He might be making history in his new role, but he is making sure to acknowledge all of the women who came before him. Doug Emhoff's first tweet as "second gentleman" is feminist perfection. The former lawyer used his platform to remember all of the women who came before him as spouses to vice presidents, and it's a wonderful example to set for future generations.
On Wednesday, Emhoff's wife became Vice President Kamala Harris, making history as the first woman, first Black person, and first person of Indian descent to take on the role. As her husband, Emhoff made history as well. The father of two has become famous for being enthusiastically supportive of his wife throughout her political campaign, first in her bid to become president and then as vice president alongside President Joe Biden. Emhoff has even announced that he will be taking a leave of absence from DLA Piper, his private law practice, in order to fully commit to his supportive role in the White House.
Now that he has arrived at the White House with Vice President Harris, he has a new official Twitter account as "Second Gentleman," a title that has never been used before. As second gentleman, he used his first tweet to acknowledge the historic weight of his new office. But even more than that, he was sure to "remember generations of women" who have served in his role before him.
As Emhoff wrote in his tweet, "I am honored to be the first male spouse of an American President or Vice President. But I'll always remember generations of women have served in this role before me—often without much accolade or acknowledgment. It’s their legacy of progress I will build on as Second Gentleman."
Social media users were quick to praise Emhoff for his enlightened tweet, writing messages like "Thank you so much for being a role model for young men like me throughout the country!" and this beautiful reminder that he is setting the stage for an entire new generation, "I can't wait to see what you do. You're creating a whole new class of people. A lot of future men are going to be looking back to see your example."
Emhoff managed to strike the perfect note between humility in his present role and acknowledging the women who came before him. Women who did not exactly get the same level of effusive press coverage Emhoff gets for standing by their spouse. While many people praise Emhoff for his supportive role, the reality is that women have been expected to do exactly the same for their husbands for centuries without much of a choice in the matter.
The Biden administration is truly the first of its kind on many levels. Doug Emhoff will be the first second gentleman, yes, but first lady Dr. Jill Biden will be the first woman in her role to continue working as a teacher.
Doug Emhoff's decision to take on a supporting role to his wife should be celebrated in equal measures alongside Dr. Biden's decision to keep working. That's feminism, folks.