On the EDge: Let’s turn it all over to the women

OPINION — The Senate will soon come to a vote on a resolution that would place the image of a woman on a piece of U.S. currency.

The measure, drafted by Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, should pass with little difficulty. In fact, not long ago, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that his department was preparing to redesign the $10 bill that will go into circulation in 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Lew said a woman’s image would replace that of Alexander Hamilton.

Lew said the honor would go to a woman “who was a champion for our inclusive democracy.”

A 1980-S U.S. dollar coin, in the Susan B. Anthony design, first minted in 1979 | Photo via Wikimedia commons, St. George News
A 1980-S U.S. dollar coin, in the Susan B. Anthony design, first minted in 1979 | Photo via Wikimedia commons, St. George News

It is certainly fitting that a woman be so honored. The problem, however, will come when they try to decide whose image to place on the bill.

If the Treasury Department is inclined to celebrate the 19th Amendment, the logical choice would be Susan B. Anthony, an early feminist critical to the women’s suffrage movement.

Anthony’s image once graced a U.S. dollar coin, which was ill-received by the vending lobbyists because it was too close in size and appearance to a quarter. The “Suzy B’s,” as they were called, were retired in 2000.

While the Anthony coins were being minted, the Treasury Department also issued gold-colored dollar coins with the image of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who helped guide the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

I would be surprised if either of those women were brought out of retirement to grace the new 10-spot.

The last woman who was featured on U.S. paper money was Martha Washington, who was on the $1 silver certificate from 1891 to 1896. Pocahontas preceded her when she adorned a $20 note from 1865 to 1869, so they should probably be excluded, as well.

Besides, there are any number of women who would qualify, including my wife, who deserves some sort of recognition for putting up with me and certainly knows how to stretch a $10 bill, handling more of them than I do. She is also, by example, thought, and deed, “a champion for our inclusive democracy.”

While I doubt my wife would get any endorsements from Congress, the history books are filled with hundreds of deserving, underappreciated women.

There’s Eleanor Roosevelt, the former first lady and human rights activist. She was a woman of certain political clout, even to the point of opposing the viewpoints of her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She also served as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 until 1952. She was a warrior in the struggle for women’s rights.

$1 Silver Certificate, Series of 1891 (Fr. Ref#223), depicting Martha Washington. Engraved signatures of James Fount Tillman (Register of the Treasury) and Daniel N. Morgan (Treasurer of the United States). Martha Washington is the only woman (other than vignettes representing Liberty and Justice) depicted on United States Banknotes from the federal issuing period (1861 to the present) | Public domain photo from National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History, via Wikimedia Commons, St. George News
$1 Silver Certificate, Series of 1891 (Fr. Ref#223), depicting Martha Washington. Engraved signatures of James Fount Tillman (Register of the Treasury) and Daniel N. Morgan (Treasurer of the United States). Martha Washington is the only woman (other than vignettes representing Liberty and Justice) depicted on United States Banknotes from the federal issuing period (1861 to the present) | Public domain photo from National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History, via Wikimedia Commons, St. George News

There is Rosa Parks, the brave civil rights activist; Maya Angelou, another proponent of human rights and one of the most evocative poets of our time. Let’s also not forget the courageous and amazing Helen Keller, who overcame incredible odds and was a beacon for humanity, and Clara Barton, the Civil War nurse known for her humanitarianism as well as for founding the American Red Cross.

And, of course, from politics we have Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first woman to seek a presidential nomination from a major political party.

There are many, many more women who would be deserving of this honor, so many that it would be easier, and certainly less controversial, to decide whose image not to place on the $10 bill.

First of all, we would have to eliminate all current female politicians.

That would exclude Nancy Pelosi, the first and only female Speaker of The House, because of the toxic controversy it would evoke; Sarah Palin, whose very image would be a disgrace to Monopoly money; and Hillary Clinton, consistently rated by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful women in the world.

There is nobody on today’s celebrity radar who would qualify, so you immediately can dump Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Paris Hilton and Beyonce. Janet Jackson gets nixed, too. Wouldn’t want a wardrobe malfunction on our currency, would we?

There’s Oprah Winfrey, but she would probably ask for a royalty for every $10 bill printed. Besides, the honor would be for contributions to humanity, not for amassing great personal wealth and notoriety. I would also disqualify anybody whose last name is Kardashian, just because.

Look, it’s probably a good idea to kick Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill. He was a banker, you know, and bankers already have enough clout in our world.

Besides, Hamilton was a lousy shot, which would put him on the outs with the National Rifle Association lobbyists, and he was born in the British West Indies, which, I’m sure, doesn’t sit well with the “birther” crowd.

Look, women are on currency the world over. Why is the United States so primitive, so puritanical, so backward? As a longtime advocate for women’s rights — anybody who had a mother should be one as well — I think it’s long overdue.

That whole notion of “barefoot and pregnant”? Nah. Doesn’t sit well with me.

In fact, it’s probably time to turn it all over to the women. We men have done a lousy job.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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24 Comments

  • Not_So_Much January 26, 2016 at 7:39 am

    How about leaving the honor to our founding fathers and an individual who was president and now deceased?

  • .... January 26, 2016 at 8:25 am

    How about an iconic figure like Mickey Mouse and it will match the present administration in toilet bowl DC

    • IDIOT COMMENTERS January 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Mickey Mouse should be on every coin and dollar and also have his portrait incorporated into the U.S. flag, and the country renamed UNITED STATES OF MEXICO.

      TRUMP 2016!!

  • BIG GUY January 26, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I could support Eleanor Roosevelt even though I don’t necessarily agree with all she did and said. A reprise for Susan B. Anthony wouldn’t hurt my head, either. Seems like our currency ought to reflect contributions to the country’s government rather than some of the cultural/movement icons you mention.

    • .... January 26, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Anything is better than what you mentioned

  • 42214 January 26, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    A disabled black transgender would cover all the bases and satisfy the special interest groups.

    • .... January 26, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      Don’t leave out the Native American because ladybug will get her teepee in a knot !

      • IDIOT COMMENTERS January 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm

        a black, indian, mexican mix who is transgender with no arms or legs, who is blind and has a bad speech impediment should do it

        • IDIOT COMMENTERS January 26, 2016 at 6:18 pm

          oh, and also an illegal alien

          • .... January 26, 2016 at 10:21 pm

            And a member of a radical Islamic group

        • 42214 January 26, 2016 at 8:27 pm

          Sounds like Native Born Mexican

  • Forsooth January 26, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    How about we stop worrying about useless gestures and focus on actual issues? At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whose face is on the $10 bill, but how many of those bills would be required to pay down our obligations. Debt cares nothing for gender politics.

    • .... January 26, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Oh yeah actual issues uh uh like uh oh uh your an idiot ?

  • NotSoFast January 26, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Why do I visualize your wife holding a frying pan over her head dictating this opinion piece as you type?
    ‘Honey, I can’t say that’— ‘I said type it Edward, Now!’
    ‘But what if she’s indicted? Duh, Then we’ll change the name to Jane Fonda later. Type!

  • Forsooth January 26, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Besides, as an ever increasing percentage of sales occur digitally, the point is ever more moot. Just slap a picture of Hillary Clinton on your credit card and be done with it.

  • IDIOT COMMENTERS January 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    how about a 1/2 cent coin with obama on one side and micky mouse on other

  • eddantes56 January 26, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    “We men have done a lousy job”. Really compared to what? Men have their failings for sure but remember that men created the secure environment that allowed women to move aware from the house/farm. And the fact is men had just a little bit to do with the incredible lists of advances made in the last 200 years, electricity, agriculture, medicine and on and on and on. And who does the dirty, dangerous and hardest jobs? Sorry Ed, you are just spouting off again. If men have done such a lousy job, then go ahead and outline how the world will look and work with women in charge. LOL

  • r2d2 January 26, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I vote for Mother Teresa. I don’t see why it would have to be an American. Marie Curie would be another one.

  • .... January 26, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I vote for Lizzie Borden

  • .... January 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    How about Loraina Bobbit

  • .... January 26, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    or maybe typhoid Mary

  • ladybugavenger January 26, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    It’s a toss up between Geronimo and ladybugavenger

  • .... January 27, 2016 at 4:35 am

    You don’t qualify. you must of accomplished something in history beside complain about how the white man abused the Native American

    • ladybugavenger January 27, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      ….how about Trump for President on the $10 bill?

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