Tina Kakadelis
YA Author

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Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Pissed-Off Writer Writes About Pissed-Off "Artist"

fearlessgirl.jpg

So, a little while ago, I wrote an article about the Fearless Girl statue that was installed right across from the charging bull statue on Wall Street in New York City. Did you hear that? “An article.” Look at me, pretending I'm fancy.

Anyway, we gotta talk about this stupid bull statue again (which is more than I've ever wanted to talk about this statue) because an even dumber thing happened. Some pissy man decided that this Fearless Girl is such an utterly disappointing work of art, that he had to make this statue of a pug that's standing next to the girl peeing on her leg.

First of all, pugs do not deserve this. They are lovely creatures who can’t breathe properly. They are not here to prop up some dude’s fragile masculinity.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about why women can’t have nice things.

How sad is your little life that you had to take this symbol of hope and strength for women and metaphorically and, I guess, literally piss on it? Not to mention, this “artist” was so mad about Fearless Girl that he purposefully made an ugly pug statue as a statement to the “corporate nonsense” of Fearless Girl.

He sounds so charming, right? Here’s a direct quote that’ll make you love him even more:

“It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull. The bull had integrity. I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull.”

I love when men decide to shit on women, but then backtrack and are basically like “I hate women, but not in an anti-feminist way. I just hate women.”

Here’s the thing about respecting the bull; the original dude just installed it in the middle of the night. Talk about integrity. What it is is this reckless, bullish (hahahahahaha, guys I’m so good at this writing thing) belief men have that they can do whatever they want. The second that a woman tries to do the same, they think the world is ending. When the Fearless Girl was added, people thought it cheapened the art. Supposedly. According to this whiny dude and his whiny dude friends.

This is exactly like all the dudes complaining about the all-women Wonder Woman movie screenings. They don’t understand that a celebration of women is not an insult to men.

Side note: do the dudes protesting these all-women screenings know where Diana is from? Like they do know that she's from an island of all women and is officially bisexual, right? And she was created by a dude who was a feminist (albeit, a little misguided in his feminist ways, but that's for another time) and a lot of her creation was inspired by suffragettes and women fighting for birth control? She is their worst nightmare. A liberal, queer, feminist who believes in peace and justice aka the hero of my dreams.

The Wonder Woman screenings don’t impact men, but they bring women together to celebrate seeing themselves in a story they don't often get to see. A story that is 76 years in the making. Seriously. Wonder Woman is almost as old as Superman and Batman, but she has never had a movie of her own. So it's not a matter of excluding, it's about a group of women celebrating this iconic hero in a way they've never got to see before. It's empowerment by way of strength and unity. I'm about to drop some knowledge on you; empowering women is not hating men.

Hold on. Let me repeat that for the fellas in the back.

EMPOWERING WOMEN IS NOT HATING MEN.

Some men come to see feminism as hating men because the scales are evening out. It’s like if dudes had two tubs of ice cream, but only needed one to fill them up and women had none. All women are asking for is that second tub of ice cream that dudes don’t need, but dudes see the loss of the second ice cream tub as inequality. Was that easy to follow or does it just make it super obvious that I really want ice cream right now? Did that even make sense as a metaphor (simile? I never paid attention to the difference)?

While the statue of the peeing dog was only up for a few hours, the message that the "artist" inadvertently made is going to last a lot longer. He can't get past the "artistic integrity" of the stupid bull to understand the importance of the Fearless Girl. This isn't new. Men pride themselves on not knowing anything about women. They don't know what it's like to be a woman in this world and they don't want to know. Hell, just the other day, my friend told me that a guy she talked to thought women's periods were synched up with the full moon. Are you kidding me? Does he know girls aren't werewolves?! Guys flinch at the mention of periods except when they try to use it as an excuse for a woman's behavior.

How did this blog post about a statue turn into one about periods? The world may never know. Here's what I do know, though; women are not here to be cutesy and indifferent. Women were meant to take up space and they were meant to face challenges and change the world. In case you didn't know, women have been changing the world since day one. The point is that masculinity is fragile and dudes gotta stop being the absolute worst.

I talked about this a little in the other article, but I think it bears repeating; the second men are forced to identify with women, they find it unfair and unjust. Just the other day, at the BIG CORPORATE BOOK STORE I work at, I had a little boy asking his dad if he could get a Star Wars bookmark like his sister. She had a Luke one and the little boy really wanted a Rey one. And the dad kept forcing him to pick one with Poe or Finn or BB-8 because the ones with Rey on it were for girls.

First of all, Rey is one of the best heroes of the Star Wars franchise. Leia is the true hero, let's be honest. Second, DOESN'T HE SEE HOW DUMB HE'S BEING?

But there it is; the phenomenon in practice. The dad doesn't blink an eye when his daughter wants a Luke Skywalker bookmark because who wouldn't want to be that dude? But the second his son wants a bookmark with a girl on it, who is definitely a better hero than Luke Skywalker, he can't handle it. He can't fathom finding anything about a girl being relatable. It's also why the new Transformers has two wildly different trailers.

Wow, who knew talking about a stupid pissing pug statue would lead me to Wonder Woman, periods, and Transformers?

If I wasn't typing this in an airport next to a massive poster for the greatest musician of our lifetime, Celine Dion, I'd put in a little effort to try and find the two trailers. But basically, when I saw Beauty and the Beast (which definitely geared its marketing toward women), the trailer was full of kick-ass girl power. It was like Mark Wahlberg wasn't even there. I was excited for a Transformers movie and confused as to what was happening in my life that I could possibly be excited for a Transformers movie. The next day, I saw Logan and I got another Transformers trailer. I was excited until it became very clear that I was getting a wildly different trailer that barely featured the girl.

In the Beauty and the Beast version, the girl had a voiceover that said something like "Yeah, I run like a girl and if you tried a little harder, maybe you could, too" that was definitely not in the Logan version. God forbid a theatre for a movie that's marketed toward dudes hears something like that. Might just absolutely shatter their absurdly fragile masculinity. Because there's the phenomenon yet again. Men aren't expected to relate to women, but women are expected to relate to men.

I don't know what else to tell you guys except GO SEE WONDER WOMAN. This movie is the highest rated superhero movie on Rotten Tomatoes and I can just hear the cries of the men who think it's a lie.

What a way to wrap it all up, huh?