By Bob Friedrich
Many of you have read about the “Fearless Girl” vs. “Charging Bull” statute controversy in lower Manhattan. Back on March 7, in honor of International Women’s Day, investment managing company State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) erected a statue a few feet from the iconic “Charging Bull” near the New York Stock Exchange.
“Fearless Girl’ with her head held high, hands on her hips, seems to be defiantly staring down “Charging Bull.” To the purists who loved the solitary icon of the Bull statue, it was sacrilege. To the progressives, it symbolized girl power vs. Wall Street. To State Street Global Advisors, it (publicity) was priceless.
The statue was to stand for a week but has now been “greenlighted” by Mayor Bill de Blasio at least until December. A few days after the statue was installed, a couple of revelers out on the town were caught making lewd gestures in front of “Fearless Girl” in a photograph that went viral. The New York Post, NY Daily News, Mayor de Blasio, public advocate Tish James and so many others have opined about it. Even lawsuits by the “Charging Bulls” creator have been threatened. This controversy has only just begun and is not going away.
I harbor no illusion that disparate groups — such as progressives, capitalists, feminists, conservatives and politicians — on their own could ever come together to settle the Fearless Girl vs. Charging Bull controversy. So what to do about it?
Viewing and enjoying both statues, I felt compelled to come up with a solution that I believe everyone could support. I am asking the mayor and others who will decide its fate to come together and embrace my solution.
The “Fearless Girl” controversy, with her hands on her hips, eye-to-eye with and defiantly staring down Wall Street’s iconic “Charging Bull” can easily be resolved by simply reversing her stance. Instead of facing “Charging Bull,” turn her around so that she still stands in front, but now faces anyone who seeks to do “Charging Bull” harm. No longer seen as “Charging Bull’s” enemy, “Fearless Girl” would now become “Charging Bull’s” protector.
“Charging Bull” has always represented a strong bull market, surging economy and resilient America. “Fearless Girl” should stand as a guardian to those values! By keeping her in the exact spot that she now stands, but simply turning her around, I believe everyone could rejoice in both statues and the values and the synergy they represent.