Republican Debate Candidates Have No Idea Which Woman To Put On The $10 Bill, Default To Their Mothers

by Taia Handlin

One of the biggest voting blocks that has stumped Republicans for decades is women. Republican presidential candidates haven’t gotten the women’s vote since 1988. But they’ve got the solution now. They’re going to put their mothers, daughters, Rosa Parks, and a couple non-American women on the $10 bill.

Carson suggested his mother, because apparently he could think of zero historically significant female Americans. Huckabee suggested his wife, because “then she could spend her own money.” Yuk yuk yuk, Huckabee, you riot.

And a couple of them don’t think that the law or actually being born in the US means anything. Kasich went with a different kind of mother: “This is probably not, maybe, legal but I would pick Mother Theresa.” Probably, maybe, who cares? When you have to pander to your base, then you have to go for the big Jesus guns.

Bush, meanwhile, found a way to do his GOP duty and salivate at the altar of Ronald Reagan even when we’re supposed to be talking about historically significant women: “I would go with Ronald Reagan’s partner, Margaret Thatcher. Probably illegal but what the heck.” What the heck indeed, Jeb.

Thatcher and Reagan, BFFs

Paul, Walker, and Christie suggested, in order, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, and Abigail Adams. Yes, they were historically significant women who were actually American (although Christie’s rationale for Abigail Adams was that she was married to John Adams, the person he actually thinks should be on the money). None of these three choices, however, in any way excuse any of the Republicans’ horrific voting records for women’s rights. They are also more white people in a long string of white people. That’s not progress, but then, we’ve long given up expecting anything but the worst from any of the candidates.

Both Cruz and Rubio suggested a woman of color, Rosa Parks. Cruz called her “an everyday American who changed the course of history” and Rubio said she was “a principle pioneer that helped change this country; that helped remedy racial injustice.” Both are lovely sentiments, despite the fact that both Cruz and Rubio were instrumental in repealing provisions of the Voting Rights Act that protected minority voters from racist and classist voter ID laws. But hey, they both suggested probably the only African-American woman they could think of, so it’s really all a wash.

Rosa Parks disapproves of this bill

Trump also suggested Rosa Parks but his first choice, unsurprisingly, was his daughter, Ivanka Trump. What is it with that man and his daughter?

Watch that hand, mister

Fiorina once again betrayed the sisterhood and doesn’t think we should put a woman on any of the money:

“We shouldn’t change the $10 bill or the $20 bill. I think, honestly, it’s a gesture. I don’t think it helps to change our history. What I would think is that we ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group. Women are the majority of this nation, we are half the potential of this nation and this nation will be better off when every woman has the opportunity to live the life she chooses.”

I also think every woman should have the opportunity to live the life she chooses, which is why I was shocked, shocked I say! to discover that Fiorina also wants to deny women the right to abortions, contraception, breast exams, STI screenings, or basic healthcare. So she wants women to be able to choose what life they live, but not actually be able to live.

It’s also worth noting that putting a woman on the $10 bill isn’t changing history. The history is still there, because time travel still isn’t possible. Putting a woman on the $10 bill is bringing more history to light. It is indeed a gesture, but it’s a necessary and very, very late gesture.

One point that I did agree with was Cruz’s suggestion to put a woman on the $20 bill, not the $10, though it isn’t an idea that originated with him. For months, the push has been for a woman on the $20. The $20 is more widely circulated and you can actually get it at every ATM, unlike the $10. But not only are women getting the consolation bill, they don’t even get it all to themselves. So thanks, US Treasury. You’ve given us exactly half of what you should have given us a long time ago.

It’s true that there are bigger problems facing American women than this one. But it’s also true that children learn from subtle societal cues at a very young age. The money is all male (with the exception of the Sacajawea gold coin, but I don’t know of anybody who has ever used it), the holidays are all male, the teaching of U.S. history in primary education is overwhelmingly male. All these must change and there is no reason why changing one prevents changing the others.

Watch the full exchange here:

 Images via Take Part, Huffington Post, USA Today, Zimbio, and Meme Generator




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