Bank of Canada bans image of Asian woman from $100 bill
The Bank of Canada has purged an image of an Asian-looking woman from its new $100 banknotes after focus groups raised questions about her ethnicity.
The original image intended for the reverse of the plastic polymer banknotes, which began circulating last November, showed an Asian-looking woman scientist peering into a microscope. The image, alongside a bottle of insulin, was meant to celebrate Canada’s medical innovations.
But eight focus groups consulted about the proposed images for the new $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 banknote series were especially critical of the choice of an Asian for the largest denomination.
“Some have concerns that the researcher appears to be Asian,” says a 2009 report commissioned by the bank from The Strategic Counsel, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. (Peter J. Thompson/National Post)
Okay, so I don’t think it’s my place to discuss whether or not having an Asian woman on a bank note doing scientific things is pressing forward a harmful stereotype, which is one of the points raised by the focus groups. I don’t have enough information to know if the focus groups really had the right to say that either.
However (rant warning) what am I going to note is that the groups also mentioned that if one ethnicity is shown all ethnicities should be represented. And now I am going to show you this quote.
The bank immediately ordered the image redrawn, imposing what a spokesman called a “neutral ethnicity” for the woman scientist who, now stripped of her “Asian” features, appears on the circulating note. Her light features appear to be Caucasian.
And now I am going to point out two things in this quote because my head hasn’t quite exploded enough.
appear to be Caucasian.
EVERYBODY INVOLVED IN THIS DECISION PLEASE GO DIE IN A FIRE.
thanks, I’m done.
No wait, I’m not.
WHITE IS NOT NEUTRAL. WE ARE NOT THE DEFAULT STANDARD.
Surely, the best decision in this scenario was NOT remove a WOC and replace it with a white-passing woman, if the concern was RACISM.