In the not too distant future, the $10 bill will bear a female face.
This as yet unnamed woman will be the first one in more than a century to join a mélange of dead presidents and statesmen featured on American paper currency, according to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.
Lew will solicit suggestions from the public, asking Americans to tender their picks on The New 10 website or via social media and the hashtag #TheNew10. The only requirements are that the woman reflect the theme of democracy, and she has to be dead.
This mystery lady won’t be the first to grace American paper money, but it has been awhile. Native American Pocahontas was on the $20 bill from 1865 to 1869. Before that, First Lady Martha Washington was depicted on the $1 silver certificate in the late 1800s.
A few women were stamped on U.S. coins — women’s voting rights activist Susan B. Anthony was on the dollar from 1979 to 1981, Native American guide Sacagawea on the same coin after 1999 and disability rights advocate Helen Keller on the 2003 Alabama quarter.
Currently, Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary is on the $10 bill, and he will remain even after the female is chosen. Apparently, the Treasury will either design two different bills, or Hamilton and the mystery lady will share the same bill. Typical. There’s always something preventing full inclusion, though introducing gender to currency does speak to the value of equality.
The new note will be issued in 2020 during the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
So who would you pick? I vote Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks. If you’re going to be diverse, why not be really diverse?