The ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Is Getting a New Home
The celebrated “Fearless Girl” is making moves.
The widely adored, yet controversial statue is moving from its current location, where it stares down Wall Street’s “Charging Bull,” to a new spot just three blocks away, where it will face the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange, the city of New York announced today. The move will take place by the end of the year.
Since its installation on International Women’s Day 2017, the “Fearless Girl” has become a major tourist attraction. The crowds hoping to take photos with the statue often spill over from the tiny median where the statue stands into the streets of New York City’s Financial District, creating the traffic safety concerns that prompted the move.
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Despite the little girl’s oppositional stance staring down the definitive symbol of big finance, the installation was commissioned by a financial services firm, State Street Global Advisors, to encourage the inclusion of women on corporate boards. It was originally a temporary installment, but its popularity prompted the city to leave the 50-inch bronze sculpture in place for more than year.
“Our goal is to promote the power of having women in leadership, and placing her right next to the New York Stock Exchange is really the perfect metaphor,” Cyrus Taraporevala, president and CEO of State Street Global Advisors, told the New York Daily News.
"I just think it's really important, given this time in history, that we do everything we can to raise awareness around these very serious issues confronting the lack of economic and political and financial power for women," New York Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, a Goldman Sachs alumna, told the Daily News.
Despite its popularity, “Fearless Girl” has received its fair share of criticism, most notably that it represents a toxic brand of “corporate feminism” that advocates women holding positions of power in unjust systems instead of making systems more just for all women.
“Feminism is about human decency, not moulding young girls in the image of a banking industry that bets against us, shorts us, and then receives government bailout money,” Cara Marsh Sheffler, a former actor and feminist writer, wrote in an op-ed in The Guardian a week after the statue’s unveiling.
“Do we need women at the top of the ladder? Making big decisions? Calling the shots? We sure do. We also need more women and men of color as captains of industry. However, let’s remember why: so that they can understand, represent, and remember the needs of the underserved, of those who didn’t go straight from Harvard Business School to a hedge fund without a care in the world,” Sheffler wrote.
Taraporevala of State Street Global Advisors seems to take the criticism in stride. "If it even gets some people thinking about stuff, and they decide they don't like it, we're still getting people to think about the issue” of female representation on corporate boards, she told the Daily News.
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