Tag Archive | rosa parks

Women on the $20 bill

There has been a lot of coverage lately over the endeavor to get a woman on the $20 bill.

There are so many issues that this topic brings up. Instant thoughts of well, it’s always been done this way, or it should be a president, or why is this a big deal?

Let me answer the third question right off the bat. Why is this a big deal?

Because, unfortunately, it is.

Women are still held down, thought of less, and underrepresented. Women make less that men do. Women work less in STEM.

Here is a quote from an article in Think Progress “Despite making up about half of the workforce overall, only about a quarter of workers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields — otherwise known as STEM — were women in 2011, according to a new report from the Census Bureau”.

Another quote from the same article “The women who stick it out in these jobs can also expect to be paid less. Women with a science or engineering degree working full-time make $58,000 a year compared to $85,000 for men. The gap narrows for those who work in a STEM job, but it doesn’t disappear. Women who work in STEM make $75,100 while men make $91,000.”

Wow. Powerful stuff to read.That is a big pay gap. I think society at times likes to brush this aside, as if to say, yeah, but it’s not a huge pay gap. Yes, it is. $58,000 compared to $85,000? That is significant.

That’s more than what a minimum wage worker makes in a year.

Women are constantly misrepresented. It’s in the every day occurrences, the small slights, and the barbs. Look at our upcoming World Cup. It’s the FIFA World Cup and the Women’s FIFA World Cup. Why the difference? Why does it have to be a qualifier that it’s women? Personally, I prefer the women. They do less flopping. Plus, even in this sport, it is so hard to find equal representation. When looking on the FIFA website, it lists Klose as the top scorer with 16. However, Abby Wambach has had 22 goals scored. So tell me this, why is it misrepresented that a man has the most World Cup goals, when in fact, it was a woman?

Many other instances over history show that women are underrepresented. Female scientist like Marie Tharp were dismissed, mostly because they were a woman. She is credited with first mapping the ocean floor. Yet, the credit first went to a male. There are countless examples of this.

One of the commercials I love most as of late are the Always commercials. When asked what it means to be a girl.

The reason this pulls at your heartstrings is because it’s true. We are taught that we are less for being a girl.

Some of the issue is one of the insights I mentioned earlier, it has always been done this way, so why change it now? Simple. Just because something has always been done one way does not make it right. Just because we have always had Andrew Jackson on the $20 does not mean it needs to stay that way. This issue, the thought of “it has always been done this way” as an excuse came up with the Adrian Peterson child abuse case. Just because African American parents in the past have used switches to inflict discipline upon a child does not make it right. We learn. We grow. Shoot. My parents didn’t make us wear our seat belts when we were kids, but that didn’t make it right. The Romans used lead in their plumbing, that didn’t make it right. We need to move past this sort of ho-hum reasoning if we want to evolve as a society. I’m not one to quickly judge those in the past, but move forward, we must …

… obviously, not in all instances, some wrongs will never be made right, I’m looking at you Nazis.

As for it always being a president, that’s not true. Look at who is on the $100 bill.

I, personally think it would be a welcome change to have a woman on the $20 bill. No matter who you vote for, it would be a great way to insert some simple, subliminal equality of our own into the world. Women do great things, just like men. Both deserve recognition.

Personally, I voted for Eleanor Roosevelt. I have long been a fan of hers. It was a hard choice for me between her and Harriet Tubman. How do you choose between two heroes? I ultimately picked Eleanor Roosevelt because of her fight for the civil rights of women, African Americans, the poor in our country, and changing the face of what it means to be first lady. I mean, seriously, I hadn’t planned it this way, but for one of the articles I read to research this blog was by the AAUW  titled “Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation“. At the end of the article it was stated “This report was made possible thanks to generous contributions from AAUW members and donors to the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund and the Mooneen Lecce Giving Circle”. I mean, the woman pops up everywhere.

The other two well-deserving nominees are Rosa Parks and Wilma Mankiller.

Women are great. They are our mothers, our aunties, our teachers, our scientists, our athletes, our astronauts.

They are our equals.

Please go to this link, Women on 20s, if you are interested in learning more and or casting your own vote