Feminist “Fearless Girl” Statue Moving to NY Stock Exchange

NYC breathes new life into corporate PR stunt

Image Credits: Volkan Furuncu / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images.

The controversial “Fearless Girl” statue has been removed from its position opposite the “Charging Bull” bronze in Manhattan, and will soon be erected near the New York Stock Exchange, officials say.

The sculpture has been replaced by a plaque inscribed with two footprints.

“Fearless Girl is on the move to The New York Stock Exchange,” reads the plaque. “Until she’s there, stand for her.”

Originally granted a one-week permit in March of 2017, the sculpture’s popularity as an pro-feminism statement prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to extend permissions for its placement until new accommodations could be arranged.

In April, the mayor’s office announced Fearless Girl would be relocated to a “long-term” home near the NYSE before the end of the year.

“We are proud to be home to the Fearless Girl. She is a powerful symbol of the need for change at the highest levels of corporate America—and she will become a durable part of our city’s civic life,” said de Blasio. “This move to a new location will improve access for visitors and ensure that her message and impact continues to be heard. We’re grateful to State Street for their partnership in keeping the Fearless Girl here in New York City.”

Fearless Girl was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), a trillion-dollar financial services firm, to commemorate International Women’s Day and promote the fund’s “Gender Diversity Index,” represented by the NASDAQ ticker symbol SHE.

“Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference,” read a plaque underneath Fearless Girl.

However, amid heated debate regarding the statue’s provocative message and placement across from “Charging Bull” — the work of Arturo Di Modica, a Sicilian immigrant paying homage to the resiliency of the American economy following the stock market crash of 1987 — SSGA came under fire for what many considered a corporate PR stunt.

SSGA’s blatant hypocrisy was revealed in October, 2017, when the firm was fined $5 million for underpaying women and minorities and ordered to settle with over 300 women following an audit by the Department of Labor.

The Village Voice delivered another blow to SSGA’s virtuosity, reporting: “The statue is meant to draw attention to a larger initiative by SSGA, which announced today that it will be encouraging companies it invests in to have more women on their boards of directors. A quick perusal of SSGA’s own leadership turns up five women out 28 top executives, making its leadership 82 percent male (and 96.5 percent white).”

Nevertheless, Mayor de Blasio has vehemently defended the statue, wading into multiple debates on its behalf and even taking a shot at Charging Bull’s creator, Di Modica, insinuating he was sexist for opposing Fearless Girl’s placement.

The Associated Press reports that Charging Bull will also be relocated near the NYSE, despite having stood in Bowling Green plaza since 1989 without issue.

Dan Lyman: