The Trouble with Bodies [thoughts on the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street]

Of the two camps on the Fearless Girl statue, I am of the annoyed. Let me not say offended; the term is overused.

I am annoyed because for anyone who is a woman, you know you’ve infantilized. It wasn’t that long ago that the term girl used for a woman in a workplace setting was cause for offense, and the creators can’t not know that.

There’s too much baggage there, too much on how our parents, our lovers, our teachers, friends have deligitimized us precisely because somehow, even as women, we’re still girls.

I heard the pro-girl argument earlier today, so what I will say is this: the trouble is not, in the end, with a girl statue or a woman statue, but with having a body at all. Any female form placed there facing down the Wall Street bull would have been a problem. Any. If she were older, what would have been done with her hair? How would her race be displayed by almost any choice regarding hair? If she were older, what would have been done with her breasts? And how could any choice about her breast not reflect on the designers desire, or if not designer, their ideas of an ideal?

And then there are hips, clothing, shoes, lips, gesture, posture–

Every part of us after girlhood, is wrong. We are wrong for being pretty, we are wrong for being ugly. We’re cold, we’re hot, we’re emotional, we’re repressed. We’re haughty. There is no neutral.

Given this, yeah, a little girl is about a good as we can get it now.


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