#GirlsWriteBack: “I Am No Spokeswoman”

#GirlsWriteBack is a summer writing project hosted by the GirlSense & NonSense Blog.
It features weekly essays, poems, and fiction by young women writers responding to news headlines.

I Am No Spokeswoman

By Fatima Tall

A Response to “Harriet Tubman On The $20 Dollar Bill: Democratic Senators Urge Obama To Replace Andrew Jackson” by Clark Mindock, International Business Times.


Maybe instead of putting my sisters on the 20 dollar bill
you should pay me.
Pay me the amount of money I deserve
because showing a female face on a piece of paper
will not empower me the same way as
looking at a paycheck that reflects
the efforts thousands of women put in each day.

Don’t get me wrong,
is pertinent
but this makes you a hypocrite
because saying you “support” gender equality
is not the same as being equal.

You see, American Capitalism has been a symbol of power
that rose out of the palms of calloused hands
that belonged to
undervalued women and people of color
that exploited and disenfranchised
individuals who protected their homes and families
and in the end were turned away when asking for aid,
led astray when struggling with minimal pay
is why I don’t want your twenty dollar bill.

Image via

Because I fight everyday for women’s liberation
but I will not be
a spokeswoman
a poster child
a representation
on something that is passed
between greedy hands
and crumpled in wallets
and found at the bottom of shallow bags
because we are
only supporting a system we’ve spent
so many years
Only supporting a system
we’ve spent so many years
Only supporting a system
we’ve spent so many years


hoping one day it would grow up to
a potato peeling man
and a iron back woman
so that she would never have to stand
for another man’s treasure
but as another woman’s
hope that would reassure
that checkered tablecloths
and empty pie tins
weren’t the only things to look forward to.

So don’t tell me it’s an “HONOR”
because I shouldn’t be showcased
in order to get respect.

Comment below & share your thoughts!

Join the conversation & connect with us on social media using #GirlsWriteBack


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Summer 2015 Issue released on June 15th, 2015!


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