There is a movement afoot to make permanent a bronze statue of a little girl staring down a bronze statue of a very large charging bull in the Financial District.
It has come in the form of two online petitions and a separate push by local elected officials.
The 50-inch “Fearless Girl,” which now has its own Twitter page and hashtag, was installed on March 7, to coincide with International Women’s Day. It was commissioned by asset management company State Street Global Advisors in effort address the need for more women on corporateboards.
The statue has become a popular attraction, standing a few feet from the famous 3-ton bronze charging bull, which is a long-standing tourist attraction on Broadway, just north of Battery Place.
On Saturday, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niouheld a rally next to Fearless Girl to make the temporary statue a permanent fixture. The assemblywoman has the support of 50 women elected officials, local and throughout the state, Patch.com reported.
New York City Public Advocate Letitia James has also called on the city to keep Fearless Girl at that location.
A change.org petition to make the statue permanent has attracted more than 23,000 signatures as of Sunday afternoon. “Sign the petition to encourage the City of New York and State Street to make the Fearless Girl a permanent installation, facing down that charging bull,” the petition states.
Separately, a Care2 online petition has attracted more than 26,000 signatures, also seeking to give Fearless Girl permanent residency. “Women’s equality is not a temporary issue,” according to a release publicizing the Care2 petition.
The bronze statue, created by artist Kristen Visbal, was supposed to remain at the site for only a week, but got the attention of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has said it will remain there until April 2. A spokeswoman for the mayor told the New York Daily News there were no plans to extend the permit.
But Fearless Girl has not been popular with everyone. In a column in The New York Times titled, “The False Feminism of Fearless Girl,” Ginia Bellafantecalled the statue “an exercise in corporate imaging” commissioned by a company that has just five women among its 28-person corporate leadership team.
“The point is not that working to expand the presence of women on corporate boards is in itself an unworthy goal,” Bellafonte wrote. “It is that building a bronze monument to the plight of the more than 14 million women who make up two-thirds of the low-wage work force would also be worthy. Would anyone Instagram it?”