Call me a doctor

I enjoy a good debate/argument/slanging-match on Twitter as much as the next person, but recently I’ve been feeling a little under-endowed in these intellectual intercourses.

Because of my serious medical condition (bone-idleness) and my religious beliefs (that homework is a sin) evidence of my formal education extends only as far as half-a-dozen O-level certificates and a trail of teachers who’ve been through mandated anger-management training.

Normally I don’t let my lack of qualifications bother me. I don’t dribble (much) when I talk, I can use a knife & fork and even make a half-rhyme work, but when I’m debating against people who are doctors or even professors I do feel that I don’t measure up.

Hence, I’ve decided to award myself a PhD.

You can just print these things off, apparently

Since floating the idea I’ve discovered that so-called “real” doctors are hateful bigots, who discriminate against people who want a clever title, by acting as gatekeepers. They throw around big book-larnin’ words, like “accredited institutions” and “thesis” and “misrepresentation” in a shameful attempt to protect their turf from doctors like me, what is probably just as clever as they is.

This bookological essentialism serves to show how little these PhDers actually understand what they claim to hold so dear.

Scans have shown that there’s no chemical difference between the brain of a so-called real PhD and me, who has to look up which letters are capitalised in PhD every single time. In fact, taxi drivers who have studied The Knowledge have the most advanced brains[1].

Also, PhDs are entirely social constructs. Many indigenous peoples in Africa, the Americas, India and Scotland had no word for ‘doctorate’ before imperialist white colonisers arrived. If you’re insisting on the definitions of ‘educated’ or ‘literate’ that they imposed on those minority groups then you’re no better than they were, which in part explains why so many people with a post-graduate education are far-right Nazis[2].

We even know that the world is not split into a simple binary of having/not having a PhD. There’s very much a spectrum, ranging from “Learning your letters” through to “Having letters after your name”. The existence of this spectrum automatically means that anybody can place themselves anywhere on it[3], and nobody has the right to question them.

Anyway, I think the important thing is that other people with doctorates educate themselves (see above) and support me in joining their ranks (which is really quite a compliment, when you think about it[4]). Me declaring myself their intellectual equal doesn’t take anything away from people with a “real” PhD, and all I’m asking is that they don’t make fun of me when I don’t “pass”, by not knowing long words…and also that they don’t exclude me, by talking about academic subjects that I don’t understand…and that they never, ever suggest I don’t have a real PhD, just because mine is printed in black & white, because I was out of yellow toner…and that they make room for me on their grant applications…and that I’m considered equal to them when jobs professorships are being handed out.

So, really, it’s just a little bit of give and take from all sides.

I’m really thrilled to be joining the ranks of academia/the educated, and look forward to high profile interlectuals supporting my cause (hint, fucking hint, Professor Roberts). I’m sure this is going to be a learning experience for all of us.

[1] Sure I saw a programme about this
[2] Somebody on Twitter said so, et. al.
[3] Well, it just makes sense, dunnit?
[4] As long as you don’t think about it too hard or too long
[5] Fucking get me!

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