Now is a great time to be an American woman. This is nice to hear, especially since women have to live 4.8 years longer than men do. Just five years from now, we’ll mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment—the landmark legislation which gave women the right to vote.
In recognition, the Treasury Department recently announced that they are redesigning the $10 bill to include a yet-to-be-determined woman on the currency. While I appreciate the government’s gesture, I’m little bummed that they chose the $10 bill. It’s the one denomination that I can never find when I need it. And now I know why.
According to the Federal Reserve, $10 bills make up only 5.2 percent of the currency in circulation. The only bills less common are the $50 and the $2—the latter being the weirdest and most useless of all currency. After all, the only $2 bill I’ve ever encountered now resides in the junk drawer of my kitchen—the place I keep playing cards, half-used lip balms and pens that don’t work anymore.
While it would be nice to see a woman have a more prominent placement, like on the $100 bill, I know that will never happen. Benjamin Franklin is so entrenched on the $100 bill that it would take a feat of superhuman strength to rip that bespectacled man off the face of it.
That said, though, we women have another reason to celebrate; the Women’s National Soccer Team won the Women’s FIFA World Cup! While I know just as much about soccer as I do about astrophysics, this doesn’t take anything away from my joy.
Our team was given $2 million by FIFA for winning the tournament. I thought that was nice … until I decided to look into the amount the German men’s team received for their World Cup victory last year.
I gasped out loud when I saw the number—$35 million. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s 350,000 Ben Franklins. I also learned that each participating men’s team (regardless of performance) was given $1.5 million—the prize money rose dramatically if you managed to win a few games.
I instantly became livid. If a person of the male gender had walked into the room at that moment, I would have growled and seriously considered the benefits of castration. And I wouldn’t have even felt guilty about it. Frankly, I believe this earnings disparity to be an insult to women everywhere.
It’s like saying: “Oh, did you win the World Cup? Congrats. Here’s a brand new car!”
“Oh, and did you win the World Cup, too? Congrats. Here’s a pack of chewing gum.”
Women shouldn’t have to settle for less—like the humdrum $10 bill or mediocre prize money. But, in a world where American women only earn 78 cents on the dollar, I really shouldn’t be surprised when things like this happen. The question is: When will society finally do something about it?