I was as appalled as most people when I heard the news the other day about Joseph Epstein's opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal advising Jill Biden that she should not insist on being addressed as "Doctor." Aside from the obvious fallacy of his argument--that a Ph.D. is not a real doctor--and aside from the clear sexism, it was a sad reminder of how slowly things change.
As a woman who holds an earned doctorate in engineering, I have had my share of experiences with people addressing me incorrectly. In one memorable incident early in my career, a colleague and I were meeting with a client. The client addressed me as Mrs. Marcus, but called my colleague Dr. Bxxx. To my colleague's credit, he saw the irony of the situation--I had a doctorate, but he did not!
And that is just one story. When I get together with my former classmates, we can share stories of such slights for hours on end. Still, that was over a generation ago, and I truly thought we had moved on from those days.
It is truly discouraging to discover that this kind of mindset is still prevalent, and that anyone has the gall to express such a viewpoint so publicly. I can only hope that this affront to Doctor Jill Biden and the uproar that followed will end up being the trigger to true change.