The “Fearless” Girl that stands in front of the bull on Wall Street should be called the “Foolish” Girl. Standing in front of a bull is not a good idea for anyone. If the little girl’s mom saw her, she would grab her by the hand and warn her of the dangers of standing in front of a bull, instead of posing for a picture with her like Elizabeth Warren recently did. (I would think a person with future presidential aspirations would have better sense.)
Although, I suppose in a world where common sense is not so common, “fearless” girl makes sense. And, yes, I know it is supposed to be a symbol of female empowerment, but please couldn’t we chose a better example? How about a female who accomplished something, rather than a little girl doing something senseless?
The statue I have in mind is of Sybil Ludington, and it is also located in New York. No, not New York City… Carmel, New York. This statue is of a young female riding a horse. She is in full control of a large creature, not attempting to stare one down. The young lady on horseback is on a mission. She is not pointlessly standing in front of a wild animal to show she is brave.
The plaque beneath the statue of the girl on the horse reads:
“Sybil Ludington-Revolutionary War Heroine, April 26, 1777. Called out the volunteer militia by riding through the night, alone, on horseback, at the age of 16, alerting the countryside to the burning of Danbury, Conn. By the British.”
Sybil was the oldest of 12 children, and played an active role in caring for her siblings. Her father was New York Colonel Henry Ludington, who later became an aid to George Washington. The Ludingtons lived in an area the British often used as a route. The mission on the night of Sybil’s 40 mile ride (twice as long as Paul Revere’s ride) through rugged terrain, was to get the militia men who were on furlough to her father’s house because the British had entered Danbury, Connecticut and were taking supplies, military stores and ransacking the town.
The Ludingtons lived just across the state line from Danbury, in New York, and that night a messenger had come to tell Colonel Ludington about the British rampage in Danbury. The messenger could continue no longer, so Sybil took on the task.
She rode all night, and was able to get 400 militia men back to her father’s command post. They could not stop the attack in Danbury, but they were able to catch up with the retreating British and beat them back.
Sixteen year old Sybil took on danger for a purpose. She knew she had the skills for the assignment and was truly a fearless girl. She should be recognized as the Real Fearless Girl.
Diana Erbio is a freelance writer and author of “Coming to America: A Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World”. Read her new blog series “Statues: The People They Salute” and visit the Facebook Page.