Charging Bull, Fearless Girl

Monday, October 19, 1987, was not a good day.

On that day, called Black Monday, the value (amount of money something is worth) of stock markets around the world dropped very quickly. A stock market is a place for people to buy and sell shares of stock – small parts of a company. The idea is to buy the shares, hold them for a while, then sell them for more than you paid when you need some money. Black Monday began in Hong Kong, then spread to Europe and the U.S.

The U.S. stock market, often called Wall Street for a street in New York’s financial district (area), lost about 25% of its value that day. Many people panicked (became extremely frightened), but by the end of the year, the stock market’s value was greater than it had been at the beginning of the year.

Arturo Di Modica, an artist from Sicily, responded to Black Monday in an unusual way: he made a sculpture (statue) of a bull (a male cow) and placed it in the middle of New York’s financial district.

Why a bull? On Wall Street, a bull is a person who thinks the stock market, the shares of a specific company, or even the country’s entire economy is going to continue to grow or improve. We’d say that someone like that is “bullish on Apple” or “bullish on America.” A person who thinks things are going to get worse is called a bear.

Di Modica, who had become an American citizen, wanted to send a message that he was bullish on Wall Street and on America. His sculpture, named Charging (attacking) Bull, is no ordinary bull. It is large – 11 feet (3.4m) tall, 16 feet (4.9m) long, and weighs 7,100 pounds (3,200 kg). It is strong and full of energy.

Charging Bull became an “instant hit (immediately popular)”, according to the New York Times, and one city official said that “people are crazy about the bull.” After almost 30 years, many visitors to New York still include it on their must-see lists. Some say it’s almost as popular as the Statue of Liberty.

The story might have ended here except for one thing: a second sculpture, of a small girl, appeared a few weeks ago on the morning of International Women’s Day. This sculpture, called Fearless Girl, stands in front of Charging Bull and appears to be trying to stare it down (look at someone so long that they feel uncomfortable and turn away). A Wall Street company paid to have her made and is using her to promote one of their products and show support for women in leadership.

Di Modica is insulted and upset. He thinks that Fearless Girl is attacking the bull, and that she changes Charging Bull’s message of hope and prosperity (to have enough) into something negative. He wants the city to move her.

The artist who made Fearless Girl disagrees. She said she made sure to keep her soft. She’s brave, proud, and strong, yes, but she doesn’t want to argue or fight.

For now, Fearless Girl will stay. The city of New York has given her a permit (official permission) to be there for 11 months. We’ll have to wait and see what happens after that.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach/tutor and creator of Successful English website.

Photo by Anthony Quintano is used under Creative Commons license.

This entry was posted in Life in the United States. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Charging Bull, Fearless Girl

  1. hitoshi onuki says:

    I love this episode,thanks Warren,you must be a Fearless person!
    and thank you for your help to improve our english skill and I expect your next article someday.

  2. Peter says:

    Hi warren ,
    You think , u ever run out of cool ,stirring topics.:)

    Well , all I can reckon here is the gal is standing her ground preparing to take the charging bull by the horns. How the artist sees it as a negative is beyond me.
    If anything it is a symbol of courage ,and resolution.

    I like the idea of the standing girl.
    It is very encouraging specially for women.
    To me the sculpture of The girl standing right over there with her shirt waving says :
    don’t take crap!
    Fight for the good of nation.

    U know ,when u put the two sculpture in the pic it takes a different meaning beyond and above economy.
    Sure The charging bull alone is the symbol of prosperity and abundance
    However ,the concept changes when u bring in the girl into picture.
    If u ask me ,now the combination of the two of them together has taken a whole different meaning.

    Speaking of bad economy
    Come take a look at the housing market in major cities in Canada.
    Boy , the astronomically high home prices here specially in Toronto ,and Vancouver are pricing most people out of the market.

    Fearing the economy collapse because of it ,the government is tabling new rules and regulations-u know- to rein in house prices

    To that end , The government has levied extra taxes on buying and selling houses
    The imposed taxes though only hurt little people ,like me.

    They assigned foreign-buyer tax
    Property vacancy tax

    Capital equity tax
    And so on.

    Long story short ,house and apt owners end up giving up most of the appreciation they make to the government.

    If u ask me ,it is a double whammy for the most part.

    To me , The government doesn’t know what it is doing!

    They got caught in the high tides of prices spiralling out of reach.
    If u ask me , the government are just flailing around to just stay afloat.

    I m telling you , the soaring house prices is becoming the dream of owning a place of ur own more and more of a pipe dream around here.

    They need some effective initiatives to cool down the hot housing market here.the conventional method of waiting it out not working anymore.

    Silly Canadian government that thinks it still does.

    In all fairness ,They are trying
    Well , not enough

    The result is current disproportionately high prices.
    By that I mean ,there is no logical ratio between people income and house prices around here.

    As the prices going spirally up , the houses going more and more out of a result ,the average rent going higher and higher.

    Well ,the government had has put rent-control policies in place.
    but how much the policies could help people with the housing crisis really?

    I ‘ll tell u , Canada needs a charging bull quadruplet the size of the Wall-Street bull on the streets to put people back into spirit of taking the damn bull by the horns.

    We r taking

    But ,so is the government ,really ! ?


  3. Peter says:

    Brace urself for we are in for a fictional-sounding -yet-real-life story which happened on the surface streets of my very city : Toronto
    Here come the story

    Boy ,
    You think thses things happen only in movies.
    Just yesterday ,one fire fighter: a vetaran of 20 years rescued a 23 years old woman -get that -from a 12 story tall crane in tornto’s down town core. For some reason which is still a mystery, said woman scales a crane early in the morning on wed April the 26th. Seemingly ,it happened around 3/4 Am.
    She climbes up the shaft all the way up then crawls out and slings down the steel cable and on the pulley. Can u imagine. Please keep in mind Toronto still bears a touch of winter. And the weather is like freezing 30 meters up in the air.
    Her astonishingly stunt lands her on the pulley-
    the part of a crane with a steel hook on it.
    It is where she gets stranded and calls out for help. Fire fighters , police squads ,and paramedics show up in the scene around 6 am.
    First off , they decide to lower the pulley and the lady sitting calmly on top of it 30 mere above the ground with it to the ground.
    However the firefighter veteran who is up on the shaft close to the pulley stopped the operation as he was studying the delicate situation up close and he deems it perilous!!
    All is left is for said fire fighter to crawl out of the shift ,slid down the steel cable in order to put the lady in a harness device.

    Please note that
    The fire fighter doing all these with safety gears he has on him. The lady did it all with bare hands in an early morning freezing temperature.
    Back to the story
    The experience fire fighter did exactly that
    He lowers himself to the pulley straps the lady to himself and then
    The crane operator very slowly lower them down to the ground.
    The cheer erupts when they safely hits the ground.
    It had turned to an spectator sport event. 🙂

    The entire operations took 2 hours and a half.

    It is something ,isn’t it
    Only a highly trained fire fighter can pull such a feat

    Canada’s Fire fighter squad are the best !!!
    They are not highly skilled but highly committed

    Thanks to the chief and his crew for pulling such a feat !


  4. Peter says:

    I love
    Mr prime minister
    He is a forward looking ,futuristic ,charism-atic dude with a big liberal-oriented heart.:)
    He is the best public face Canada ever had!!

    I m very happy with him in the high office.
    He is doing amazing jobs for Canada at large.
    The last he did
    The parliament under his direction is billing a new law on the health sector.
    People under 25 no longer needs to pay for their medication. They simply step in a nearby apothecary and fill up their proscriptions free of charge. Well ,like other legislative piece , there are some caveat ,loop holes ,provisions and clauses to it. I m referring to the big picture here.
    It means people up to 25 years old don’t have to pay for medication except for some specific afflictions. the legislative body is working on the list of medications won’t be covered by the mandate.

    But ,please sit down and think for a moment that how great a financial release is for the parent raising their kids.
    It is a huge saving on their parts
    one less thing they should worry about

    Man it is huge !!!!

    U know the Heath care is fir free up here in Canada for the most part !!



  5. emiliano says:

    I am with fearless girl absolutely if New York city does not want her I would like to have her at home.
    More or less I feel myself as this girl, it does not import anything if she is a girl or a woman and I am a man, I fell her close near with her in her attitude and how she
    stand up in front the Bull.
    Today it is my wedding anniversary when Cuca said Yes I do and her husband said the same.
    How many years?
    Few in fact, only 47 that has been a short period of time having close to me the best girl and woman that it was possible to find.
    We have been talking for long and love remains even more that the first day we said “Yes I do”.

    Regards and thanks Warren.

Comments are closed.