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April 13 2017

"Fearless Girl": The Victimological Statue on Wall Street That Won't Go Away

Here's something I fear: That "Fearless Girl" of  Wall Street will never go away.

The bronze statue by sculptress Kristen Visbal of the little girl defiantly staring down the famous "Charging Bull" of Wall Street was supposed to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8--and was supposed to be around for only a week. Then it got a permit extension from New York City Hall giving it a month to face the bull. Then, on March 27, the city extended life on the Bowling Green in New York City's financial district to February 2018. Its fans want to extend that date until forever.

The statue was installed by State Street Global Advisors, an investment-management company that advises do-gooder nonprofits on investing their assets in the kinds of politically correct--but still money-making, we hope--enterprises that do-gooders gravitate toward. The Fearless Girl was supposed to celebrate State Street's "Gender Diversity Fund," and index fund of companies chosen because they have a lot of women on their boards. It turned out, unfortunately, that State Street doesn't have that many women in its own executive positions--oops, but what the hay? Feminsts just love the statue's grrrl-power message, including the ever-so feminist New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio:

The mayor said in a written statement: "In her short time here, the Fearless Girl has fuelled powerful conversations about women in leadership and inspired so many. 

"Now, she'll be asserting herself and affirming her strength even after her temporary permit expires - a fitting path for a girl who refuses to quit."

My own opinion of the Fearless Girl is that she actually looks more like a symbol of parental neglect--what real-life mom or dad would let their daughter get that close to a charging bull? Everyone knows that in a confrontation like that the bull wins--which isn't a very good message to be sending women hoping for careers on Wall Street. Wouldn't it have been better for Visbal to have sculpted an adult woman in a power suit brandishing her Harvard Business School degree at the bull?

The New York Post's Andrea Peyser thinks the statue simply promotes resentful victimology on the part of American women, who are in fact some of the luckiest women in the world:

The unmoving girl child perpetrates myths of women’s powerlessness, while fomenting self-pity and anti-male sentiment that helps no one.

Peyser quotes the IWF's own Carrie Lukas:

“I think it’s a problematic sense you get from the statue — the American economy is trying to run this girl over....

“American women are more likely than any women on earth to be managers in corporations. They can run for office, start a new business, work hard and earn a lot...."

Interestingly, the sculptor of the Charging Bull itself, Italian immigrant Arturo Di Modica, is furious that his sculpture, which he designed in 1989 as a symbol of Wall Street's strength and resiliency, has been turned nto a misogynistic villain.

"There are issues of copyright and trademark that needed to be — and still need to be — addressed," Di Modica's attorney, Norman Siegel, said at the news conference. Siegel, a longtime civil liberties lawyer, carefully emphasized that they, too, support the fight for gender equality and that they do not want the Fearless Girl banned entirely.

"Remove her and place her somewhere else in the city," he said. "We've got lots of ideas. And damages must be awarded to Arturo for violation of his legal, statutory rights."

I'm with Di Modica--but given New York City's politically correct political mood these days, I don't think the Fearless Girl will be moving for a long time.

(image source)

 

 

 

IIndependent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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