Whether it's International Women's Day or a snowstorm, the new statue of the girl standing her own against the "Charging Bull" down on Wall Street seems to have found its place in Manhattan. She stands defiantly, with her hands on her hips using a powerful stance, as if to show you can't mess with her — or any women in the country. And now, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the "Fearless Girl" isn't going anywhere. That's another symbol that shows the Women's March and movement is here to stay too.
The statue was installed just before the Day Without A Woman strike and the protests that ensued that day. She also stood out to photographers during one of the many days of inclement weather this winter (and now spring), being photographed in the snow. But it's gender equality that her message is supposed to focus on — and that's ultimately why she's getting to stick around.
Supporters of the statue wrote a petition on Change.org asking Mayor de Blasio to consider keeping the art installation. Calling the statue a "bold and brilliant move," the petitioners noted that "she's meant to create awareness for the need for greater gender diversity on boards on International Women's Day." Then they noted that her short exhibition was a shame: "Wouldn't it be great if she got to stay longer? In fact, what is she stuck around permanently?" they wrote.
De Blasio has now officially given the go-ahead. The Boston Globe reported that the "Fearless Girl" can stay until at least February of 2018. State Street Global Chief Executive Ron O’Hanley, who leads the company responsible for the statue, told the paper in a statement that he was pleased with the decision:
We would like to thank Mayor De Blasio and the people around the world who have responded so enthusiastically to what the Fearless Girl represents — the power and potential of having more women in leadership. We are thrilled that she can continue to share her positive message and inspire the next generation of women leaders.
State Street Global Advisors, a fund based in Boston with $2.5 trillion, has a campaign to make the boards of the companies it invests in more diverse. Lynn Blake, an executive vice president at the group, introduced the statue and its importance back in March. "It’s symbolic of change and what we need to change in corporate America and women taking their rightful position," Black told The Boston Globe.
The best explanation, though, comes from the statue's creator, artist Kristen Visbal:
Even more exciting to me is what the girl represents. The Wall Street bull has such power. It’s such an iconic piece. It’s a piece that’s always assumed masculine. Then to put this little delicate girl in this masculine environment — which is what we do when we put women in the workplace — now we are saying, "Hey, we are here. We are going to be here more in the future."
That's sounds like the kind of future that we all want. It's great to know that Mayor de Blasio is listening to petitioners and the many supporters of the Women's March who want to keep this as a symbol of future success.