A Gross Wall Street Bro Humped the “Fearless Girl” Statue
— Jezebel (@Jezebel) March 11, 2017
Because Wall Street never fails to outdo itself on toxic masculinity, a gross finance bro has been photographed humping and grinding against the “Fearless Girl” statue that was placed opposite the famous bull. Even a statue of a child, funded by a an asset management firm, wasn’t safe from finance’s rampant misogyny.
Architectural designer Alexis Kaloyanides shared the photo on Instagram and Facebook, with the caption, “Almost as if out of central casting, some Wall Street finance broseph appeared and started humping the statue while his gross date rape-y friends laughed and cheered him on. He pretended to have sex with the image of a little girl. Douchebags like this are why we need feminism.”
In a follow-up interview with Inside Edition, Kaloyanides explained why she shared the picture. “This [behavior] is just further perpetuating a mentality of ‘boys will be boys,’ and that ‘it’s okay, it’s a joke, just brush it off.’ This young man likely has a mother, a sister perhaps, a girlfriend, a wife — who knows? I’m getting tired of making excuses and laughing it off. I for one am not gonna laugh it off anymore.”
She continued: “This man did something in public. He wanted to get a reaction, and he’s getting it now — good or bad.”
While I’m moved by Kaloyanides’ courage and conviction, the statue itself is less inspiring. There are numerous issues with its subject matter and sponsor, many of which you’ve likely read about by now.
As TMS‘s own Teresa Jusino pointed out, State Street Global Advisers, the asset management firm behind the statue, chose to depict a girl, not a woman. Men are much more comfortable with the potential future power of a hypothetical little girl than they are with the present exercise of power by the competent, real women they work alongside. Only one of those threatens their status quo. The other is a nice, not-yet-likely dream for the future.
[A]s well-meaning as this statue might be, the image of a young girl is palatable. It’s non-threatening. As defiant as she is, she’s still a child, and it seems that we as a society are much more comfortable with girls being rebellious than we are with grown women who are the same…A little girl being defiant is cute. A woman being defiant is a threat.
State Street is also far from a champion of feminism in its hiring and business practices. Its 11-person board only has three women on it, meaning it’s a measly 28% women.
In addition, State Street has no problem cheating thousands of women out of their hard-earned pensions and retirement funds. As the Village Voice reports:
In 2007, State Street was at the center of a mortgage-backed collateral debt obligation scandal. The company managed a portfolio of shaky mortgage derivatives that had been structured to make money for a hedge fund when the underlying mortgages went belly-up and the derivatives cratered. But State Street didn’t tell the clients who were actually buying the product that was the plan, and as a result pension funds and other investors lost nearly half a billion dollars.
Closing the pay gap isn’t worth much if an asset management firm steals it all away from you.
And yet, thanks to this Wall Street jerk, I find myself reevaluating the statue. Clearly, his masculinity was so threatened by the presence of this corporate-sponsored, deliberately infantilized depiction of female autonomy that he had to immediately establish disgusting dominance over it. Is this actually making Wall Street bros uncomfortable? Does it frighten them with a suggestion that women will one day overwhelm and unseat them from their positions of power? I mean, I can get behind that sort of thing!
More seriously, though, this statue and incident illustrate two equally essential requirements: we must demand and expect better from our feminism, while also anticipating and preparing for the worst from our patriarchal world.
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—