Why Are These Women Smiling…And Clasping Hands?

This is one of those stories that should have gotten more media attention.  In lieu of that, I’m giving it my attention!


I’ve never really noticed the signatures on our paper money:

I’ve never had any reason to.

But now I do.

And the reason I do is the same reason that the women in the above images are smiling, and clasping hands.

The women are Janet Yellen (left) Lynn Malerba.

Yellen is U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Malerba is the U.S. Treasurer.

And on December 8, Yellen and Malerba made history:

“1st Female Pair to Sign US Currency”!

Here’s the full picture from above:

Yellen and Malerba also made history by doing this:

I’m fairly sure male Treasury Secretaries and male Treasurers don’t do this.

These are firsts to smile about.

And there are other firsts:

Malerba is the first Native American to serve as U.S. Treasurer. 

September 12, 2022:  Another day of firsts:  First female Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen swears in Lynn Malerba, the first Native American Treasurer of the United States.

According to her bio on treasury.gov:

“Chief Mutáwi Mutáhash (Many Hearts) Marilynn ‘Lynn’ Malerba became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe on August 15, 2010 and is the first female Chief in the Tribe’s modern history.  The position is a lifetime appointment made by the Tribe’s Council of Elders.”

Regarding Yellen, the first female Treasury Secretary, the article succinctly noted,

“The Treasury Department was created in 1787, and until Yellen only white men had led it.”

The only money-related thing better than two women’s signatures on our paper currency will be three women on our currency: 

Women left, right and center.

And by “center” I mean Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, as announced back in 2016:

There was an artist rendering of how the Harriet Tubman $20 might look:

And since that was seven years ago – surely the Harriet Tubman $20 bill will be in our hands and wallets soon?


Not unless you think this means “soon”:

2030 – that’s 14 years after the 2016 announcement.

I learned this when I was writing this post.  I was doing research online and found this March 2022 video of Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post asking Yellen when we’d start seeing the Tubman $20:

Yellen said:

“2030.  I know it’s a long way off.  It adheres to the original schedule that was announced in 2014 by Secretary Lew and President Obama.  We lost four years during the Trump administration and pushing it forward, but we have made efforts to catch up and we remain on that schedule…I’m looking forward to seeing Harriet on the $20 in 2030.”

So much for “women left, right and center” any time soon.

For now, it seems my vision of three-female currency will exist only in my imagination…

But there’s no imagining this:

When it comes to Tubman, Yellen, Malerba and other extraordinary women, current and past…

We women, today and in the future, are grateful because…

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