If you’re one of the many who’ve seriously considered selling your car, apartment, priceless family heirlooms, or first-born child with the hope of snagging a third-party ticket to Broadway sensation “Hamilton”—current going rate: $3,000 for orchestra seats—you might be able to understand Thursday’s report that US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is now reconsidering replacing the founding father—who died 212 years ago—with a woman on the $10 bill.
Since last June’s announcement about the bill’s redesign—a decision that was sparked by a letter a 9-year-old named Sofia wrote to President Obama—there’s been a lot of buzz about which woman’s face might be front and center. The Treasury even asked the public to post their ideas on social media using the hashtag #TheNew10 (which we did!).
However, now that “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda made the founding father cool (seriously: people are losing their minds over the show, which features a mostly African-American and Hispanic cast retelling the story of Alexander Hamilton), a treasury official told Time that Lew’s thinking evolved over the last 10 months, and that he never intended the focus of the redesign to be on the center portrait. Instead, he’s dropping hints that he’s looking for another place on the bill to put a woman, which is making people speculate that he’s considering the back of the note.
When asked for Obama’s position on the matter, a White House rep said the $10 bill redesign process is in the hands of the Treasury. (Oh, and Hamilton is apparently one of Lew’s personal heroes, so he’s not exactly impartial on the issue.)
People are understandably pissed at the prospect of a woman being relegated to the back of the $10 bill. Barbara Ortiz Howard, founder of Women on 20s, the grassroots group leading the effort to oust Andrew Jackson from $20 bills, said: “Our first representation in more than 100 years, and this is going to be our representation?” Howard asked. “It’s akin to being on the back of the bus.”
The idea of a woman being put on $20 bills instead of $10 bills—a move that Hillary Clinton reportedly supports—might seem like an easy fix, but it would mean women would have to wait even longer to be represented on US currency. The official design for the $10 bill won’t be unveiled until 2020, and the actual finished version won’t be circulated for years after that. One government official told Time it’s unlikely there will be a new $20 bill before 2030.
Come on, Hillary. Come on, Secretary Lew. Hamilton’s been on there for a century and a half. Haven’t women waited long enough?