‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Not The Feminist Icon We Need

In case you missed it: There’s a “Fearless Girl” statue on Wall Street, a statue of a small girl bravely facing down the bull (statue) that’s normally there. The statue — coinciding with International Women’s Day last week — may seem very feminist and empowering. Or does it?

In a great piece on Hyperallergic, Jillian Steinhauer offers some necessary skepticism:

I spent International Women’s Day on strike and not looking very much at the news or my phone. When I heard about the stunt, sometime in the evening, I felt offense begin to bore a hole deep in my core. Could there possibly be anything more patronizing than two massive, male-dominated capitalist companies installing a branded statue of the most conceivably non-threatening version of womankind in supposed honor of a day devoted to women’s equality that was founded by the Socialist Party?

No, alas, I think there could not.

Steinhauer suggests “public statues of historic women” and “truly challenging feminist public art” as alternatives, and takes the interest sparked by “Fearless Girl” as a good sign. Seems right to me.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy edits the Sisterhood, and can be reached at bovy@forward.com. Her book, The Perils of “Privilege”, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2017.

This story "‘Fearless Girl’ Wall Street Statue Not The Feminist Icon We Need" was written by Phoebe Maltz Bovy.

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‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Not The Feminist Icon We Need

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