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Will female face on $20 be worth less?

By Dian Vujovich

The other night during his show’s intro, Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore, host of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore”, asked if a woman’s face was to be printed on a 20 dollar bill, would that bill be worth less? Given the stats that women doing the same job as men often earn less in pay than guys do, the line was both humorous and thought provoking.

What prompted Wilmore’s comments was talk that by the year 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment (that’s the one that gave women the right to vote in America), instead of men’s faces always adorning our paper currency, a woman’s face ought to appear.

That’s a great idea. But, will it work? And will it work in Florida given that it took until 1969 for Florida to ratify the 19th Amendment that became law throughout the country in 1920?

I’m figuring there will be plenty of goofballs in our Sunshine State who won’t like the notion of a female’s face taking the place of Andrew Jackson’s whose mug been on the 20 for 87 years. But hey, if it happens they’ll just have to get over it. Or use 50’s instead.

The unfortunate thing about women and pay and money and their faces adorning bills and coins is that their track record hasn’t been all that hot. After all, Susan B Anthony’s face on dollar coins minted from 1979-1981 didn’t get much play. Or usage. Like those who have gone before and after her…. Helen Keller on the reverse of the Alabama quarter minted, Sacagawea on the dollar coin, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver silver dollar and Virginia Dare/Eleonor Dare half dollar… these round coins have appealed to collectors more than daily users.

Additionally, coins like those don’t carry the same clout as paper bills do. They are heavier and clumsier to carry around and cash registers don’t have slots for them. From that point of view that does make them worth less.

So the idea of putting a woman’s face on a 20-dollar bill, one of the two most popular currency bills used in the U.S.—the other is the $1 bill—makes good sense.

And who knows, doing so might wind up being one giant high-heeled step toward equalizing all sorts of money-related things between men and women in America.

As for the answer to the question of whether a female face replacing Andrew Jackson’s will make that bill worth less, my answer is a loud and resounding “No!”….inflation will take care of that.


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