Jill Biden is a doctor, you guys. She, the Biden team, and the media have made it clear that any less of a description is patriarchal misogyny and probably racist somehow too. You see, even though you never call other Ed.Ds “doctor” outside of a strictly professional environment (i.e. your professor at school), Jill is special. She worked hard for her credentials, garnering her degree in her 50s, and by golly, she’s a Democrat.
After a week of gnashing of teeth over a single op-ed in The Wall Street Journal making fun of the idea that Jill Biden should be addressed as a doctor, she now wants you to know that it was the “tone” that really bothered her.
— Decider (@decider) December 19, 2020
Dr. Jill Biden is opening up about recent attacks on her doctorate. In a new interview with Stephen Colbert, the incoming first lady revealed that the newfound questioning of her credentials came as “such a surprise,” particularly because she’s spent many decades in the education field. Biden added that “it was really the tone” of the criticism that upset her, as it invalidates the years of work she put into her degree. “One of the things I’m most proud of is my doctorate,” she told Colbert. “I mean, I worked so hard for it.”
This comment came via the softest of soft-ball interviews provided by Stephen Colbert. Yes, the Biden transition chose a wildly left-wing comedian to give the first major post-election interview to because they really care about being held to account. Note that not once during the last four years has a single media outlet given credence to the idea that the “tone” used to talk about Melania Trump is out of bounds.
Jill Biden mentions that she worked “so hard for it” as if that somehow dictates violating normal etiquette when it comes to addressing her. Ask yourself this. How many engineers do you know with a doctorate? I know quite a few, including my grandfather. I can count on one hand the times I’ve heard him or others referred to as doctor outside of the work environment, and even then, that’s usually only on paperwork. This is true for all doctoral degrees except those in the medical field. An Ed.D is also one of the lowest forms of a doctorate you can get. No offense to those who have one because it’s still an accomplishment, but it’s not 8 years in medical school, a doctorate in the major sciences, or even the equivalent of going to law school.
Besides, do you want to know how petty this all is on the part of Jill Biden? Per her own admission, she did not get her doctorate because she wanted to continue her education to better herself. No, she says she got it because she was tired of seeing her husband referred to as “Senator” on mail while she didn’t have a grander honorific out front. This is a woman who is obsessed with status and credentialism. That’d be fine if she kept it to herself, but when she demands via a public shaming campaign that everyone else play along, we’ve got problems.
Frankly, I don’t care about Jill Biden’s concerns over tone. She’s welcome to stop thrusting herself into the spotlight if she’d like. To the extent that she doesn’t, she’s fair game for political criticism. Certainly, no one gave any member of the Trump family a reprieve. The Bidens won’t get one either.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)