More than a month after the famous "Fearless Girl" statue was installed on Wall Street, it's still facing backlash from people who don't agree with the message. An artist is claiming that the statue's presence is violating his artistic rights, because somehow the concept of gender equality can still be controversial. Luckily, "Fearless Girl" has an influential ally who's fighting the patriarchy by her side. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio defended the "Fearless Girl" statue on Twitter Wednesday after the latest assault on her right to exist.
"Men who don't like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl," De Blasio tweeted, and he's absolutely spot on about why she's still important.
The sculptor behind Wall Street's famous "Charging Bull," Arturo Di Modica, claimed in new allegations this week that the placement of "Fearless Girl" infringes on his "artistic copyright by changing the creative dynamic" of his piece, according to The Guardian. Di Modica's attorney gave a press conference Wednesday and stated his intent to fight the city's permit authorizing "Fearless Girl"'s placement through February 2018.
However, as De Blasio pointed out on Twitter, the only clear reason Di Modica would oppose the new statue right now seems to come from misogynistic attitudes. According to ChargingBull.com, a website dedicated to the statue, Di Modica installed the statue as a symbol of the resilience of the American spirit following the stock market crash in 1986.
Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl. https://t.co/D2OZl4ituJ— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 12, 2017
There's no legitimate reason the "Fearless Girl" statue would contradict that message — if anything, it's a reinforcement of the artist's theme because it shows that women, who make up more than 50 percent of the United States population, can't be knocked down by the social and institutional barriers set up to subjugate them. Di Modica's objections then must come from either a denial of the existence of these barriers or a denial of the power and value of women, and in either case, his request should not be accommodated.
Furthermore, Di Modica installed "Charging Bull" in the middle of the night while intentionally avoiding police, knowing that he didn't have permission. Arguably, the illegality of the initial placement negates Di Modica's right to claim artistic license, because the city never officially allowed him to use that area in the first place. It's a public area that should have art that reflects the entire spirit of the city, not one man who colonized it, and New Yorkers are some of the most progressive people in the country.
Di Modica's complaints don't support the malleable and subjective nature of art — he's trying to tell the city what to think and feel about his piece, but New Yorkers should get to define their own values when it comes to the art in their city.
Ultimately, the backlash against "Fearless Girl" does nothing but prove why the world needs her. Women need to be able to exist as symbols of power, success, and wealth without criticism, and until people learn to accept that, those people are just going to make themselves unhappy and waste everybody's time.