Why are People Obsessed With Wall Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue?
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that the “Fearless Girl” statue on Wall Street will remain until next February.
The statue arrived on March 7 via State Street Global Advisors as part of a campaign pushing executive boards to include more women. Standing 50 inches tall, the figure faces Wall Street’s iconic “Charging Bull.” By staring down the symbol of financial aggression and optimism, the bronze girl is “willing to challenge and take on the status quo.”
Innocent enough — until the statue became the object of wild obsession. From pink-hatted marchers to the main stream media, people are losing it over the “Fearless Girl.”
Going Crazy Over an Inanimate Object
Installed right before International Woman’s Day, the statue was swarmed by adoring feminists. People stopped to selfie with, sketch, and place pink hats on the “Fearless Girl.” MSM gushed over the figure. As weeks went by, CNN even praised the statue’s inspiring ability to stand during a snowstorm. (Which the news network was blasted for.)
— CNN (@CNN) March 14, 2017
Now New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney proposes that the statue ring the opening New York Stock Exchange bell. Since statues generally don’t move, Maloney has said that a real live girl dressed as the statue could do the honors.
An Empty Space
As author Sethu A. Iyer pointed out at The Federalist Monday, “If God lived within the soul until the day before yesterday, then it stands to reason that he left an empty space when he went away.” There is certainly an empty space in American culture. Even the secular Atlantic noted earlier this month that Americans are abandoning religion at a high rate.
“In a way, people can’t live without their gods,” Iyer writes. “If they abandon one god, they merely move on to another, even if surreptitiously.”
So has the “Fearless Girl” become an idol — a cultural god, if you will? I think yes. Of course people aren’t lining up to mimic the fists-on-hips pose as a conscious act of worship. But the statue is a tangible representation of what we as a culture (and therefore modern feminism) have idolized for a long time. Ourselves and our desires.
Obsessed With Ourselves
The recent women’s strike on March 8 was a great example of this self-obsession. Women with the luxury of shirking work managed to shut down schools, crowd streets and demand “rights” like free abortion. (Never mind the millions of women and girls worldwide abused or killed daily because they are female.)
They believe a fake little girl standing up to a fake charging bull represents their American lives.
In this modern feminist movement, all that matters is getting what you want. If you don’t get what you want, someone else is to blame. The very thought of sacrificing for someone else is anathema (especially if that someone is your spouse or your kids). Don’t believe me? Consider this proposal that women should be forced to go to work, or this puzzled look into why women “opt out” of the workforce to stay home.
This is why American women with their jobs, nice cars, and manicured nails obsess over a four-foot statue on Wall Street. They’re zeroed in on imagined “rights,” “oppression” by men, and how powerful they feel when they “resist.” They believe a fake little girl standing up to a fake charging bull represents their lives.
Last week at Christianity Today, Wendy Alsup explored a different view. Alsup writes:
God’s people should create level playing fields for women in our world. We should affirm the full image-bearing humanity of all women. But, in the image of God, his daughters in this paradigm sometimes lay down their rights for the good of another in God’s interdependent family.
There are many women who have changed the world by sacrificing. Women like Mother Teresa, Amy Carmichael and Corrie Ten Boom come to mind. There are also many women who used their careers to make change the world for the better, like abolitionist Hannah More and author Elisabeth Elliot. (And too many modern-day heroines to name). These women followed Jesus’ example of putting others first. Imagine if more American women — some of the wealthiest, freest women to ever live — stopped crying over how much birth control costs. Imagine if, instead, we approached issues with the sacrificial zeal of these role models.
We’d be less concerned with how a statue on Wall Street represents us, and more concerned with how we represent ourselves to a world in need.
Future of the “Fearless Girl”
If the “Fearless Girl” remains for another year, so be it. It was certainly a clever advertising move (though the “Charging Bull” artist claims it unfairly places his statue in a negative context). Maybe over time, by sheer virtue of the self-obsession it reveals, the “Fearless Girl” will remind us of the selfish girlhood we ought to reject, and the fearless women we ought to be.