Society and Culture
Could a Female Face Grace the New Twenty-Dollar Bill?
In the immortal words of the one and only Beyonce Knowles “Who run the world? Girls!” But that anthem makes me wonder–if that’s the case, why in the U.S. are there no female faces on the actual thing that makes our world go round–our money? The nonprofit “Women on 20s” hopes to change that with its campaign aiming to get a famous female face on the twenty-dollar bill by 2020. The date would celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.
— Paul Shin (@PaulHBShin) April 8, 2015
“Women on 20s” started this portion of its advocacy by allowing voters to pick from 15 candidates, all of whom have made significant strides in history in her own right, and now it’s down to the final four. The final contenders include First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, abolitionist Harriet Tubman, and Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller.
The group’s executive director Susan Ades Stone told ABC News:
In the past 48 hours since the final round started, we’ve had 60,000 people cast votes already. Though all these women and many more deserve to be honored, the winner will be a symbol of what we hope are greater things to come.
But why the 20-dollar bill? Well according to the group’s website, continuing to immortalize Andrew Jackson on our money is blatantly disrespectful to American Indians and also kind of ironic.
While our nation’s seventh president was celebrated for founding the Democratic party, he also signed, supported, and enforced the Indian Removal Act of 1830, commonly known as the “Trail of Tears.” This mass relocation of American Indians off their “resource-rich land” to provide space for white European settlers resulted in the deaths of thousands from exposure, disease and starvation. Wilma Mankiller, who was the first elected female chief of a Native nation in modern times, could very well be the perfect American Indian-positive revamp for the somewhat tainted bill.
As for irony, according to the campaign’s site Jackson was actually a “fierce opponent of the central banking system and favored gold and silver coin or ‘hard money’ over paper currency,” making his permanent place on papered 20s quite funny.
Stone told ABC News that after the voting period ends, “Women on 20s” will “ask President Obama to start the process of getting the winning woman on the bill.”
Do you want a say in which lady graces the new twenty-dollar bill? Get involved and cast your ballot here, or tell us your pick in the comments below. All of these historic ladies deserve to grace our dough, but there can only be one winner.