctor Biden in every sentence by the media is to show her in contra-distinction to Melania Trump. Someone who was a fashion and even nude model.
I was a transgender prostitute at one time. Now I am a theoretical astrophysicist. I practice pole dancing and post about it on Instagram. Nude pictures of me exist. I have also published works of science alone and in collaboration with others in fundamental physics, I am an adjunct professor. In that way I can kind of relate to Melania as much as I can to Jill Biden.
I can understand a person being in college and dropping out to instead make the available money to someone who has the right looks. Adriana Lima a Victoria’s Secret model wanted to go to college and be a doctor until she won a modeling contest. Nature gave men strength to trade for resources, nature gave women beauty in the eyes of men. That happens quite a bit. You will find Instagram models who are also authors of books or who have degrees. Compared to the money an adjunct can make I can really see it. In an alternative 2020 I might have worked myself out into the shape needed to just be an exotic dancer.
Cash in hand has a certain appeal when one is barely paid.
There is nothing automatically ennobling about someone who has the look and the fitness to make money off their looks choosing not to. Such is a train of though concocted by those who have degrees and institutional power to ennoble themselves. An exercise of pure egotism dressed in a thin cloak of intellectualism. An action which only fuels the anti-science and anti-intellectualism that has harmed the United States so much this year.
Keep Doing Elitism Democrats
In my very capital L card carrying Libertarian point of view, the real motives behind the “Doctor Biden” (not the woman herself but the repeated online use and abuse of the title) is nothing but classism and elitism. It displays all the reasons that the Democrats lost in 2016 and will be a small part of why they will lose hard in 2024.
So, cut it out. Unless you also call freaking Einstein, Richard Feynman, or Andrea Ghez Doctor. At least then you are being consistent. Anything else is just unbecoming of a political faction that sees itself as being for the little guy and gals. None of whom have lofty sounding credentials, many of whom are smarter than those who do.
Better yet keep doing it. May just help the Libertarian Party, the only viable third party for working people and those who love liberty. When the enemy is eating itself pass the salt.
That said, I really do hope the new first lady herself has more class than some of her supporters are showing right now. Unless you are on a campus where she is teaching, or in a situation where her expertise is relevant, “Jill Biden” should suffice. It would be best for the country if she does.
UPDATE: It was too much to ask for a 1st lady we are told is classy to have the class to not buy into the mob mentality.
When I wrote the above I had in mind this was mainly just people who are very happy to no longer have the current first lady in place after Jan 20 2021. I get that. I thought it may be people who in their own careers have been called Ms or Mrs in situations where they are clearly entitled to be called Dr., Prof. or some other title. I get that. I assumed that she was someone like most any community college faculty even full time tenure tracked faculty I know. Instead it seems Jill Biden Ed.D. is embracing this absurdity that her not being called Dr Biden is a civil rights issue.
Just #AlbertEinstein , but yeah sure #DrJillBiden #DrBiden in situations where here degree isn't Jermaine to the situation at hand.— Hontas Farmer (@Hontas_Farmer) December 14, 2020
(Let me be clear on campus, with students, in professional settings, in formal settings where titles are used YES... going to the store NO.) pic.twitter.com/J4WVfoAuap
In the above text to speech choosing the more common words is why Jermaine instead of germane etc. We can come up with COVID vaccine in less than a year but can't edit Tweets. So it stays.
Because the political faction she is allied to loves identity politics I feel this is utterly appropriate to point out. As I also tweeted on #DrJillBiden it is not a civil rights issue that a wealthy white lady with a PhD might not be called Doctor at times when no one else with a PhD does. We don't do that for other PhD's in govt., not for Nobel Laureates., Not even Einstein!
UPDATE 2: My instinct that this is really about Melania Trump proves right
My instinct that this is really not about a like for Jill Biden but a dislike of Melania Trump.
Let’s play ‘Know Your FLOTUS’. Today’s edition: Which one has a doctorate? pic.twitter.com/JIY6XYay2t— Huey 'Good Trouble' Newton (@HueyPNewton13) December 13, 2020
I am not here to defend Trumps people. Aside from their stances on big science in general I care not which party holds the White House. However, I will end with this observation. Plenty of supposed dumb bimbo cam girls can figure out how to administer a web page and run a high tech 4k stream with no support. Meanwhile, many college faculty can't figure out how to do likewise for their classes.
UPDATE It has to be pointed out that there is a difference between a PhD in Education and a degree of Doctor of Education
Curious fact regarding #DrJillBiden in most media she is cited as having an EdD. Which is thought of as a PhD in Ed. Apparently there could be a real difference with a distinction between these degrees. A Thread regarding @DrBiden tiles and all that pic.twitter.com/NfGpM4jKah— Hontas Farmer (@Hontas_Farmer) December 21, 2020