Should the 'Fearless Girl' statue be taken down? | The Tylt
Should the 'Fearless Girl' statue be taken down?
The artist protesting "Fearless Girl" says the statue is a poor symbol for feminism and ruins "Charging Bull," which was an ode to the resilience of the American economy and Wall Street. He and other critics take offense with "Fearless Girl's" corporate origins—it shouldn't be considered art because at the end of the day, it's a marketing gimmick intended to advertise an index fund. That's not something that should be valued.
“It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull,” he said. “That bull had integrity.”
“I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull,” said Gardega, who has never met the other statues’ creators.
Critics say "Fearless Girl" falls into the same category as Ivanka Trump's brand of feminism. It's the physical manifestation of a particular form of feminism that focuses on "incremental admission of a small number of women into traditional halls of power" that ignores the intersectional and structural forms of oppression the majority of women face on a daily basis.
Gardega is not the only person who takes offense with the statue. Arturo Di Modica, the artist behind "Charging Bull" says "Fearless Girl" cheapens his work. He originally installed the bull on Wall Street after the stock-market crash of 1987 to celebrate the resilience and strength of the American economy. Di Modica says "Fearless Girl" is ruining the original intent of his work—all for a shallow statement on feminism that's actually an advertisement for an index fund.
The point is not that working to expand the presence of women on corporate boards is in itself an unworthy goal. It is that building a bronze monument to the plight of the more than 14 million women who make up two-thirds of the low-wage work force would also be worthy. Would anyone Instagram it?
Others say "Fearless Girl" makes a bold statement about sexual harassment and the lack of diversity in the American workplace. The statue is not an intersectional critique of Wall Street and modern day feminism—that's not the point.
It's making a specific statement about Wall Street and American culture—that women have the right to take up space. We need more women in positions of power. That includes board rooms and corner offices. Is it really that bad to encourage little girls and women to fight for what they want?
You could argue feminism means girls have the same right to be economy-crashing, no-consequence-facing weasels as boys. But you could also argue, less sarcastically, that one reason we need more women in positions of power on Wall Street is that diversity can’t hurt the odds of transforming the culture there. We should give that a try.