February 24, 2013

My daughter received this book of First Ladies as a gift. Looking through it, I was bothered by it but at first I wasn’t sure why. I find the title “First Lady” to be insulting. In this day and age, why should any title be forced on you just because of the job your husband got? Imagine if there was a title for the wife of a CEO? Say, “LCEO” for Lady of CEO. Imagine one day, your husband accepts a job as a CEO of Acme International, and his friends and colleagues start referring to you as “LCEO of Acme International”. Wouldn’t that be annoying? What if you have a career of your own? Say, you are trying hard to launch a career as a writer or an architect. One day suddenly, many people around you start introducing you to others: “Did you meet Jane? She is our LCEO.” I think the title “First Lady” is just as annoying and insulting as that. For most people, Bill Clinton becoming “First Husband” or “First Gentleman” sounds like a joke. The idea of “First Lady” should sound like a joke too. It’s like saying to her: “You will never achieve anything important on your own other than having married this important man.” Being the president of the United States is a job, literally. Marrying anyone is not a career achievement, so we should leave the spouses alone. Let them be who they want to be.