Women face sexism, discrimination and bias at every stage of their lives. The very least we can do is give them a break from it when they die.
Did you hear the one about the woman still being told to smile, over a hundred years after her death? As most of us celebrated the decision to put the inspiring Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, some people just couldn’t handle the fact that she didn’t look quite as cheerful as they’d have liked. “They could make her smile a little can’t they?” wrote one person on Facebook. “I would be too discouraged to buy anything with this bill.”
BUT It’s worth noting that Andrew Jackson, the bill’s current incumbent, is not exactly beaming in his picture either – but unsurprisingly nobody seems to have taken issue with his facial expression in the 88 years since he first appeared on the currency.
In fact, Tubman wasn’t even the only woman subject to posthumous gender inequality last week alone. It is common, even in death, for women to be seen through the same media lens as in life: as a woman first, and a person second.