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Canadian Femimoneyism

May 19, 2016

The Bank of Canada wants to put a woman on the money.

Currently, the people featured on Canadian money are all either former Prime Ministers of significance and the current head of the royal family. The royal is the only person who appears on multiple denominations. And the royal is Queen Elizabeth II, a woman.

So why the effort to put more women on money? There’s more instances of women on money than men. The Canadian five, ten, fifty and hundred feature a man. All other denominations in circulation today have the Queen. That’s the twenty and all coinage. Plus the last four pieces of Canadian currency removed from circulation (one, two, thousand dollar and one cent coin) all had the Queen.

I’m more familiar with the Queen than I am with the four dead politicians on the money. Seriously, how many Canadians can name the four men on the money without opening their wallet?

Well, I can. But I’m special. MacDonald on the ten. Laurier on the five. Mackenzie King on the fifty and Borden on the hundred. (We’ve had one female PM, Campbell. But she’s less memorable than those four. She was appointed when Mulroney resigned, not ever elected by the public as party leader.)

The Bank of Canada has released a list of twelve candidates to be chosen as the money lady. We’ve got: an artist I’ve never heard of, an artist I have heard of, a politician who was a party leader but never PM, a beauty school teacher turned activist, a charity organizer, a poet, an engineer, a suffragette, an author, an athlete, another author and another suffragette.

(By the way, I had a huge sigh of relief when I saw Margaret Atwood was not on this list. One author is Lucy Maud Montgomery, the woman who wrote Anne of Green Gables. I’ve got nothing against her.)

I have nothing against the women on this list, having never heard of most of them. But none of them meet the specifications of the existing money people. None of them are royalty. None of them are former Prime Ministers. If we accept these people as money worthy, should we not also accept men with similar accomplishments? Let’s consider Fanny Rosenfeld. She won a silver medal in the 100 metre dash and the gold in the 4×100 at the 1928 O-word games. In 1996, Donovan Bailey won gold in both of those events. If she’s money worthy, then he’s just as money worthy. (Or maybe we can put Michael Johnson pulling up lame on our money instead. That right there is a moment Canadians remember and cherish and draw pride from.)

Here is what I want to see on Canadian money, other than the Bailey-Johnson race (which gets a  150 dollar bill.) Prime Ministers Borden, Mackenzie King and Pearson, the Queen, Wayne Gretzky and my mother because she’s a better woman and better Canadian than every other fucking woman alive or dead.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2016 2:52 pm

    In my opinion, the Queen being on all money is enough female representation. However, if someone decides to change the people on my bills, that’s fine. I probably won’t even notice. I don’t use cash much anyway. I have an idea: instead of L.M. Montgomery they could go ahead and put Anne Shirley on there. No discrimination against fictional people! *protests* #triggered

  2. May 22, 2016 2:43 pm

    I think we should change up all the people on the notes from time to time (but then, I do come from a nation that wanted to call a polar exploration ship Boatey McBoatface). Of the options here, I’d love to see Montgomery triumph – her books are so special.

  3. christielli permalink
    May 26, 2016 9:04 am

    You can’t count the Queen as representation of women on banknotes. She’s just there because she was born into the right family and will be replaced by a man when she dies.

    I think it’s great that we are making this change. The only reason that we can’t have a woman PM on money is because there has never been one of significance because we haven’t even been able to vote in Canada for 100 years (Quebec didn’t allow the vote til 1940) let alone run for elected office. The playing field has never been and still isn’t equal. That’s why you have to look outside PMs if you want to celebrate women on currency.

    Really though, I think we should have an entire banknote celebrating Aboriginal people because hello oppression and lack of representation.

  4. Ann permalink
    May 30, 2016 12:05 pm

    Saying “we must put a woman on the monies” is patronizing as hell, so forget people, put some of Canada’s most deadly animals on it. Bears, geese (and they must show them hissing and attacking people), moose, that kind of thing.

  5. June 4, 2016 3:07 am

    And that last sentence right there – that’s why I have you on my friends list.

    I’d hug you if you let me.

    I vote for your mother on Canadian money, too!

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