Read This Now

by matttbastard

Over at Global Comment, Sarah Jaffe, in a devastatingly on-target critique, utterly eviscerates yesterday’s head-pattingly patronizing L.A. Times article/future-bird-cage-liner (where the credentials of Dr. Jill Biden were examined [and dismissed] in a manner that was maddeningly glib, highly gendered–and entirely sexist).

Jaffe’s point about the underlying (and intersecting) double standards at play is especially sharp:

I have to wonder, if we were discussing a male academic who taught at a prestigious Ivy League university, the reporter would feel the need to spend the entire piece debating whether he deserved the prefix “Dr.”

The article’s dismissive tone is symptomatic of the way the media treats women, particularly accomplished women in the public eye. Jill Biden has several advanced degrees, and yet chooses to teach in a community college, helping students who often cannot afford to attend school full-time. This is worthy of respect, not a quibble over whether she deserves the title as much as someone who stitches up wounds, treats skin conditions, or performs nose jobs.

Highly recommended reading–the whole damn thing, goddammit.


Update 02/04: The Women’s Media Center has reposted Jaffe’s article in its entirety.  Check it out, and show some love.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

4 thoughts on “Read This Now

  1. Dr Rice? Meet Dr Kissinger.

    Rilly. There are few things more pretentious than accusing someone else of pretention when you happen to be both wrong and pretentious yourself.

    Is something weird going on at the LA Times? They also published that very strange article last week about Obama maintaining the “rendition program,” which all kinds of people have taken apart by now. There seems to be some intent here.

    Who owns the LAT, and why do we think they are doing such clumsily obvious partisan things?


  2. Apart from the obvious sexism, it isn’t pretentious to call oneself “Dr.” if one has earned a PhD. In fact, the term hails from there and has only been used to refer to medical doctors fairly recently – and in the UK, often it’s still not used in that way. A doctor is one who has doctorate. Within the academy, it’s quite normal to refer to such a person as a doctor, since that’s what she is.


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