In a historic moment for the English language, for the United States, and for Americans of all genders, Webster’s Dictionary today added the title “First Gentleman” to its pages. Since the inception of the country, the spouse of the president has been given the title of First Lady, since every president has been a man married to a woman. The shortened version of the title is well known to be FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States). Now, Because Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first ever female Vice President, her husband, Douglas Emhoff, needed his own appropriate, equivalent title to First Lady. Hence, First Gentleman was born. Granted, FGOTUS doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely, but that’s a small price to pay for the sound of the glass ceiling shattering, wouldn’t you say?
The First Gentleman himself made the announcement on Twitter this morning, sharing the announcement that Webster had shared, along with the simple statement, “Well, now it’s official. @MerriamWebster just added ‘Second Gentleman’ to the dictionary. I might be the first, but I won’t be the last.”
Twitter responds to the exciting news
As you might imagine, this announcement set off an avalanche of tweets in response, and people are feeling some type of way about it. One person replied to Emhoff, saying, “I think you are the definition of what a Second Gentleman should aspire to. Although I’ve never met any of the Presidential party we now have quality people making our country proud. Thank you and your wife!” Another said, “Douglas Emhoff, you were destined to make an important change in @MerriamWebster dictionary with new title ‘Second Gentleman’. Fortunately Internet made it simple and fast, print edition would have taken ages. Warm regards for you and Kamala, Mr history maker.”
Others directly lauded Emhoff’s willingness to put his own career and aspirations on the back burner to help support his wife in her history-changing position, saying things like, “Second gentlemen but first in humility and class! Which was completely unrecognizable in the prior administration especially the previous Commander in Chief” and “So proud of you Doug! I mean for a successful man like you to abandon everything just to love and support your wife is beyond amazing. I hope other guys can abandon their egos to see the true resilience and leadership in women. Congratulations.” Certainly, women aren’t often praised for doing exactly the same thing, as it is just expected, but these tweets and this whole historic moment show that maybe we are finally moving in the right direction.
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