U.N. Representative: So, Mr. Evil…
Dr. Evil: It’s Dr. Evil, I didn’t spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called “mister,” thank you very much.
The most annoying thing about “Dr.” Michele Bachmann is not that she is lying by calling herself “Dr.” Whatever, as fibs go in politics, this is relatively small potatoes.
No, the real annoying thing is people insisting on calling themselves “Dr.” and insisting that others refer to them as “Dr.” Particularly in a social context, why insist on the title “Dr.”? It strikes me as exactly the wrong kind of message to send to anyone: “Ooh, I have a doctorate or doctorate-level education; ergo, I speak with authority.”
Sure, when it comes to medicine, or in the particular field of doctoral study, by all means refer to oneself as “Dr.” For those interested in academic regalia, there’s a long history of the particular title and its usage. Rep. Bachmann is not wrong to refer to herself as “Dr.” Certainly the word “doctor” appears in a juris doctor degree.
But this kind of pinheaded behavior is exactly the kind of thing that gives “elite” a bad name. It implies that years of study (in a subject that may only be tangential to the topic at hand) is worth the awe and deference of total strangers. A doctor should have additional authority in her area of expertise, for sure (except maybe chiropractic). But otherwise, the “Dr.” Bachmanns of the world are practicing the elitism they claim to dislike so much.
Along with “Dr. Laura” and her ilk, the “Dr.”-flaunters need to lay off the titles and let their expertise speak for itself.
Maybe the problem is that doing so would reveal what they really are: