My letter in the Washington Post about the new $100 bill

This was published this morning in the Post in the Letters to Editor section:

U.S. needs to face up to sexism on its paper money

Saturday, April 24, 2010

On Wednesday, the Treasury Department unveiled the new $100 bill slated to go into circulation next year ["Redesigned, high-tech Benjamin aims to keep counterfeiters at bay," news story, April 22]. But it still sports a picture of Benjamin Franklin. It’s disappointing that in this era of supposed gender equality, not one of the seven denominations of paper currency in circulation commemorates the achievements of a woman.

The constant selection of men to be honored on our nation’s currency, stamps and statuary sends a powerful message to all citizens about the relative contribution of men and women to our nation’s history. Our sons and daughters are especially vulnerable to this subtle yet insidious sexism. We might tell girls “you can do anything,” but our nation’s symbols and icons tell a different story. Girls and women deserve equal representation.

Lynette Long, Washington

The writer is president of Equal Visibility Everywhere.

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3 Responses
  1. David in Ohio says:

    Excellent points, Lynette, as always. Maybe folks reading your great letter should consider writing their local papers and blogs along the same lines. My approach in a letter I wrote was to name a couple of specific alternative women of finance as likely candidates.
    This gets you there.
    Let’s hope some of the Washington insiders see your message and it resonates with them.

  2. KT2001 says:

    This is a great letter. It really gets to the heart of the sexism in our country- we think of men as being the norm who stand for all. It’s not true. Men cannot speak for women. We have to speak for ourselves. I am always amazed when I visit other countries and see women on their currency. It may seem small, but it is very big. Women on currency is a reflection of power for girls and women. The country is saying “We honor her.” It is time we had women on our paper currency.

  3. There’s something about the new $100 bill : EVE | Equal Visibility Everywhere says:

    [...] a rather funny take on the new $100 bill (see our own blog posts here and here) from the Detroit Free Press: Caption This — The new big [...]