U.S. needs to face up to sexism on its paper money

Saturday, April 24, 2010

On Wednesday, the Treasury Department unveiled the new $100 bill slated to go into circulation next year ["Redesigned, high-tech Benjamin aims to keep counterfeiters at bay," news story, April 22]. But it still sports a picture of Benjamin Franklin. It's disappointing that in this era of supposed gender equality, not one of the seven denominations of paper currency in circulation commemorates the achievements of a woman.

The constant selection of men to be honored on our nation's currency, stamps and statuary sends a powerful message to all citizens about the relative contribution of men and women to our nation's history. Our sons and daughters are especially vulnerable to this subtle yet insidious sexism. We might tell girls "you can do anything," but our nation's symbols and icons tell a different story. Girls and women deserve equal represen-tation.

Lynette Long, Washington

The writer is president of Equal Visibility Everywhere.

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