On March 8th, women across the world came together to celebrate International Women’s Day- although much of that celebrating included protesting the inequality that still exists for thousands of women.
One form of protest took the form of a bronze statue on Wall Street. Across from the famous “Charging Bull” statue, “Fearless Girl” stands tall.
According to Business Insider, “Fearless Girl” was created by State Street Global Advisors to advocate equal pay and an increase in the number of women on company boards.
After being allowed to remain until February of 2018, “Fearless Girl” has served as an inspiration for some and a controversial topic for others. Unfortunately, the controversy has doubled and taken form in another statue.
Introducing “Sketchy Dog:” a statue of a pug that was placed so that it appeared to be urinating on “Fearless Girl’s” leg.
Cited in an NBC article, Alex Gardega, who created “Sketchy Dog,” explains his reasoning behind the statue.
According to Gardega, “Fearless Girl” was not built to make a point about equality. Rather, State Street Global Advisors created the statue as an advertising technique to “promote an index fund.”
Additionally, Gardega believes that “Fearless Girl” “interferes” with “Charging Bull’s” creator Arturo Di Modica’s “work/vision.”
Gardega states that he believes “there’s nothing inherently wrong with the “Fearless Girl,” and he is not “anti-feminist.” While his intentions might not have been to disrespect women, that is exactly what has happened.
One of the most common complaints about “Fearless Girl” is that it was merely used as a marketing ploy, and Gardega cited that as one of his issues with the statue. It’s possible that this is true; however, despite the intention behind the creation of “Fearless Girl,” the impact of the statue has nothing to do with advertising.
For women across the United States, “Fearless Girl” became a sign of defiance against the inequality they continue to face. Some of this inequality is expressed through Wall Street or the economy, but “Charging Bull” isn’t the only obstacle “Fearless Girl” is standing up to.
According to the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), 1/6 of American women are the victim of an attempted or completed rape. Maker’s website states that 62 million girls worldwide are denied education. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research declares that the average pay for women is lower than men in almost all jobs.
These are the issues that “Fearless Girl” is standing up to, and “Sketchy Dog” demeans the battle to end inequality because of the possibility that the statue was created for advertisement. The statue of a pug isn’t just urinating on “Fearless Girl,” it’s figuratively urinating on women’s rights and the fight to end the harassment.
Moreover, Gardega expressed concern and “empathy” for the creator of “Charging Bull” because he was worried about the artistic interference of “Fearless Girl.” Yet, by making a statue that appears to urinate on “Fearless Girl,” Gardega ironically interferes with the work of the artists behind the defiant statue. Although opinions may vary, what seems to possess more disrespect: a girl standing in front of a bull or a dog lifting up its leg to use the bathroom on a girl?
“Sketchy Dog” wasn’t meant to stand forever- it was removed after only a few hours. Although the statue might have been temporary, its blatant disrespect lasts much longer.
Gardega states that “Sketchy Dog” was manufactured with “a sense of humor.” Unfortunately for Gardega, there is nothing humorous about treating a defiant statue symbolic of women’s rights as a fire hydrant.