As the bishop might have said to the actress, pushing back her advances: "These days, a lot of ladies are trying to be first."
Ancient joke, which amused me when I was twelve years old.
A guy asks his mate: "Who was that lady I saw you with last night? "
Reply: "She's no lady. That's my wife."
The First Lady terminology is old hat and rather sexist. Not at all politically correct. What would have happened if Hillary Clinton had become president? Would Bill have been referred to as the First Lord?
What would happen if the elected president of a republic happened to be lesbian, and married to a woman. The latter would be merely the Second Lady.
Here in France, we recently had a First Divorcee. Then Carla Bruni was the First Partner for a short time, before becoming a full-fledged honorable First Lady.
Language would have to evolve just as rapidly as our morals if ever a gay president were to be elected.
Maybe the ideal situation would consist of reverting to the way things were at the time of Général de Gaulle. It would have been unthinkable for "Aunt Yvonne" (as she was called affectionately) to set aside her knitting in order to play some kind of semi-official role. Up until now, Carla Sarkozy has expressed no desire to break into the fascinating world of knitting. And we might suppose that Bertrand Delanoé's companion (if he exists) is even less excited by this noble activity. So, we need to get adjusted to this new world in which we now live. To start the ball of wool rolling, I suggest that the sexless expression "First Partner" be adopted from now on to designate the president's favorite companion. With a minimum of poetic license, this expression might even be used in the case of a president living alone with his/her favorite dog or cat, say. Taking things to extremes, even an exotic beast such as an Alaskan moose could theoretically become a First Partner.