Fearless Girl
The Times They are a Changin’

One of the things that amazes me about my life is how I thought that I understood the essential issues facing the world, but I was wrong. Few people are further left of center than am I. Additionally, when I realize some mistake that I have made regarding social movements and politics, I’ll change my Weltanschauung (worldview) immediately and move further to the left.

Another change in me, which occurred in the last decade, has been my two dances with death. Fortunately, I danced better than death and am alive and well. In reality, doing the dance caused me to come alive, even though I thought that I was already alive and working to make this world a better place.

Case in point. Ayanna just graduated from college and will be starting her masters in the fall. She was my first grandchild. Nearly two decades ago, Ayanna and I would have fun feeding raccoons in my backyard and would take walks talking about all sorts of things. I don’t recall precisely when I started saying to her that girls can’t do something. She was probably two or three. At that age, she’d turn to me and boldly announce, “Yes, I can.”

My teasing continued for well over a decade. Today, she sees it as Papa just teasing her, and we laugh at my comment. However, I was serious about Ayanna being the best person that she could be. My humor about dissing women forced Ayanna, during the early years, to think about her abilities vis-à-vis boys her age. It is a cute story of a granddaughter and her grandfather, but it was an essential learning tool.

I’m glad that we bantered back and forth on this issue of sexism in America years before Ayanna became aware of sexism. Having said that, my dancing with death makes me even more hyper addressing critical issues in life like sexism. Whether in teaching college students in the humanities or writing for my webpage, sexism is an issue visited quite often.

While researching something on the Internet several days ago, I just happened upon an article about a bronze statue of the Fearless Girl by Kristen Visbal.

Fearless Girl

Interestingly, this Fearless Girl is starring down another bronze statue of the Charging Bull often called the Wall Street Bull. The Charging Bull was done by Arturo Di Modica in 1989.

You go girl.

However, Arturo Di Modica is miffed at the Fearless Girl. “That is not a symbol! That's an advertising trick.” He demanded that it be moved to some other location.

My Charging Bull fears the Fearless Girl

Di Modica has an attorney and is beginning the legal process to have the Fearless Girl removed. He claims that it distracts from his statue. I’ll give him that; it does. It runs counter to his and many men’s notion of male superiority and being macho.

Additionally, Di Modica not only disses the Fearless Girl as “an advertising trick,” but his statue is “a symbol of prosperity.” He insists that the Fearless Girl be moved away from his statue. Ironically, his statue he put up next to the New York Stock Exchange’s Christmas tree and did so with permission or a permit. However, being a male artist, he wants his way even though what he is upset about is something that he had done himself nearly three decades ago.

Visbal isn’t removing her Fearless Girl, and adds, “The world changes and we are now running with this bull.” As I read Visbal’s comment, my mind went back in the 60s during the civil rights movement. Essentially, Bob Dylan told America the same thing, The Times They Are a Changin’.

Come gather around people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
And if your breath to you is worth saving
Then you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changing
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no telling who that it's naming
For the loser now will be later to win
Cause the times they are a-changing
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's the battle outside raging
It'll soon…
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's the battle outside raging
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changing
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand
Cause the times they are a-changing
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slowest now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fading
And the first one now will later be last
Cause the times they are a-changing

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Men who don't like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl” in New York City.

As this confab works its way through the courts, women are learning something and using the Fearless Girl as a role model.

Talk about a role model

In the above photo, two young girls learned a critical lesson about life, and I hope they don’t forget it.

The Hand May Be a Little Child's

"The Hand May Be a Little Child's"

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