Unfortunately, The Wall Street Journal thought it was appropriate to publish the tantrum of a mediocre white man. This individual had nothing better to do in life than to wake up and complain about Dr. Jill Biden, wife of President-Elect Joe Biden, for using Dr. as part of her name. Although Biden has a doctoral degree in education, he believes that no one should use Dr. unless they have delivered a baby.
That’s not even the best part. This man went on to brag about being able to teach at a university for years with just a bachelor’s degree. A person who doesn’t even have a doctoral degree thought it was appropriate to chastise people who have earned the degree on if they could use the title Dr. or not.
Women are not surprised about this at all. Most women have had encounters with men who have achieved less, but think it is their place to tell women what they can and can’t do. What is worse is that some of these men get paid more than highly qualified women.
After bragging about being able to teach at the university with a lower-level degree, the university came out and distanced itself from the individual. The web link that originally had information about the individual on the university’s website is no longer available. If this individual was comfortable with writing such words, what was this person teaching? What views did he share in the classroom? Why would someone even want to work at a university when they don’t respect the right for anyone with a doctoral degree to use Dr.?
Newsweek mentioned that the AP stylebook’s guidance says that Dr. should not be written if the person has a doctoral degree in education. There are only a few doctoral degrees that the AP stylebook recommends for using Dr. with the person’s name. However, each publication can determine which guidelines it will follow. All that matters is that whatever decision is made is consistent in all pieces published by that publication.
For example, many Black publications capitalized the ‘b’ in Black when referencing race even though the AP stylebook stated the ‘b’ should be lowercase. Locally, The Indianapolis Recorder was one of those media outlets. Recently, the AP stylebook had a change of heart during social justice summer 2020 and decided to shift the language to capitalize the ‘b’ in Black and the ‘i’ in Indigenous.
Guess what? Black and Indigenous communities weren’t waiting on permission or approval from anyone. This means it does not matter what some mediocre white man has to say. The person who earns the doctoral degree determines this. People who don’t like it can stay mad.
I have been working on earning a doctoral degree in education since 2018 through Indiana University. Trust and believe, once I accomplish my goal, no one is going to influence me to reconsider how I should be addressed.
DR. Shawnta S. Barnes has a nice ring to it!