$10 bill: Hamilton out, woman in

Finally, a woman's portrait will appear on American currency.  The Treasury Department announced that when the $10 bill is redesigned in 2020, there will be a woman's portrait gracing its front. 

Alexander Hamilton, the current face of the $10, could still have his face on "some of the bills," according to Politico:

The woman hasn’t been chosen yet. In true Washington bureaucratic style, the currency change will be open for public comment first.

The decision “reflects our aspirations for the future as much as our aspirations of the past,” Lew told reporters.

Women were last seen on paper currency in the 19th century, when Pocahontas was featured on $20 bank notes, and Martha Washington appeared on $1 silver certificates.

The decision to change the ten-spot came as feminist groups have been pushing for a woman on the currency in 2020 to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Sharing space with Hamilton — who not only conceived the nation’s financial system but also served as a protagonist in the nation’s first sex scandal — wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.

A nonprofit organization, Women On 20s (Slogan: “A woman’s place is on the money”), has been campaigning instead to get rid of Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, whose face appears on the $20 bill. Jackson’s record of removing Native Americans from their land and his opposition to the central banking system made him a good candidate to be yanked, they’ve argued.

Harriet Tubman was the winner of a poll the organization conducted to determine which woman should replace Jackson.

Getting rid of Jackson won't be easy.  An entire epoch of American history is named after him.  Imagine the bother of removing him from the history books.

Hamilton, on the other hand, has little to recommend him. He helped Washington win the Revolutionary War, but that makes him a warmonger - not fit to be on our currency. He sort of, kind of invented America in strongly advocating for the Constitution, but any woman, or black, or Hispanic could have done that if affirmative action had been present in the 1780s.  He was our first treasury secretary, but that's hardly an accomplishment when you consider that he based our economy on nascent capitalist principles. 

Now place Hamilton's problematic record against that of Eleanor Roosevelt – a woman whose accomplishments were entirely predicated on whom she went to bed with most nights.  No contest, eh?

There are probably 20 men in business, labor, and government who deserve to be on our currency more than any American woman who has ever lived.  Blame sexism and the patriarchal society for that sad state of affairs if it makes you feel better.  But the notion that we should honor a woman simply because she was a woman is insulting to the country and to all women who believe in real equality.

Finally, a woman's portrait will appear on American currency.  The Treasury Department announced that when the $10 bill is redesigned in 2020, there will be a woman's portrait gracing its front. 

Alexander Hamilton, the current face of the $10, could still have his face on "some of the bills," according to Politico:

The woman hasn’t been chosen yet. In true Washington bureaucratic style, the currency change will be open for public comment first.

The decision “reflects our aspirations for the future as much as our aspirations of the past,” Lew told reporters.

Women were last seen on paper currency in the 19th century, when Pocahontas was featured on $20 bank notes, and Martha Washington appeared on $1 silver certificates.

The decision to change the ten-spot came as feminist groups have been pushing for a woman on the currency in 2020 to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Sharing space with Hamilton — who not only conceived the nation’s financial system but also served as a protagonist in the nation’s first sex scandal — wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.

A nonprofit organization, Women On 20s (Slogan: “A woman’s place is on the money”), has been campaigning instead to get rid of Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, whose face appears on the $20 bill. Jackson’s record of removing Native Americans from their land and his opposition to the central banking system made him a good candidate to be yanked, they’ve argued.

Harriet Tubman was the winner of a poll the organization conducted to determine which woman should replace Jackson.

Getting rid of Jackson won't be easy.  An entire epoch of American history is named after him.  Imagine the bother of removing him from the history books.

Hamilton, on the other hand, has little to recommend him. He helped Washington win the Revolutionary War, but that makes him a warmonger - not fit to be on our currency. He sort of, kind of invented America in strongly advocating for the Constitution, but any woman, or black, or Hispanic could have done that if affirmative action had been present in the 1780s.  He was our first treasury secretary, but that's hardly an accomplishment when you consider that he based our economy on nascent capitalist principles. 

Now place Hamilton's problematic record against that of Eleanor Roosevelt – a woman whose accomplishments were entirely predicated on whom she went to bed with most nights.  No contest, eh?

There are probably 20 men in business, labor, and government who deserve to be on our currency more than any American woman who has ever lived.  Blame sexism and the patriarchal society for that sad state of affairs if it makes you feel better.  But the notion that we should honor a woman simply because she was a woman is insulting to the country and to all women who believe in real equality.