Obama announced in a landmark moment yesterday, that a woman’s portrait will make it to their highly used $10 bill. With this, he has opened the floodgates for exemplary women like Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks etc to finally become immortalized.
Unveiling the remodeled note in 2020, is America’s way of celebrating 100 years since women’s suffrage became a reality. Polls and forums will be thrown open on various social media platforms to unanimously decide which woman icon deserves this honor, the only criteria for selection being that the woman be deceased and embody the theme of the bill’s new look: “Democracy.”
“America’s currency makes a statement about who we are and what we stand for as a nation,” said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who will make the final decision.
Featuring a woman on prominent currency has been discussed on various occasions in the past as well. There was a massive campaign only recently called Women on 20s, which bid to replace the controversial 7th US president Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill, with a woman leader.
“It’s been our goal from the beginning to see the face of a woman on our paper currency,” Susan Ades Stone, the campaign’s executive director, said in a phone interview to the Washington Post. “So naturally I’m excited to hear that our mission will be accomplished.”
Currently, tensions are also building over the $10 bill, the redesigning of which will involve unseating Alexander Hamilton, the country’s first secretary of the treasury, who advocated for a national currency, from his pedestal. As a middle-ground, officials said some bills could still portray Hamilton, perhaps in combination with a woman.
“Make no mistake. This is a historic announcement and a big step forward,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen , “Young girls across this country will soon be able to see an inspiring woman on the ten dollar bill who helped shape our country into what it is today and know that they too can grow up and do something great for their country.”
She had originally introduced the bill get a female face onto American currency, following the Women on 20s movement going viral.
Obama himself feels strongly about the issue and has been pondering over it since he received a letter from a 9 year old little girl. “I think there should be more women on a Dollar/coin for the United States because if there were no woman there wouldn’t be men,” wrote little Sofia in this honest musing to POTUS.
Women have had very small stints on currency in the past, but either the currency wasn’t popular enough to be kept in circulation, or it was discontinued randomly to be replaced with another man. Martha Washington was the last female face on silver-dollar certificate, way back in the 1800s, before the currency became obsolete. Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea also had a short stay on the $1 coin before the U.S. Mint largely stopped making them, because of a lack of popularity. Pocahontas was part of a group portrait on a bill circulated in the mid-19th century.