Culture

The Corner

Poor Little Fearless Girl

The “Fearless Girl” statue, staring down the Raging Bull of Capitalism down on Wall Street, has become a favorite attraction for tourists and a favorite target for pundits. Recently she was subjected to a new form of criticism when another sculptor placed a small dog rudely lifting his leg next to Fearless Girl. So she had a huge, snorting hypermasculine predator ready to take a charge at her while, from behind, an annoying puppyish male piddled on her ankles. This is a good metaphor for the way many women see their lives.

She’s getting it at both ends from the critics too. Our Jay Nordlinger has eloquently called for Fearless Girl’s removal because she undercuts the pro-free-market message of the bull statue. On the left, one critic calls the statue “nothing more than an attempt to rebrand capitalism by the ad agency McCann and Wall Street itself.” The Huffington Post agrees, calling it “Wall Street pinkwashing,” while the New York Times declares it “false feminism.” Plus, of course, the girl is white; can’t have that.

Is it possible that both sides are overthinking things a bit? Visitors absolutely love posing with both statues, and I guarantee you that 98 percent of them have no idea about the ideological warfare behind them. How to defuse the tension? For the Left, Fearless Girl could be placed under the control of a womyn-only artists’ collective that can give her a headscarf, dress her in culturally appropriate attire, cover her with protest graffiti, etc. The tourists won’t mind; it will be like those cow statues that were all the rage a while back. And for the Right? Just rename her “Standing Athwart.”

Fred Schwarz — Fred Schwarz is a deputy managing editor of National Review.

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