by Dr. Colleen Batchelder
There’s nothing worse than waking up to news of another story of sexism. But, it’s 2020. What else is new? Right?
Haven’t we moved past misogyny and out-of-date ideology?
As I perused this morning’s news with coffee in hand, I could barely hold the cup or the coffee, as my stomach turned with frustration.
“Jill Biden, not a doctor?”
“Are you serious?”
“What in the world is wrong with this world?”
I’m not sure what offends me more. The fact that the Wall Street Journal thought that it was permissible to question the educational sincerity of a woman, call her kiddo, or dismiss academic achievement entirely. All of these perspectives should have been scrapped after the first draft. But, they weren’t. They were published and presented as gospel truth.
According to Joseph Epstein’s article, Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D., Dr. Jill Biden should drop her achieved title of doctor and settle into her new role as First Lady.
Well, here’s the thing, Epstein. Her role as First Lady has nothing to do with her accomplishments. Jill Biden earned her doctoral degree. She composed a dissertation, conducted the research, and spent years pushing through the barriers to break her own glass ceilings. So, no. She shouldn’t settle into the role of First Lady Jill Biden and hide her academic prowess.
So, why is it so important that Jill Biden keep her title as doctor? Here are three reasons that are foundational and purposeful for all women.
Keeping Her Title Shows Her Expertise
According to Epstein, “no one should call himself Dr. unless he has delivered a child.” Let’s look at the idiocy of this statement. Firstly, if this was true, then cardiologists and neurologists should never be able to enter into a hospital because they’re not obstetricians. In the words of President-elect, Joe Biden, “Come on, man.“
Dr. Jill Biden is coming to the table and leaning in. She’s not standing in the corner waiting to be called on.
She’s accomplished her own goals as a woman and those accomplishments deserve to be recognised. Not shoved under the table because they might cause offense to some.
Keeping Her Title Inspires The Next Generation of All Genders
Millennials are the most educated generation. And many women are outpacing their male counterparts when it comes to attaining a bachelor’s degree or higher. This means that the majority of Biden’s voters value the insight and the experience of those within academia. Why is this important to note? Think about it. People invest in what they value.
For years, academia has remained a pinnacle of value because people trust research. There’s something about us that thrives off of doubt and skepticism. And higher education provides us with the opportunity to find answers amongst the questions.
We trust leaders who are willing to question their assumptions. Which leads us to the last point.
Keeping Her Title Shapes the Teachability of America
2020 has shown all of us our flaws and all of our blessings. It’s been a montage of love, loss, and lessons. Never before, have we seen the disparities of racial injustice like we have this year. It’s caused us to live with eyes wide open. And it’s also compelled us to ask three questions,
“What can I do?”
“What can I learn?”
“How can I shape the narrative towards racial justice?”
The most beautiful thing about this year has been the journey towards questioning. It has brought out the best in us because it has shown us the value of being teachable.
Starting in 2021, Dr. Jill Biden will help us remain in that place of teachability. She’ll use her words, her research, and her educational experience to bring us to a place of greater understanding. So, let’s get ready to learn something.
Here is our first lesson. Let’s call her doctor.
As a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and Leadership Strategist, Dr. Colleen Batchelder helps leaders create companies where Millennials want to work. Her doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives gives her an added edge because she approaches generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens. Connect with Dr. Batchelder on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.