Founding Fathers of our country have adorned the paper currency we use for more than 100 years so we are long overdue for some fresh faces. Over the past ten years, the U.S. Mint has made some really interesting changes to the $5, $10, and $100 notes. But the most exciting and buzz-worthy modification yet has recently been announced—the addition of historical women leaders! Our country has been shaped by the hands of many people; not just by white men. It only seems logical that we honor ALL of the great leaders this country has known. The powerful women who will now hold a position on our bills are Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be included in the new designs as well.
The Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew, originally proposed the idea of having Tubman replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, however, many people were upset at the suggestion to remove the founder of our nation’s financial system. A large portion of the protesters were fans of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton. It seems more fitting that she replace the slave holding Andrew Jackson on the $20 note, instead. How ironic.
This change is monumental and historical. Money is what the United States of America, and the world, revolve around; every decision made is based around it. If we choose to decorate our currency with leaders important to our nation, those leaders should be an accurate representation of America’s values and beliefs, not to mention it should represent our population too. Dr. King, for example, represents peace and civil rights. Alice Paul represents the fight for equality between men and women. Harriet Tubman represents the abolition of slavery and freedom of the people. THESE are the men and women we should honor.
This is a huge advancement for the Women’s Rights Movement, a small but powerful step in the direction of moving away from a patriarchal society. Women are poorly represented in many fields, including politics, so it is pertinent that we have a presence that is so popular and commonly seen.
The leaders we presently honor (Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, etc.) were great, however when we only honor male leaders, we diminish the accomplishments made by women throughout our history. By redesigning our bills, we are representing women in general. This change is also important because there is now representation for people of color, since the precedent is white males. (Sacagawea is on the unpopular U.S. dollar coin, but the changes being made to the paper money are much more prominent.) It is time to recognize the amazing women who have immensely advanced human rights in our country. It is their hard work and dedication that has made the United States the strong and diverse nation it is today. The greatest honor to these women is to have them represented in a manner equal to men. I mean that is what they spent most of their lives working for. Although they are all deceased now, there is no greater honor to offer than to put into practice their life’s work.