11 Oct 2020
I heard today about the fearless girl statue in New York.
You may know all about this, but it’s something that has escaped my general knowledge quota until today.
The fearless girl statue was installed in anticipation of International Women’s Day in 2017, and was first placed staring down at the charging bull statue out the front of the New York Stock Exchange. The fearless girl promotes female empowerment, and is meant to send a message about workplace gender diversity, but to me it also says a lot about the future of our world, regardless of gender or age.
In a battle of the statues, however, the complaints came that the placement of the fearless girl in front of the stock exchange bull diminished the bull – it changed the perception of it as a symbol of prosperity and strength, to one of a villain. So a plaque showing her footprints remain in front of the bull, but the fearless girl has been moved – facing the stock exchange itself.
If you were faced with someone wearing the expression of that fearless girl – someone who is brave, proud and strong, but not belligerent – I think you would have to take them seriously, wouldn’t you?
If you were faced with the children of the future, challenging you to take care of the world that they will inherit, would you be able to justify your current neglect?
If you were faced with every female of the future, challenging you for equality that supposedly exists, but is still sadly lacking in some areas – would you still pay your female employee less than a male employee doing an identical job?
If you were faced with refugees just asking for the chance to live a life free from persecution, would you still send them to a prison while spending years deliberating whether they deserved this chance?
When we challenge something we disagree with, do we do it with the attitude of the fearless girl? She isn’t angry, she isn’t belligerent, she isn’t fanatical.
She is strong. She is proud. She is determined.
May you find the fearless girl inside you, and may we acknowledge and respect the fearless girls we meet.