Michelle Obama, 56, is standing up for Dr. Jill Biden, 69, and her accomplishments in a new Instagram post. Wall Street Journal opinion editor Joseph Epstein argued that the teacher should drop “Dr.” from her name when she and her husband, President-elect Joe Biden, 78, enter the White House next month, but the former First Lady doesn’t agree with him. While indirectly responding to Epstein’s Dec. 11th op-ed, which claimed Jill “sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic,” Michelle praised the woman she worked beside for eight years.
“For eight years, I saw Dr. Jill Biden do what a lot of professional women do—successfully manage more than one responsibility at a time, from her teaching duties to her official obligations in the White House to her roles as a mother, wife, and friend,” Michelle wrote alongside a photo of her and Jill in the White House on Dec. 14. “And right now, we’re all seeing what also happens to so many professional women, whether their titles are Dr., Ms., Mrs., or even First Lady: All too often, our accomplishments are met with skepticism, even derision.”
“We’re doubted by those who choose the weakness of ridicule over the strength of respect,” she continued. “And yet somehow, their words can stick—after decades of work, we’re forced to prove ourselves all over again. Is this really the example we want to set for the next generation?”
Before her position as second lady with the Obama administration from 2009-2017, Jill studied at Brandywine Junior College in Pennsylvania, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees. She also went on to get her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007, but that apparently wasn’t enough to impress Epstein.
“Your degree is, I believe, an Ed.D., a doctor of education, earned at the University of Delaware through a dissertation with the unpromising title ‘Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs’,” he continued to write in the controversial op-ed about Jill. “A wise man once said that no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc.”
After Epstein’s suggestion made headlines, many of Jill’s supporters spoke out in disagreement and expressed their excitement about a “teacher” soon becoming a first lady. Michelle also concluded her message of support with her own excitement about the near future.
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
“Dr. Biden gives us a better example. And this is why I feel so strongly that we could not ask for a better First Lady,” she wrote in the last part of her Instagram post. “She will be a terrific role model not just for young girls but for all of us, wearing her accomplishments with grace, good humor, and yes, pride. 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.”
Jill hasn’t officially responded to Epstein’s op-ed yet, but she seemed to address it in her latest tweet, which can be seen above. “Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished,” it read.