I am asking this question, not in a misogynistic way but in the perspective of political and cultural changes because let's assume that a woman does gets elected (which is very much realistic) as POTUS , then what will the husband of the president be called as - First Man of the United States (FMOTUS), Instead of FLOTUS?? And will he has to occupy the east wing? And what political and cultural changes might happen?

  • The first question may be answerable, but the main question in the title is very broad. Consider editing to retitle and remove the last sentence.
    – James K
    Jan 17, 2018 at 17:46
  • I've voted to close this question as unclear, because while the subject is overly broad, the body is exceedingly bad. Jan 17, 2018 at 17:55
  • 1
    And none of the specific questions have actual answers (I think the FMOTUS was asked some time ago). These are issues decided by convenience (particularly, the FLOTUS expression is not official at all), and subject to change as needed or wanted (what would happen if the next POTUS is a man married to another man?)
    – SJuan76
    Jan 17, 2018 at 18:33
  • 1
    Other than title, what would you presume would otherwise have to change?
    – user1530
    Jan 17, 2018 at 21:34
  • 2
    This question is rather misframed. If a woman gets elected president of the USA, she might have one or several husbands, wives or any other gender-identification partners or spouses. I am unsure the US constitution defines any specific duties for spouse(s) or partners of the president. The president can probably appoint a role in the white house for any relative, drinking buddy or friend or acquantance to whom they are in some way indebted. I'm pretty sure a spouse cannot be forced to view color swatches, go shopping for curtains or live or work in the white house if they don't want to. Jan 18, 2018 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


In any given state within the United States, the title of the wife of the Governor of that sate is the "First Lady of the State Of X" and will parallel the title "First Lady of the United States" which is where we get "FLOTUS". While we have never had a Female POTUS, we have had female Governors, and their husbands are referted to as "First Gentlemen of the State of X". It will likely be that the first female POTUS will be married to the "First Gentleman of the United States" or FGOTUS, though the acronym FLOTUS may be preserved as the acronym is tied to to the office, not the person holding it (FLOTUS is used to describe the position within government communications, mostly military and secret service as a means of avoiding the needless words. It would likely be preserved cause it is easier saying FLOTUS and established) and sounds better. The East Wing office is the office of the spouse of the President and traditionally has handled the decorations of the White House and some of the more fun events. Traditionally, the FLOTUS will have a pet project she will champion (Dolley Madison was a champion of orphans and more famously known for saving iconic treasures from the White House during the War of 1812 at great personal risk. Jackie Kennedy was influential in White House restoration, Pat Nixon worked many environmental issues, Hilary Clinton worked with health care issues and Laura Bush was involved with Childhood Literacy.

The office of FLOTUS is responsible for hosting duties of the White House as the only official duty and will be influential in the decor and state events during her time. This is the only expected duty and despite it being a job, it is an unpaid one.

One duty that will likely not carry over with a Female president is that FLOTUS are very much trend setters in American Fashion and what the First Lady is wearing is very concerning to the press and celebrities. Presumably a female president will take charge of those duties, though the FGOTUS will still be under pressure to look good, though men's fashion isn't covered the same way.

Edit: It is likely that the term will be up to the first FGOTUS, as the term FLOTUS has no recorded use until Mary Tod Lincoln, the wife of the 16th President (Martha Washington was refereed to "first Lady" to as the wife of the President was known as "Lady Washington" and she was the first "Lady" of the United States.

The Wife of the Vice President is officially Second Lady of the United States (SLOTUS) but the title is rarely used and was abandoned in the 1990s in favor of "Wife of the Vice President" and was only recently brought back into use by Jill Biden and continued by Karen Pence. Until Tipper Gore, the SLOTUS was not an active public figure like the FLOTUS, so one could be forgiven for not knowing her official title. I like to have a thought that the fact that the acronym can easily be typoed into "Slut" (I did it twice in this paragraph) could have something to do with the office holders shying away from the term.

  • 2
    I'm unhappy with "likely". I would be surprised at the military or secret service using a technically incorrect name because it sounds better, but more importantly we came close enough to it happening long enough ago that there ought to be an official and unambiguous source.
    – user9389
    Jan 17, 2018 at 17:42
  • 1
    Just out of curiosity, what happens if a widow/widower gets elected (or the president's spouse dies / gets a divorce)? Do they shut down that part of the WH and representation?
    – janh
    Jan 17, 2018 at 17:43
  • 9
    @janh: According to Wikipedia: There are at least 13 known instances where the President was unwed or the First Lady was unable to peform her duties. In these cases, the role was fulfilled by a female relative of the President or a close female friend. The most recent occurance of this was in early 2017 when Melania Trump elected to stay in New York City to complete Baron Trump's school year. The role was assumed by Ivanka Trump until June of that year. From what I can tell, they do use the title of First Lady when in this capacity (and the jokes write themselves.).
    – hszmv
    Jan 17, 2018 at 17:53
  • 2
    Notion from a different country: Angela Merkel has been chancellor for over 12 years in Germany. During that time, her husband was nearly never seen in public, and continued his work as a professor at a university. There is no need to have a "first husband" role, although it is in prinicple possible if the person choses to act so, I suppose.
    – Thern
    Jan 18, 2018 at 8:35
  • 1
    @hsmvz It is not that different in Germany, with Loki Schmidt, Hannelore Kohl or Doris Schröder-Köpf being quite public figures engaged in charity. Still, Angela Merkel's husband did not follow this tradition - and nothing special happened. That is why I assume that it would be perfectly possible for a "First Gentleman" to choose to stay out of public if he wants, even if the USA is not exactly Germany.
    – Thern
    Jan 18, 2018 at 15:02