In light of the most recent response to my article, “Why I am Still Ashamed you ‘Capped the Fearless Girl Statue’,” I feel it would only be appropriate and respectful to dignify Mr. Beckman with a response. Despite the hyperbolic language, and borderline libelous statements painting me as a criminal, I enjoyed reading the article. I especially enjoyed the final paragraph. However, I’d like to address some hypocrisies and false statements that were made by him about myself, and that night, in the hopes of allowing him and the rest of the King’s College student body to better understand why I did it, and why I remain unapologetic and unashamed of my actions.
My first issue with the piece is his misrepresentation of why I did it. According to Beckman, “You [myself] did it, not to be funny, but to garner a reaction.” This is a false analysis, the point was to make other right wingers online laugh. If by “garner a reaction” he meant make my Trump friends laugh, then yes absolutely. But that would validate my claim of it being done for a laugh. If he meant in order to hurt people with different opinions than my own, then he is wrong.
We purposefully went out late at night in order to avoid upsetting people, we took off the apparel for any person who wanted a photo of just the plain statue and we made sure never to leave a mess once we left. The only reason we continued was because we found it fun, and because the internet begged us to keep coming out and representing them from afar. Mr. Beckman would have known this had he simply asked me before writing his piece accusing me of vanity. If having fun and representing your friends is uncharacteristic of King’s men, then is he implying we are boring and refuse to represent our friends?
My second problem is the blatant hypocrisy he practiced in the piece when characterizing my actions as, the “hijacking of a symbol and using that symbol for ends towards which it was not intended.” There is a statue in the Financial District of Manhattan that fell victim to a similar fate, the Charging Bull Statue. According to the Atlantic, “The ‘Fearless Girl’ statue, [is] a bronze sculpture of a young girl with her hands on her hips, standing defiantly in front of Wall Street’s Charging Bull.” The Charging Bull isn’t meant to be a symbol of misogyny or sexism. As a matter of fact, the Charging Bull is meant to be a symbol of financial optimism and the growth of the American economy. Even the artist who created the statue agrees with me on this. According to the Guardian Artist Arturo Di Modica says, “The presence of the [Fearless] girl infringed on his own artistic copyright by changing the creative dynamic to include the other bold presence.” Would Mr. Beckman argue the Fearless Girl is a powerful symbol for women all across the world, or would he describe it as an attempt to “vandalize a statue” or a ploy to “garner a reaction?”
You see, this response actually is about my politics Mr. Beckman. You view the politics of Trump and myself as hateful and divisive, and do not feel the same about the politics of feminism. Had the statue been of Donald Trump, and had a woman at The King’s College defended putting a “pussy hat” on it, then I suspect there would not have been a response article from you. If my suspicions are incorrect, then I’d be curious to see you swear on the honor code, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that I’m incorrect.
I actually love the statue, I think it’s a perfect example of how ridiculous feminism has become; If they had their way we’d be telling little girls to stand in front of 1500 lb. beasts that would surely tear their heads off in a span of 3 seconds. That is quite the dystopian vision for me and many others in the King’s community. I love women, and would never wish that upon anyone. The purpose of Feminism should not be to masculinize women and toss them into the fire. Women should be free to be womanly without some giant Wall St. corporation shoving their propaganda down their throats publicly. Gender equality now means defeminizing women, and demasculinizing men when it should mean allowing both men and women to reach their optimal levels of femininity and masculinity. You know who was left behind by the Fearless Girl? Stay at home mothers who create and shape lives, those 42% of American women who do not feel oppressed and do not feel like men are the problem. I’m referring to the women who voted for Donald Trump. Those were the women I was standing out in the cold winter representing.
So Mr. Beckman, I accept your invite. I look forward to our discussion over coffee, and I hope we can learn to understand each other a bit better before we jump to conclusions about each other. Until then, I will say sternly that I am not only proud that I capped the Fearless Girl, but I also remain unashamed of my actions, and I refuse to apologize to anyone it may have tangentially offended. However, what I will do is ask those people why the strong and independent feminist women at King’s felt they needed a man to represent their contingent in print?