anthropologist, not the actress.
Letter to Joseph Epstein
December 16th, 2020
Dear Joseph Epstein,
I am just emailing to thank you for your bravery in calling out Jill Biden’s arrogance in daring to label herself a doctor. As you say, ‘A wise man once said that no one should call himself “Dr” unless he has delivered a child’. Exactly. Only real doctors deliver children. Okay, sure, these days only obstetricians qualify for that description – midwives too, but they don’t count because they’re primarily women. Plus, you were clearly being metaphoric – just like when you say that anyone with a PhD who refers to themselves as ‘Dr’ is ‘bush league’ (a.k.a. female). I mean, it’s clear that the ‘wise man’ you are referring to is you, but rarely have I seen someone with their finger so firmly on the public’s pulse. Sure, the public in question is long dead, but the point is that there are clearly pulses and fingers involved – just like a real doctor!
As a lady doctor of the non-medical variety myself, you’re so right: an honorary PhD and a ‘real’ one are basically the same thing. Okay, yes, one takes years to obtain and the other one is handed out to celebrities, but that’s basically a potatoes/potahtoes distinction. Plus, as you note, Jill Biden obtained her Doctorate in Education at 55. Fifty-five! Women shouldn’t even be allowed in universities at that age – everyone knows that menopause scrambles the brain. (That’s incidentally why a woman can never be president: if we’re not setting off a nuclear bomb because we’ve got our period, we’re pushing the red button because we’ve had a hot flush and think we’re ordering an iced tea from the White House kitchen!)
You said it best: ‘Forget the small thrill of being Dr. Jill, and settle for the larger thrill of living for the next four years in the best public housing in the world as First Lady Jill Biden’. Why would any woman want to be known by her own accomplishments rather than those of her husband? Doesn’t she know that the etymology of woman is ‘wife plus man’ and that a woman has no identity except in relation to her husband? (At least the midwives got that part right!)
Speaking of etymology, this is a little awkward because you are, as you so clearly demonstrate, a Wise Man, but I wanted to have a quiet word in your ear about the etymology of the term ‘doctor’. ‘Doctor’ comes from the medieval Latin term doctor, which means ‘religious teacher, adviser, scholar’ and has been used to refer to the ‘holder of the highest degree in a university’ since the 1400s. It only gained wider usage as a reference for a medical healer in the late sixteenth century – unlike physician, the preferred term for the latter since the 1200s. So in many respects, Jill Biden is using the term more correctly in its original historical sense than, well, you. But mum’s the word, eh? Or, rather, dad. I know as well as you do that you just can’t trust the ‘bush league’ (a.k.a. women).
Prof. Dr* Kirsten Bell
*You should totally write an expose on Professor Drs. What a bunch of arrogant twats! (Literally. It is a travesty that women are labelling themselves in this way.)