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Wall Street Drama: 'Pissing Pug' Triggers SJW 'Fearless Girl' Supporters

In 1989, the sculptor Arturo Di Modica placed a huge statue of a "Charging Bull" right in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. The bull symbolized financial optimism and prosperity, but then in March of this year, the investment firm State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) commissioned "Fearless Girl," a statue that changed the meaning of the bull. In protest this weekend, sculptor Alex Gardega responded with a statue of his own.

"I decided to build this dog and make it crappy to downgrade the statue, exactly how the girl is a downgrade on the bull," Gardega told The New York Post. The artist poo-pooed the "Fearless Girl" statue, which many have taken as a symbol of feminism.

"This is corporate nonsense," Gardega told The Post. "It has nothing to do with feminism, and it is disrespect to the artist that made the bull. That bull had integrity."

His statue, entitled "Pissing Pug," took aim directly at "Fearless Girl," specifically at her left leg.

Gardega's comparison is apt. While "Charging Bull" was placed as a statement by the artist DiModica, "Fearless Girl" was commissioned by SSgA as an advertisement for an index fund that comprises companies with a higher percentage of women among their senior leadership. The newer statue's plaque reads, "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference." The "SHE" refers to the fund's NASDAQ ticker symbol.

Di Modica has criticized "Fearless Girl" before, saying that placing the statue in front of his bull unfairly implicated his creation. The addition of the girl statue changed the meaning of "Charging Bull" from a symbol of economic optimism to a symbol of male oppression to be met with female defiance.

"Pissing Pug" is the ultimate "troll" move, as Gardega mocked the corporate symbol with a practical joke. But the dog does not alter the girl's meaning in the way that the girl altered the bull's meaning, so it is arguably less insulting to the earlier artwork it was created to mock.

Di Modica, who is suing SSgA for trademark and copyright infringement, refused to comment on "Pissing Pug." Gardega's statue was removed on Tuesday.

But the statue has elicited a flurry of angry responses on social media.

Liberal activist Amy Siskind attacked Gardega personally. "Alex Gardena is every white guy who can't stand that he has to compete with women and PoC in America. What a loser!"

"Forget artistic integrity. If you put a statue of a dog peeing on a little girl, you're a huge asshole," tweeted a social media editor at TED Talks.

"This is Alex Gardega, the man who added 'pissing dog' next to 'Fearless Girl,'" declared one anonymous social justice warrior (SJW) on Twitter. "This is a misogynistic display regardless of what he says."

"The intimidated male response to the Fearless Girl statue was to piss on it. How...original," the feminist "resistance" account Girls Really Rule added, mockingly.

To these arguments, Heat Street contributor Stephen Miller had a great response. He noted that the statue isn't "misogynistic," because it was responding to a "marketing gimmick by a private Wall St. Hedge company."

By far the best response came from David Burge. "I am so angry Imma make a Fearless Flea for the Urinating Dog peeing on the Fearless Girl blocking the Charging Bull," he jokingly tweeted.

The feminist support for "Fearless Girl" and the anger at "Peeing Pug" illustrate the danger of over-politicizing art. Di Modica's original artwork was a statement of confidence in economic growth, not a political statement. "Fearless Girl" turned his artwork into a sexist message to serve a commercial end, advertising for a specific hedge fund.

Is it any wonder that in the Trump era, when a savvy politically correct marketer creates a feminist icon — in the service of money and promotion — an artist stands against the corporate message with a mocking sculpture of his own? This is exactly the kind of "trolling" that warms the hearts of Trump supporters, by blasting through the politically correct "nonsense" of standing with a corporate symbol, because to attack it as ungenuine would be "misogynistic."

This is American politics in a nutshell: SJWs on the Left endorsing a corporate symbol because it subverts a historic American icon and "trolls" on the Right creatively mocking a sacrosanct emblem of identity politics. The spirits of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are very much with us, and the 2016 election seems unlikely to end anytime soon.