Celebrating women, “Fearless Girl” deserves the attention

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In New York City’s Financial District, there is a bronze statue of a little girl in a flowy dress, with her hair pinned back in a ponytail. She is standing confidently with her hands glued to her hips, facing a charging bull. Although she is young and petite, she is brave enough to defend herself against a mighty beast.

Kristen Visbal, the artist who created the “Fearless Girl” sculpture, hoped her artwork would symbolize issues surrounding gender diversity in the workplace. In the United States, men hold more administrative positions than women within the corporate world. According to the Center for American Progress, women make up “only 14.6 percent of executive officers, 8.1 percent of top earners, and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.” The statue was built to challenge large corporations in the U.S. to hire more women for senior leadership roles.

Claire Cain Miller listed several solutions to decrease the pay gap between men and women in her article for the New York Times, “How to Bridge That Stubborn Pay Gap.” She wrote that employers should publish their worker’s salaries so everyone can see the difference, women should negotiate more often for a higher paycheck and pregnant women should be given more time off to care for their child. These are reasonable ways to boost equality and gender diversity in the workplace, but it is up to us to put these solutions into action.

The 250-pound statue on Wall Street has gained national attention since its public debut on Mar. 8 in celebration of International Women’s day. It quickly became a tourist attraction and women of all ages and ethnicities have snapped pictures of themselves beside the bronze figure, with their hands fiercely on their hips and their chin held high, as they stand in front of the charging bull. In the short time it has been up, it has become a salient symbol of female empowerment.

The statue certainly deserves the large amount of attention it has received. Visbal’s art is more than a simple sculpture; it is a feminist statement that shares the fact that women have the same qualifications as men, so there is no reason why they shouldn’t hold more powerful careers.

I cannot speak for every woman, but as a female in 2017 I feel extremely connected to this statue. There have been plenty of times in my life when I’ve felt weak compared to the men around me.

Although we no longer live in the 1950s where women were expected to tend to the home and cater to her children and husband, it can still be intimidating to be the only woman in a room. I’m grateful for the statue, because it made me realize that even when a mighty beast is racing toward me, I am capable of standing my own ground.

“Fearless girl” is scheduled to be removed in 2018. It is allowed to remain a symbol of power for one year, but it should remain in its spot for much longer. It serves as a reminder that men and women are still not equal in the workplace but should be seen in that way. Despite the significant progress that has been made, it is going to take tremendous time and effort before we decrease the pay gap between men and women and increase the amount of leadership positions given to women in America’s top corporations.

The statue was so powerful that right after it was debuted, it sparked a conversation about making the statue a permanent fixture in Manhattan.

It would be best to leave the “Fearless Girl” statue alone so the little girl could serve as a permanent landmark of the ongoing feminist movement. We live in a world that is attempting to be  more accepting and become equal with each passing minute. However, there are still issues that need to be solved, therefore the statute should serve as a constant reminder that women are still fighting for better opportunities and equality.

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