A woman on the new $10 bill? I vote: YES!

US_$10_Series_2003_obverse

Sometimes the government actually wants our opinion.

The US treasury is inviting American citizens to suggest a new “face” for a new edition of the $10 bill. And for the first time in a century, a woman will grace the face of the bill, replacing Alexander Hamilton.

Some suggest that retiring Andrew Jackson’s portrait on the $20 bill would be even better, since he has some unsavory history and was not a proponent of the banking system.

But for now you can share a suggestion on social media with the hashtag #TheNew10 or submit your thoughts via email though www.thenew10.treasury.gov.

I think it is pretty exciting that the US government is consulting constituents in a creative social way via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Who do you think ought to go on the new $10 bill?

I asked my son Grant and he was strongly in favor of Mary, the Mother of God. I pointed out that she wasn’t from the USA, so he opted for Michelle Obama since she is interested in healthy food and movement for kids.

My ideas….

Elizabeth Blackwell, MD: British-born, she became a US citizen and a teacher, then set her sights on medicine. She became the first woman physician in the USA when she graduated in 1849, and went on the found the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, the Women’s Medical College and the London Medical School for Women.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Wife of President Franklin Roosevelt, she was our country’s longest-serving First Lady from 1933-1945. She was very accomplished as a civil rights activist, UN delegate and many other roles. Adlai Stevenson said at her funeral: “What other single human being has touched and transformed the existence of so many?”, adding, “She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.”

Harriet Tubman: Born a slave in 1820, she escaped in 1849 and she returned many times to rescue both family members and non-relatives from the plantation system. She led hundreds to freedom in the North as the most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, an elaborate secret network of safe houses organized for that purpose.

Helen Keller: Born in 1880, she lost her sight and hearing before the age of two, but went on to work with a gifted teacher, Anne Sullivan, who helped her learn to communicate. Helen went on to graduate from Radcliffe college, and became a prolific author and political activist.

Clara Barton: Born in 1821, as a child she cared for her brother David after a serious accident. She became a teacher, then a nurse. She served during the Civil War, becoming known as “The Angel of the Battlefield.” She went on to found the American Red Cross, and also became known as a political activist.

Despite history, women don’t always receive equal pay, equal opportunities, or the public recognition they deserve. Only 14% of top business executives are women and only 19% of the US House of Representatives seats are currently held by women, yet women make up 51% of the US population.

I would love to see more women celebrated for their contributions and encouraged to reach for the highest positions of leadership. And while it wouldn’t “solve” all of the inequalities that women still face, having a women proudly featured on the new $10 bill could represent a symbolic step in the right direction. I’m all for it.

If you feel the same way, voice your opinion and let the Treasury know how you feel.

I can’t wait to head to the bank to pick up a stack of inspiring new bills!

~ Dr. Sue

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