The wonderful reason why Susan Sarandon wants to change the $20 bill

Every day, you pay for goods at the store with Abraham Lincoln, or George Washington, or Andrew Jackson . . . not with an Eleanor Roosevelt or Harriet Tubman. That’s because the face of American money is purely male. Where are all the ladies?

Previously, we at HG have explained the injustice of this: that Frieda Kahlo is on Mexican money, while the queen is on UK money. In fact, the US seems to be in the minority with their all-male money. While Martha Washington was on a bill way back in 1886 and Sacagawea is on our dollar coin (but really, how often do you see THOSE floating around?), there’s a lot of progress that still needs to be made.

That’s exactly what Women On 20s aims to change. Their hope is to get at least a million votes to catch the government’s attention and change the face (literally) of our money. Their goal? Get a woman on the $20 bill by 2020, which is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment that grants women the right to vote.

“It seems fitting to commemorate that milestone by voting to elevate women to a place that is today reserved exclusively for the men who shaped American history,” notes the Women On 20s website. “That place is on our paper money and that new portrait can become a symbol of greater changes to come.”

The organization came up with a list of 15 powerful ladies and cast a vote for the finalists. And in a YouTube video posted today, Women on 20s has announced, based on a widespread vote, the four finalists: Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Wilma Mankiller. Sounds like an excellent list to us, but a lot more needs to be done to get our voices heard and catch the attention of the government.

Thankfully, the amazing Susan Sarandon has stepped up and spoken out for the cause.

In an eloquent article for The Daily Beast, the activist and actress explains that she first noticed this incredible movement through a video called “Where Are The Girls On The Money?” on the organization’s site. “I was excited to see that there was a positive mission afoot to bring attention to some of the greatest women in American history,” Sarandon writes. “. . . I liked how it was reframing the conversation about gender equality in a whole new way and [I] decided to post a photo on social media that championed the cause and urged others to vote for one of the 15 incredible candidates on the Women on 20s website.”

This inspired a flurry of others to post or retweet about the cause, including Padma Lakshmi and Alan Cumming.

Sarandon has long been a warrior in the fight for gender equality, and once again, she’s proven why she’s such an excellent advocate for women. In her Daily Beast piece, she really underscores the importance of recognizing great female leaders in such a symbolic way.

“Gender equality is a fight women in the United States have been waging for a long time,” writes Sarandon. “It’s been a long and winding road with scores of brilliant women over the decades doing their part to push that boulder uphill. . . Each of the women being considered to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill on deserves our appreciation. Not only did they help advance women’s rights, but they pushed the human race forward as well, and we are all benefiting from their efforts.”

She’s so right. This movement isn’t just about making a statement, it’s about appreciating the women who changed the course of history for the better. It’s a chance to educate a new generation on our nation’s brilliant female leaders, and it’s also a symbolic step towards wage equality. Now, let’s get one of our heroines on that $20 bill by 2020!

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