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.

kim147 Wed 24-Jul-13 18:19:29

Signed it.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 24-Jul-13 18:54:53

I signed it.

So what do you think of the outcome?

BitBewildered Wed 24-Jul-13 19:00:44

Yes, I signed it. I'm pleased they've changed their mind, but it feels like Jane Austin was a lazy, easy choice.

tryingtokeepintune Wed 24-Jul-13 19:37:27

I signed it.

Yeah I agree that Jane Austin was a lazy choice.

WoTmania Wed 24-Jul-13 21:04:17

Yes, I did. I'm happy they are having a female on the note but I think there women more note(haha)worthy than Jane Austin.

NiceTabard Wed 24-Jul-13 22:02:44

Glad they have changed it.
Agree they should have gone with someone a bit more unusual to show willing.

NiceTabard Wed 24-Jul-13 22:03:26

But actually, I didn't think for one minute that an institution like the BoE would give a fuck about it. So overall am very pleased smile

I signed it. smile

But I think Austen was an abysmal choice.

Nightingale? Davidson?

alarkthatcouldpray Wed 24-Jul-13 22:09:50

What is wrong with Jane Austen?
I signed & am happy.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 24-Jul-13 22:12:09

I would have if I'd seen it.

I wish it was on a different note though, I'd have kept Charles Darwin forever.

Jane Austen is OK but the next bank note they change they should have another woman - my vote would be either Rosalind Franklin ( who should have won a Nobel prize if she hadn't died) or Dorothy Hodgkin who did win one. Both crystallographers which gives great scope for the artwork too. (OT but if you've never looked at banknotes under a magnifying glass with your DC you should smile)

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 24-Jul-13 22:12:39

I signed it. I agree that Austen was a lazy choice but I do think it's a real victory in the sense that representation seems to have literally never occurred to anyone at BofE before and now they are reviewing the process whereby the people are chosen. It also sends out a message that people won't put up with this sort of shit.

NiceTabard Wed 24-Jul-13 22:26:02

Oh hold on
It's on the news
So it's still going to be 4 blokes until 2017
So not a huge win, frankly.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 24-Jul-13 22:29:45

Nothing wrong with Austen as such but as she is the only representative of women on banknotes then I would rather have had someone a little more, I don't know, groundbreaking. I'm a big Austen fan but she did write books about women marrying well as an ultimate ambition. Remember 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 (I'm paraphrasing) and given the political nature of the choice there are half a dozen other women (plus Emily and Charlotte Bronte) who I would have preferred.

alarkthatcouldpray Wed 24-Jul-13 22:42:43

I remember that bit well. My English teacher (female) was firmly of the opinion that the value of the property was of secondary importance to the fact it was tasteful and unostentatious, revealing that Darcy was unpretentious and more real than Elizabeth had previously believed. Just her pov of course.

Austen wrote about women's lives as they were in a particular class at a particular time. She didn't seek to glorify or condemn. It was more a study of human relationships and character development, to me anyway. She was a huge talent and her ability to represent men and women as believable characters and document their interactions in a way we still recognize today is worthy of huge respect imo.

tribpot Wed 24-Jul-13 22:45:26

Austen's novels aren't really about women finding husbands (although obviously that is the conclusion of the plot) and much more about social and psychological observation that resonates with us all these years later. Her secondary characters are mainly overlooked in film adaptations for reasons of time but are incredibly well drawn. Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility did one of the best jobs I've seen of bringing them out (and even she had to miss out characters like Lady Middleton). Elizabeth was joking about fancying Darcy because Pemberley was such a gorgeous house - she already knew to the last shilling how rich he was, after all! - their meeting there was the first sign of a change in him and a relaxation of his pride.

I agree, though, that there are many other women from history who also deserve to be on our bank notes. I see no reason why the BoE shouldn't focus exclusively on women for the next 50 years or so, frankly, given the deficit (pun intended) to date.

I signed the petition. I would have preferred a suffragette on the banknote.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 24-Jul-13 23:24:57

I'm not slagging her, I love the bones of the woman, but you can't get away from the fact that her image is that of a Regency writer of chick lit romance novels with bonnets and scoundrels. No matter how much you dissect her work and praise her character development or that marvellous way she had of putting ordinary life under the microscope, there is something fundamentally demure about her image and I think she was chosen because of her absolute lack of controversy. A nice lady writing nice stories that go on the TV on Sunday nights. Aphra Behn has been suggested as an alternate author but would fail the test of being heard of. Personally I would have liked a suffragette. Emily Wilding Davison would have been nice, given it's the centenary (If they'd thought of it a few years ago and got it in place of course) or Emmeline Pankhurst, who is undoubtedly famous (maybe they are 'keeping her in the wings' until 2028 hmm ). Lots of worthy social reformers but I'd be happy not to have one based on having just had Elizabeth Fry. There are loads of scientists they could have picked, personally I would have gone with Ada Lovelace but I think Rosalind Franklin would have got it based on being for known.

dorade Wed 24-Jul-13 23:36:01

I signed it but also think that Austen was a poor choice by the bank and 2017 is a long time to wait. That is not to detract in any way from the performance of the campaigners however. It all shows that women will not be relegated to the sidelines.

alarkthatcouldpray Thu 25-Jul-13 01:21:58

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.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 25-Jul-13 07:37:31

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. hmm

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 25-Jul-13 10:01:19

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.

KoalaFace Thu 25-Jul-13 10:10:54

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.

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.

JulesJules Thu 25-Jul-13 10:20:02

I signed it.

Blimey, you lot.

It's Austen, not Austin.

Chick Lit? Really?

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... grin

fuzzywuzzy Thu 25-Jul-13 10:23:47

Yes I did.

Who would you want if not Austen?

I would have liked Mary Seacole but then I always like an underdog.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 25-Jul-13 10:39:16

I know she was taking the piss hmm 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 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.

scallopsrgreat Thu 25-Jul-13 14:55:14

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.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 25-Jul-13 14:57:15

Perhaps they're saving her for when there's a campaign for a black person on bank notes? <cynic>

tribpot Thu 25-Jul-13 18:03:41

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).

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:

Isaac Newton
Duke of Wellington
Florence Nightingale
William Shakespeare
Sir Christopher Wren
George Stephenson
Charles Dickens
Michael Faraday
John Houblon
Elizabeth Fry
Charles Darwin
Edward Elgar
Adam Smith
James Watt
Matthew Boulton

None of them exactly screams "iconoclast" to me. The Scottish choices are more interesting -- they've had Mary Slessor and Elsie Inglis, for example.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 25-Jul-13 18:26:13

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! grin

Readers of this thread should check out today's Google Doodle, BTW for something you will probably appreciate smile

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.

Darkesteyes Fri 26-Jul-13 00:20:42

I signed it. Congrats on their acheivement.

JulesJules Fri 26-Jul-13 07:50:14

Boudicca would be great - she burnt London to the ground and slaughtered all the inhabitants grin

DoItTooJulia Fri 26-Jul-13 07:55:29

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?

alarkthatcouldpray Sun 28-Jul-13 17:28:42
RubySparks Sun 28-Jul-13 17:32:12

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.

tribpot Sun 28-Jul-13 17:33:15

I'm glad to see that Caroline Criado Perez is using her platform to call these abusive tossers out.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sun 28-Jul-13 19:11:31

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. hmm 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.

GiantHaystacks Sun 28-Jul-13 20:26:19

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.'

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