Women have come a long way over the years, but we still have some ground to make up. Feminists are finding innovative ways to make their voices heard and messages received, but the latest attempt may have been a little too far outside the box. The website WomenOn20s has recently gone viral, launching a movement to get a notable woman from history to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for feminism and creative thinking, but is this really the best way to combine the two? Despite their candid attempt to honor one of many historically influential women, the proponents of this idea fail to recognize the adverse effect it could potentially have on the feminist movement as a whole.
While I browsed the possible candidates for the newly coveted spot on the bill, I was, admittedly, pretty inspired. Among them were women like Harriet Tubman, who risked her life in order to ensure the freedom of countless others, and Eleanor Roosevelt, the first lady who advocated for women’s’ rights and redefined the role of the president’s wife.
While each woman in the running has the credibility to appear as the newest symbol of United States currency, it is imperative that we consider the effect of removing Andrew Jackson from the bill. It is impossible to determine whether he or the winning female candidate contributed more to American history in a positive manner, but all political affiliations aside, Jackson was a devoted nationalist who fathered the modern two-party system, and ultimately expanded the scope of presidential authority. To remove him from the $20 bill could potentially make Jackson appear as a feminist vehicle for female superiority.
Yes, it sounds drastic, but a major problem that many men have with feminism is that they feel attacked by it. This presumed man-hating makes feminism that much more complicated, as the men who believe it see the struggle for female equality as a threat to their pre-established societal freedoms.
While it would be nice to see more recognition for women in history, perhaps we should focus on promoting gender equality in the near future, rather than attempting to change an arbitrary detail of the past. It is, after all, just money.