Thousands of people want "Fearless Girl" to stand her ground — indefinitely.
The 4-foot-tall bronze sculpture of a young girl defiantly staring down Wall Street's iconic Charging Bull has become a symbol of female empowerment for many, as well as a tourist sensation, since the piece — created as part of a marketing campaign by a leading investment firm that calls out the need for more women business leaders — was unveiled on March 7.
Seen as merely a PR stunt by some, the sculpture with a slated removal date of April 2 was meant to be temporary. But elected officials, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, and activists have recently taken up the charge to make the installation permanent.
“To get a fair shot in business, women have to stand fearless in front of the real life charging bull of gender discrimination, and go above and beyond their male counterparts to be viewed as equal,” said Maloney, who led a press conference over the weekend calling for Fearless Girl's preservation, in a statement.
“Fearless Girl is each of us; she embodies the resiliency that each woman must possess, and I believe it is essential that she remain in her spot permanently," she said.
The statue's permanent installation is also backed by two petitions: one on ThePetitionSite has nearly reached its goal of 30,000 signatures, and another on Change.org is currently 1,758 signatures away from its 25,000 goal.
But not everyone is touting the little bronze girl with her hands on her hips as a beacon of feminism.
Some critics argue that the statue is simply corporate advertising, not art — including the artist behind the Wall Street bull.
“That is not a symbol! That’s an advertising trick,” Arturo Di Modica, the 76-year-old Sicilian immigrant artist who created the Bull, told MarketWatch.
Others have also said that the idea of a little girl representing female power in business is demeaning, or the sculpture only supports feminism for a certain class of women.
Natalie Grybauskas, a spokeswoman from the mayor's office, said they are "exploring the possibility of keeping the Fearless Girl for longer than currently permitted."
"This temporary installation has elevated important conversations about women in leadership, and we’re as excited by that as many New Yorkers are," she wrote in an email. "Making an art piece a permanent part of the City’s streetscape requires thorough and thoughtful review of a variety of logistical and design factors.