Did anyone sign the bank note petition?(46 Posts)
I just had an email to say that the Bank of England have decided to put Jane Austin on the new £10 note as a result of the protest and petition.
I'm not convinced she was the best choice but at least they listened and changed their plans.
I didn't sign it. I found it an issue I just couldn't get worked up about and the results are tokenism of the worst kind. It was the sort of victory where a man pats you on the bottom, gives you a lollipop and says 'There you are. Run along, dear.'
This reminds of the story of the mother who wrote into the makers of the game 'Guess Who?' on behalf of her daughter, who was aggrieved that of all the faces on the Guess Who? game, only 1/5 or 1/6 of them were women.
The makers' response was that the game was sub-divided down into 5 or 6 (whichever it was) categories, so 5
men people with glasses, 5 men people with hats on, 5 men with beards, etc, etc, and, um, 5 women. Supposedly women are a mere 'category' and men are the default.
And they thought this explanation would satisfactorily explain things.
Here it is again. Women are a mere category - one token female, thrown in when, and only when, it was pointed out that there were none - whilst men are the default.
I'm glad to see that Caroline Criado Perez is using her platform to call these abusive tossers out.
I didn't sign bank note petition but did sign that one! Unbelievable abuse on twitter for the woman who started the campaign for more women on bank notes.
I signed it. I wonder how the men would feel if all banknotes had women on them and no men? And when they protested put a token man on one?
Boudicca would be great - she burnt London to the ground and slaughtered all the inhabitants
I signed it. Congrats on their acheivement.
Yes, fair point -- I should have added "from our twenty-first century perspective". From the point of view of their contemporaries (or some other places today) a few of them would be quite revolutionary in one way or another, and I think it's only reasonable to acknowledge that. I suppose I was getting at their being obvious candidates.
I'm delighted that I live in a country where Charles Darwin is a "safe, bland, acceptable, middle-class choice" - some people see him as far worse than a mere iconoclast!
Readers of this thread should check out today's Google Doodle, BTW for something you will probably appreciate
Surely everyone who's ever featured on a banknote is a "safe, bland, acceptable, middle-class choice"?
I mean, look at the list for England and Wales:
Duke of Wellington
Sir Christopher Wren
None of them exactly screams "iconoclast" to me. The Scottish choices are more interesting -- they've had Mary Slessor and Elsie Inglis, for example.
Interesting suggestions from the Grauniad today. I think Boudicca could be a bit too 'in your face' for the other side of the note - like 'hey Queen, why aren't you riding your chariot down the Mall and spearing people who play their music too loud on the bus?' (etc).
Perhaps they're saving her for when there's a campaign for a black person on bank notes? <cynic>
I signed. Austen is OK. Would have preferred Seacole like you say OP but hey ho. Little victories and all. Like NiceTabard I am just stunned they have listened. Mind you we had to fight really hard to be listened. Men don't like giving up their privilege.
I signed it.
I love Austen but think there were possibly better options. Having said that I do think she would have been a feminist - her female characters are often strong women who get what they want in the end.
I know she was taking the piss but it sums up what Austen represents for a lot of people and that's why I think the timing was off. I don't think she is a bad choice altogether, I just think someone else should have been chosen now or they should have booted two men out and had Austen with someone a bit less easy. I wish i was Austen, then I might be able to articulate myself a bit better. Austen is the woman whose name you say when you are a white man in late middle age and someone says 'name a famous, dead, non controversial Englishwoman'.
I would have liked Mary Seacole but then I always like an underdog.
Yes I did.
Who would you want if not Austen?
Jane Austin is a big force in our PTA. I've been rather enjoying the discussion about whether she's the best choice to be on the £10 note or is just too obvious a candidate...
I signed it.
Blimey, you lot.
It's Austen, not Austin.
Chick Lit? Really?
that bit in P&P when someone (Jane?) asks Lizzie when she changed her mind about Mr Darcy and she replied that it was when she saw his massive house
She was taking the piss, with a rueful nod to the fact that everyone would assume that was why she'd married him. Jane in the book takes it as a joke.
I signed. I was pleased when I received the email and a bit amazed to be honest!
Don't mind the choice of Jane Austen but personally would have prefered a suffragette.
When Dickens was on, the other three banknotes were also men. I don't think Austen would be regarded as a lazy/easy/don't rock the apple cart choice if there was more representation or if representation hadn't had to be campaigned for. Nobody would say "Dickens? Why not a scientist or an engineer?" because there was a male scientist and a male engineer on other notes. I'm not a Dickens fan but even if I was I would struggle to make an argument that he made a contribution greater than that of Fleming, but of course I wouldn't need to because the BofE saw fit to use them both. I think she has earned her place, I think she is marvellous but I don't think she is the best choice for the sole representation of women at a time when it actually had to be pointed out that the only woman was being replaced with a man who was against suffrage and I don't think Mervyn helped with his 'quietly waiting' comment.
I signed. I think Austen is quite appropriate. She managed to make a living out of writing, which is no mean feat for women of that time. And to copy from Wiki: "her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security".
But more women please. Anyone would think we are a minority.
Accepting her image as Regency-chick-lit-writer-in-a-bonnet is playing into the hands of a particular brand of misogyny which labels anything homely and romantic as lightweight and a bit insubstantial. Dickens is also perfect Sunday night viewing but nobody feels his presence on a banknote is a bit disappointing or is heard muttering about whimsical lawyers with lamb chops. This would be an unfair two dimensional representation of his work.
I am grateful to the female pioneers who have ploughed new furrows at great personal expense to enable women to receive an education, attend university, work, vote, be regarded as independent beings from their husbands. And so on. I suppose I believe these shifts have been brought about by a multitude of women and no one individual can be held as the victor in chief. Plus the battle is still ongoing. I guess I prefer that the emancipation angle has been avoided altogether. A woman is on our banknotes because she had a talent and achieved something with it, something that has stood the test of time. There is nothing more which has to be said about it. The same as if she had been a man.
I am also grateful to the female scientists, doctors and nurses who have made contributions in the fields of medicine and beyond. I guess deep down (and I'm not proud to admit this) I think that scientific developments rarely happen in isolation and are often more about following on from other recent developments than anything else. I accept many scientists are innovative, imaginative and inspired. I am a doctor so perhaps this says more about what I feel about myself and my profession than anything else.
To me Austen was a genius. There is so much we can still learn from her work and so much of it the very antidote to the ills of modern life. The simiplicity, dignity, discretion, modesty, restraint, moderation, patience, tolerance, all the values which she champions in her work. On the parts of both men and women. I see so many patients afflicted by the enormous strain of modern life and their decompenstaion methods - addiction, obesity, general dissatisfaction with their lot compared with others, stress and so on, much of it leading to anxiety and depression as well as physical illness. It doesn't have to be like this, it really doesn't. While parading around in a bonnet isn't going to help anyone, the values she endorses could help most of us. And the subtle characterisation and reading of human relationships isn't just a sideline. It is human life in its very essence. Most of us will never make astounding scientific discoveries or throw ourselves under the King's horse or write a classic novel. But we all interact with others for a least some of our day, even introverts struggle with no human contact. Our relationships are pretty central to most of our lives, be they with our children, partners, friends or parents. Anyone which can teach us about that two hundred years on is worth listening to.
Join the discussion
Please login first.