Michelle Obama leaps to defence of Jill Biden as future FLOTUS urged to drop ‘Dr’ title

Jill Biden reveals her preferred title in 2016

Ms Obama heaped praise on the 69-year-old, highlighting the many responsibilities she has carried, including roles as a teacher, official obligations in the White House and motherhood. The tribute, shared with her 44million followers, came after the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by former university lecturer, Joseph Epstein, 83.

Mr Epstein referred to Dr Biden as ‘kiddo’, writing: “Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name? ‘Dr.Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.”

He added: “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.”

This prompted an online backlash, with Bernice King, the youngest daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, offering her support.

She wrote: “Dear @DrBiden: My father was a non-medical doctor. And his work benefited humanity greatly. Yours does, too.”

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The first lady, who uses her academic title on Twitter, received her doctorate from the University of Delaware in 2007 and also holds two master’s degrees.

Ms Obama, who was the first lady from 2009 to 2017, said “all too often” the accomplishments of women “are met with scepticism, even derision.”

She said Dr Biden “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.”

The mother-of-two wrote: “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.

“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 scepticism, even derision.

“We’re doubted by those who choose the weakness of ridicule over the strength of respect.

“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?

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“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 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.”

Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris tweeted: “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.”

President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in as president on January 20 after the Electoral College finalised his election victory on Monday.

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