The Fearless Girl Must Go

‘Charging Bull’ sculptor wants ‘Fearless Girl’ removed

As a visual artist, I can see his point. Placing the image of a young girl in front of the bull changes the message he is trying to convey in his piece, and can also send an entirely opposite message.

There’s also the corporate message, being imparted here, that no one has given any thought about because Americans prefer to feel good about the  problems we’re not trying to fix, rather than just fixing them.

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So Fearless Girl is a cutesy signifier that signifies nothing, an accessory for selfies. She doesn’t challenge any preconceived notions about what girls can do or be; girls have long worn skirts and ponytails and played outside. Fearless girls are adored and celebrated in literature, popular culture, and life. It’s once girls become women that all their ambition scans as irritating instead of spunky, as off-putting instead of endearing. The same society that roots for ambition in girls is one that that socially, professionally, and politically punishes ambition in the women those girls will become. It’s women, not girls, who have pesky needs and opinions and goals and sex drives and reproductive organs that make their ambition too problematic to accept.
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Oh, I could not possibly agree more. That girl irritated the hell out of me from the start. What, exactly is radical about a young girl in a dress? The image itself is stock straight out of the 1950s, ponytail and flared skirt. Might as well have done her up in a poodle skirt. That aside, my major problem with it was that it was a girl. The protests, the marches, they were about women. Adult women, who in the United States, are still treated as barely above chattel, and who every single day, face a fight over their right to live with the full rights accorded to men.

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