The Fearless Girl is here to stay, at least until the next International Women’s Day. The statue, which is a bronze sculpture of a girl standing in a power pose, hands on hips, chest forward in a show of strength and defiance, was erected across from the charging bull, a piece of guerilla art that became a permanent fixture in the financial district. Its placement across from this animal which symbolizes the virulent culture of Wall Street made waves — beloved by many, derided by some and even defiled by others.
State Street Global Advisors commissioned Kristin Visbal to create the statue as a statement on gender inequality on Wall Street.The response to the statue was immediate, becoming a destination for locals and tourists alike. Efforts to extend her tenure began right away, with an online petition that had more than 28,000 signatures by Monday morning.
Originally scheduled to be removed at the end of March, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the statue will be staying through February 2018. In a press conference, De Blasio explained the city’s decision to extend the permit, lauding the statue as a symbol of “standing up to fear, standing up to power, being able to find in yourself the strength to do what’s right.” He contextualized the statue amidst the current administration and the women’s march, saying that, “Right after that, this miraculous girl appears and creates such a powerful sensation because she spoke to the moment…That sense that women were not going to live in fear, that women were going to teach their daughters and all the women in their lives to believe in themselves.” “Sometimes,” he added, “a symbol helps us become whole, and I think the ‘Fearless Girl’ is having that same effect… She is inspiring everyone at a moment when we need inspiration.”
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Miriam Mosher graduated from Smith College before moving to New York where she is a writer by day and beer maven by night. She is a proud feminist, a champion of the semicolon and an avid thrifter. See more from Miriam at Bushwick Daily and Two Cities Literary Review.