In the year 2020, we will be celebrating 100 years since the 19th Amendment was signed. We will be celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage. How fitting, then, that we use our votes to demand that we see a women’s face on at least one type of US paper currency?!
As you saw from the above video clip (and perhaps Tina’s latest blog post), there is a grassroots campaign to replace Former President Jackson’s face on our $20 bills with a woman. And, as Tina enthusiastically expressed in her last blog post, the finalists to take on this important role consist of three women of color and a white civil rights activist!
Not only do we have a grassroots campaign, however, but now we also have a (different kind of) bill that is actually going to be considered by the Senate. You guys, this may actually happen! I’d also like to mention that in addition to these two routes that *may* lead to change, Obama himself has expressed interest in putting some female faces on our money. Apparently, an adorable letter sent to the President by a 9-year-old girl made an impact.
If this happens — and I really hope it happens — what does this mean about our society? Does this mean that we as a culture are no longer sexist? Does it mean we’ve made it? I would have a hard time believing anyone who makes that argument. It’s similar to the argument that “Barrak Obama is our President. Racism is dead.” Umm…. NOPE. But it does mean that we are recognizing that there’s still more to do and that we are taking steps in the right direction.
A woman’s right to vote — ensured nearly 100 years ago — did not fix sexism. It didn’t fix the fact that I see a male’s face every time I pull out a dollar bill. It didn’t fix the fact that women are still paid less than men. It didn’t fix all of the other issues I’ve addressed in this blog so far — the interpersonal, the internalized, the institutional, the cultural sexism I continuously mention. But it did fix the way women and men can band together to affect change. We can use our right, use our votes to keep pushing. Feminists* are still fighting. Feminists are still pushing for equality. Feminists are still voting. So go vote for a woman’s face on your $20 bill. And hope that the people in power are listening.
*I use the term feminists very intentionally. I like this word, and I stand by it.