The New Girl on Wall Street

By JoAnna DiCicco on April 25, 2017

The Fearless Girl vs. The Charging Bull

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, which took place on Wednesday, March 8, a statue known as Fearless Girl has been placed facing off against Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull.

The statue was created by Kristen Visbal, and sponsored by State Street Global Advisors, a Boston-based financial services firm whose goal was to promote “greater gender diversity on corporate boards,” according to The New York Times.

According to State Street, one out of four of the companies on the Russell 3000 Index still have no representation on their boards. This can be taken, also, as a step in the right direction, as 75 percent of these companies do, in fact, have female representation on their boards.

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Her stay in New York City was supposed to last only a few days, but now it is unclear whether her face-off against the Charging Bull will serve as her permanent home. For now, she is guaranteed her spot for at least one year.

Back in 1989, Arturo Di Modica placed his Charging Bull in front of the New York Stock Exchange as “the perfect antidote to the Wall Street crash of 1986,” according to the Charging Bull website. He did this in the middle of the night and the sculpture was removed the next day by the New York Stock Exchange; however, Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, Mayor Ed Koch, and Arturo Piccolo of the Bowling Green Association gave the sculpture a permanent home at Bowling Green, a small public park in the Financial District in New York City.

Di Modica is threatening to sue over Fearless Girl, although there is no lawsuit in place currently. He claims that the new sculpture distorts the intent of his statue as “a symbol of prosperity and for strength” into a villainous symbol and that the firm is using Fearless Girl as an advertising tactic. He and his lawyer are urging that gender equality is still an issue, but that the sculpture should be placed somewhere else in the city, according to NPR.

Mayor of New York City, Bill De Blasio, said in a tweet: “Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl.”
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, said, “I like it because Wall Street is a male bastion, and it’s good to look at a future where woman are determined to lead.”

The Fearless Girl sculpture clearly has good intention in attempting to fight the gender equality gap; however, there is extreme controversy over her placement in New York City.

Di Modica’s statue had nothing to do with gender equality, and simply tried to share a glimmer of hope with the New York Stock Exchange in a time of distress, and the new sculpture seems to be portraying his as a symbol of wrong-doing by the entire financial district.

A final note to consider on this topic: Would Fearless Girl be interpreted in the same way if not positioned facing Di Modica’s Charging Bull on Wall Street?

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