A while ago my favorite misogynist at work schlumped into the office at 8:15AM and began pontificating on the campaign to get women on 20s.
In the midst of his spiel on how ridiculous he found the whole idea, he stated that there would “first have to be a woman president.” Because apparently Ben Franklin was president? Who knew.
He also said that there hasn’t been a woman in America worthy of being on our money. At that point I was so angry that I had to leave the room. He joked as I was leaving that I was going to look up names. Bro, I don’t need to look up names. I can rattle off the names of women who have done plenty for this country without breaking a sweat.
Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sally Ride, Sacajawea, Zora Neale Hurston, Lucretia Mott, Sandra Day O’Connor, Dorthea Dix, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Grandma Moses, Margaret Sanger, Helen Keller, Georgia O’Keeffe, Amelia Aerhart, Dorothy Day, Grace Hopper, Abigail Adams, Maya Angelou. The list goes on, believe me.
This week, it has been announced that we will, in fact, be getting a woman on our money. I honestly cannot wait until he comes down here to complain about it. I have so many one-liners prepared, it’s insane.
“Guess the Treasury didn’t agree with you about the ‘worthiness’ of women, huh?”
“Are you going to boycott the $10 now?”
“Man, it must be hard to see centuries of privilege spin away into the ether. Do you need to sit down?”
It will not, however, be the $20, but rather the $10, that gets the makeover. Mostly because the $10 was the next in line to get a makeover in the next few years.
This brings up a couple of issues. First among which is that I’m not sure I want to see Alexander Hamilton replaced instead of Andrew Jackson. The Women On 20s group specifically targeted Jackson on the $20 in their campaign because of his controversial policies, namely the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which led to the Trail of Tears. Jackson also favored silver and gold coins over paper money, making him an odd choice to put on American cash, in my opinion.
By contrast, Alexander Hamilton was the founder of the financial system of this country. He was our first Treasury Secretary and took the lead in establishing a national bank. He also died in a duel, which makes him super bad ass in my book.
I get that the $10 was the next up to be changed, but replacing Hamilton over Jackson doesn’t really make good sense to me.
The other big issue that I have is that they might not be removing Hamilton entirely from the $10. They might just move him to the back. Now, while I’m a huge fan of Hamilton and don’t think he should be replaced, I don’t really like the idea of putting a woman on the money only to have her be chaperoned on the bill by the guy who had the job before her. Do they need the guy to lend her credibility or something?
And honestly, as thrilled as I am to see women taking a place on money, I have to agree with Jessica Williams from the Daily Show. I would rather see us make the money we’re worth than grace currency that’s quickly becoming outdated.