On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed that has been lambasted as sexist and misogynist. Written by writer and essayist Joseph Epstein, the piece calls First Lady-elect Dr. Jill Biden "kiddo" and argued that she should stop using the "Dr." title in front of her name.
Dr. Jill Biden is a highly educated educator, and as is standard for someone who has received a doctoral degree — hers is from the University of Delaware — uses her earned prefix of Dr.
"'Dr. Jill Biden' sounds and feel fraudulent, not to say a touch comic," Epstein wrote. "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." Epstein argued Biden should "stow" the prefix "at least for now." Epstein is not known to have earned a doctoral degree.
Many have criticized Epstein for writing the piece and WSJ editors for publishing it. The Merriam-Webster went so far as to surface a story about the history of the term doctor, revealing that it "comes from the Latin word for 'teacher'" — which Dr. Biden certainly is. But as people began to dig into who Epstein was, they discovered that he is not only a misogynist but also a homophobe.
"Homosexuals are different, moreover, in a way that cuts dipper than other kinds of human differences — religious, class, racial — in a way that is, somehow, more fundamental," he wrote in an excerpt that has been shared widely on social media. "Cursed without clear cause, afflicted without apparent cure, they are an affront to our rationality, living evidence of our despair of ever finding a sensible, an explainable, design to the world. One can tolerate homosexuality, a small enough price to be asked to pay for someone else's pain, but accepting it, really accepting it, is another thing."
Chasten Buttigieg came out decisively against Epstein and wanted to build something that would prove a sign of dissent for those who were with them. As a result, he made a t-shirt.
"Want to say no to sexists and raising funds for the community college foundation where [Dr. Biden] teaches?" he tweeted. "Well, you're in luck." The shirt itself simply says Doctor First Lady Jill Biden with proceeds benefiting North Virginia Community College Educational Foundation. Since the launch, over 2,500 shirts have been sold exceeding the goal of 500. The numbers mean that there's over $29,000 being donated to the fund so far.
In the process of making the shirt, the website glitched for Buttigieg prompting Charlotte Clymer to step in.
"The website was glitching for Chasten when he was making this great design, so I set it up on my end," she tweeted. "All his idea and the proceeds go to North Virginia Community College Educational Fund, where Dr. Jill Biden teaches." The second shirt says "That's 'Dr. Biden' to you, sir." It has sold over 1,600 designs, making for over $18,000 in donations. Combined, the two designs have raised over $47,000 and are on track for $50,000 by the end of the night. (Editor's note: By Monday morning, the efforts had raised over $58,000.)