Jill Biden has appeared to respond to an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal telling the future first lady to stop using the title “doctor.”
Biden, who earned a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007, has received an outpouring of support after writer Joseph Epstein called her “kiddo” in an opinion piece published Friday and wrote, “Any chance you might drop the Dr. before your name? Dr. Jill Biden sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.”
Epstein also wrote, “A wise man once said that no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child.”
Biden appeared to react to the op-ed in a tweet Sunday night.
Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.
— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) December 14, 2020
“Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished,” she wrote.
Biden started at Brandywine Junior College in Pennsylvania and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees before her doctorate. (Editor’s Note: NBC News only uses the formal “Dr.” title for individuals who are doctors of medicine.)
Several notable names in politics came to Biden’s defense, including Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who tweeted: “Dr. Biden earned her degrees through hard work and pure grit. … This story would never have been written about a man.”
Dr. Biden earned her degrees through hard work and pure grit. She is an inspiration to me, to her students, and to Americans across this country. This story would never have been written about a man. pic.twitter.com/mverJiOsxC
— Doug Emhoff (@DouglasEmhoff) December 12, 2020
Former first lady Michelle Obama praised Biden for “wearing her accomplishments with grace, good humor, and yes, pride.”
She added: “I’m thrilled that the world will see what I have come to know—a brilliant woman who has distinguished herself in her profession and with the life she lives every day, always seeking to lift others up, rather than tearing them down.”
Bernice King, daughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., also wrote: “Dear @DrBiden: My father was a non-medical doctor. And his work benefited humanity greatly. Yours does, too.”
“Her name is Dr. Jill Biden. Get used to it,” Hillary Clinton tweeted.
Her name is Dr. Jill Biden. Get used to it.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 13, 2020
Northwestern University, where Epstein taught for 30 years, issued a statement Saturday distancing itself from Epstein.
“While we firmly support academic freedom and freedom of expression, we do not agree with Mr. Epstein’s opinion and believe the designation of doctor is well deserved by anyone who has earned a Ph.D., an Ed.D. or an M.D.
Northwestern is firmly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and strongly disagrees with Mr. Epstein’s misogynistic views.”
The university also wrote that Epstein has not been a lecturer there since 2003.
Paul A. Gigot, the editorial page editor at The Wall Street Journal, defended Epstein’s piece in a note to readers on Sunday, accusing the Biden team of fanning the controversy to “promote an identity politics campaign.”
Biden has indicated in interviews leading up to this year’s election that she will continue to teach as first lady.