An anonymous group of activists paid a visit to the “Fearless Girl” statue in Manhattan’s Financial District on April Fools day to protest what they say is a non-intersectional symbol of solidarity.
The piece, entitled “#WhichWomen: An Investigation into the Soul of Capitalism,” was staged by an organization known as the New York Activist Nexus-Coordinating Action Team.
The group staged a die-in at 22:00ET to convey the image of a trail of bodies behind the “Fearless Girl” and Charging Bull statues, before gathering in a ceremonial circle around the girl to ask questions about #WhichWomen she is supporting.
“Behold! We come to you, a symbol for all women, to launch an investigation into the soul of capitalism. You have asked us how to elevate women on Wall Street. In turn, we ask you, which women?” the group chanted, dressed all in red.
The protest was witnessed by a small group of unsuspecting tourists.
The statue was originally installed opposite the Wall Street Charging Bull on International Women’s Day by financial institution State Street Global Advisors, as a call for more women executives in boardrooms.
Shortly thereafter, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the “Fearless Girl” would stay for the next twelve months, claiming that the women’s march the day after President Trump’s inauguration had given the statue “special power”.
However, activists say the stated purpose of the statue—a comment about the need for more women executives in Wall Street boardrooms—is not reflected in the actions of State Street, a firm where only 20% of the board are women.
“This statue has been hailed in the press as a symbol of progress when in reality it was actually placed there by a financial firm that has a pretty standard track record as financial firms go. There’s nothing about them that has stood out in terms of solidarity or support for women, much less any other cause,” said one of the activists, speaking to The Upstander before the event.
The group believes the statue is a non-intersectional symbol as it elevates a narrow subsection of women who are already from privileged backgrounds.
“Let’s say they achieve their goal and 50% of all executive boards are women, who are these women? What is their background? Are they all white women? Are they all cis women? Are they all women who were raised in the upper class? Are they all straight? Feminism that isn’t intersectional just reinforces white supremacy,” the activist added.
Photo Credit: Alice Teeple