What's the first thing you'd buy if you had a wallet full of $20 bills printed with a woman's face on them? I know what would be on my shopping list. In fact, I can practically feel the empowerment coursing through my veins as I unwrap the Beyoncé calendar paid for with my freshly minted 20 -- the badass feminine face looking back at me like, "I approve."
Thanks to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, this reverie is one step closer to becoming a reality. MTV News caught up with the senator just a few days after she introduced "The Women on the Twenty Act" on Equal Pay Day. The legislation calls for the U.S. Treasury Secretary to work with a panel of private citizens to select a female face for our $20 bill.
It makes sense that Shaheen would want to see a famous female from history on our dollars, considering she's made history on her own as the only woman to ever serve as both senator and governor in U.S. history -- totally NBD.
As far as the inspiration for the bill, Shaheen gave a huge shout-out to Women on 20s, the organization that's now reached over 750,000 votes for who should be the new, feminine face of the 20.
"It’s really a wonderful grassroots effort," she said, "and last week when we got word of the online effort and saw what they had come up with I said, 'That’s a great idea. This is a great way to advance the idea of making sure that we put a woman on the $20 bill.' "
Shaheen is particularly impressed and inspired by the social media campaign around the movement, which has pretty much broken the Internet with its momentum.
"If you look at the number of people who have participated in the social media and online efforts, 750,000 people have already voted for the top four women [on the Women on 20s site]," she said, "[Our legislation] will continue this conversation that’s already been started online and through social media in a way that I think will get attention, hopefully, not just of young people but will also raise the issue among older generations."
Twitter fanatics-turned-social justice warriors, now would be a most appropriate time to high-five yourselves.
So why is this conversation about women and money -- and women on money -- happening right now? For one thing, according to Shaheen, the $20 bill is long overdue for an update. And to be frank, it's really important that our money reflects the inclusive and spectacular society we're striving to become.
"Our money is really a reflection of our values, of those people who have contributed to America, to our history and our culture," Shaheen said. "We recognize everyone from George Washington to Ulysses S. Grant to Benjamin Franklin, [and] I think it's time we recognize the contributions of women to the history and traditions of this country and what better way to do that than to put a woman on the $20 bill?"
We feel you, Sen. Shaheen, and we thank you. And by the way, although I personally look forward to buying my Beyoncé calendar when a woman is added to the 20, regrettably, Queen Bey isn't eligible to be on the 20s because she's still alive -- and that's like, the only qualification to be on legal tender.
That's OK, we need her in the world.