After a little girl asked President Obama why there aren’t any women on U.S. currency, he said Wednesday that adding some female faces to our cash sounded like a “pretty good idea.” Almost immediately, all of our fantasies came alive on the web. What would, let’s say, Ruth Bader Ginsburg look like on a $20 bill? Where would we spend our Beyoncé $10 bill first? Will our grandmas give us a Susan B. Anthony $5 bill on our birthdays and tell us not to spend it all at once?
But then we remembered: because of the wage gap, a dollar for a woman is not the same as a dollar for a man. Although the true extent of the gender pay gap is widely disputed even among feminists, President Obama said in the 2014 State of the Union that women make only 77¢ for every dollar a man makes.
So here’s what U.S. currency would really look like, with women’s faces and women’s wages:
A Harriet Tubman $20 would only be worth $15.40.
A Sandra Day O’Connor $10 would only be worth $7.70.
A Rosa Parks $5 would only be worth $3.85.
A Gloria Steinem $1 would only be worth $0.77.
That just shrunk your 401(k).