There’s been a discussion going back and forth on social media about calling yourself “Dr.” when you have a Ph.D or Ed.D. and not an M.D.
It started because of a Wall Street Journal article criticizing Jill Biden for insisting on being called “Dr.” outside of the educational setting.
Now I don’t really care one way or another about the terminology but I was always taught by my Ph.D parents that you never use the title outside of the academic or work setting, that people who did so were being pretentious. So my mother was “Dr.” at the university and “Mrs.” in the other aspects of her life.” Jill Biden doesn’t even have a Ph.D., she has an Ed.D. An Ed.D while a doctorate is not considered as prestigious as a Ph.D because there’s far more work and actual research involved in a Ph.D. than in an Ed.D.
Understand that a Ph.D., while relaxed of late, used to mean you not only had to know and have produced original research on your subject requiring years of work, but that you had to present and defend your thesis as well as pass oral exams in your subject, and exams in two languages other than English to show that you could read scholarship in the original language. Jill Biden didn’t face any of that rigor.
But I do care about the ridiculous response to the op-ed by Joseph Epstein, with people going after him and the WSJ for running the article, and trying to shut down the opinion. Prior to this ridiculous Jill Biden controversy, people in academia would have readily admitted the basic fact that my parents shared with me. Now, we’re supposed to act as though that isn’t the general approach and that somehow this poor man who wrote about it should be flogged from the battlements for saying it and is somehow misogynistic.
In other words, our new reality completely depends on defending, at all cost the Democrats, whatever the prior truth or however ridiculous the controversy. And anyone who comes up on the wrong side of that equation has to be crushed.
So not only did the left go after the Wall Street Journal but they tried to go after Joseph Epstein at Northwestern, who had been listed as an “emeritus lecturer” there, at least up until Saturday.
.@jamestaranto, you and the @WSJ should be embarrassed to print the disgusting and sexist attack on @DrBiden running on the @WSJopinion page. If you had any respect for women at all you would remove this repugnant display of chauvinism from your paper and apologize to her.
— Michael LaRosa (@MichaelLaRosaDC) December 12, 2020
Nothing he said in his article, which you can read here, was even remotely sexist.
The university of course completely caved and distanced themselves from him.
Joseph Epstein had been listed as an “emeritus lecturer of English” on the school’s website earlier Saturday, but the page had vanished later in the day, journalist David Gura noted.
The college also issued a statement saying it “strongly disagrees” with Epstein, who argued Biden should drop the title as she’s not a medical doctor.
“Northwestern is firmly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and strongly disagrees with Mr. Epstein’s misogynistic views,” said the university, the Daily Northwestern reported.
The school also noted he “was never a tenured professor at NU and has not been a lecturer here since 2002.”
Nice. Way to throw him under the cancel bus!
Now, it doesn’t sound exactly like he was canned if he in fact hasn’t worked there since 2002. But he has been wiped, in a Stalin-esque kind of a way from being listed their website and they have dissed him with that statement, for the great crime of apparently daring to be critical of Jill Biden’s pretentious use of the term and actually stating the common approach by academics to the use of the term.
Troubling that the cancelling came for him, especially over something both stupid and true. But this is how far they will go to shut down opposing thought. Even if it’s thought that has been accepted by academia for decades.