Monday, December 14, 2020

That's DR. Undine to you, Joseph Epstein

 This may be a blogtime first for the number of days between posts--sorry. This is a catching up and promising to do better post. 

First of all, how about that old rich white guy's screed against women academics using the titles they've earned and not knowing their places? I don't need to link to it, but there's a nice takedown here:

If you didn't see it (it's linked to at the takedown link), the basic argument is this: 

1. He, a B.A., is better educated 

Narrator: He's not

2. And more worthy of respect, even though he doesn't know the difference between an honorary and an earned degree

Narrator: Ditto

3. Than Dr. Jill Biden, who earned her Ed.D. and wrote a dissertation of "dubious value"

Narrator: A: No. and B: Is he qualified to judge?

4. And that she, "kiddo, Jill"--should shut up, stop using "Dr.," and get back in the kitchen, where she belongs.  And also, get off his lawn.

Narrator: Accurate summary. 

* note on "kiddo"--you know who uses "kiddo" all the time, according to Joyce Maynard? J. D. Salinger, about whom some of you here have expressed, um, strong and wonderful opinions. I think we've found out exactly what kind of person Holden Caulfield all growed up would turn out to be. 

Instead of apologizing, the WSJ doubled down and called women's outrage "cancel culture." Draw your own conclusions about that. 

But really, Epstein's screed is just another in the WSJ's series of "who is destroying our sacred white education?" series. 

Now we know the answer:  The wimmenz! The middle-class wimmenz!

As I wrote back in 2013--you can call me Cassandra--this is just one of their attacks on contemporary education: 

First of all, I think this is the same article they run every month under a different title and by-line. It goes something like this:

When I was at beautiful Ivy or Oxbridge back in the olden days, I had an extremely famous professor (this time: Frank Kermode) who inspired me with the timeless truths of the humanities curriculum. 
Alas, there were few such professors then, and there are none today. That pesky GI bill opened education to the masses, and now students want grades instead of reading literature for timeless truths. Literature has been sullied by the grade-grubbing paws of these students. Where is the pure love of literature of yesteryear?


nicoleandmaggie said...

One of my (older white male) colleagues calls me kiddo all the time. ...

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

I'm so glad to hear someone published a good take-down, and that outrage was expressed to the WSJ even if they did double down. I rolled my eyes and considered the source, and indulged in a few minutes imagining how I might treat Epstein if I ever met him socially (basically, very polite and vague "who are you again" treatment while concentrating on women in the vicinity).

Welcome back! I hope you've been enjoying your writing house in the interim.

CG said...

Ha. I like your parsing of the article. It's almost like you know how to analyze text because you're a professor who writes and critiques writing as part of your job. They published some good letters to the editor about that piece of crap article today. What a jerk. Time for him to retire.

gwinne said...

I saw that Dr. Jill Biden was trending on Twitter. For about 30 seconds I was excited to see why. Then I saw why and promptly changed my twitter handle like every other female PhD...


Good to hear from you!

nicoleandmaggie said...

I'm afraid I would be worse than the, "who are you again"... I'd be like, I thought I heard you committed suicide in jail? That must be someone else. (Apologies to all non-misogynist J. Epsteins.)

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Oooh, N&M, that's great! Such things never occur to me in the moment.

nicoleandmaggie said...

To be completely fair, that was my first thought... "now where have I heard that name before? Isn't he that Hollywood horrible dead guy?", and not something clever I came up with full knowledge.

undine said...

nicoleandmaggie--maybe it's an old white guy thing? I love your imagined response.

Dame Eleanor--thanks! I have been loving the writing house--go out to work without getting in the car--although the amount of writing I've accomplished is pretty much zero. It's as though covid times have sapped energy and imagination, or maybe it's just garden variety laziness.

Gwinne--thanks! I tried to comment over on your place but Firefox wouldn't let me, for some reason.