A photo of a man “humping” a Wall Street statue symbolising female empowerment has gone viral on Facebook, just two days after the artwork was installed as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.
The photo shows a man in a suit posing behind the “Fearless Girl”, which has been placed facing down the iconic charging bull statue in the heart of New York’s financial district.
Alexis Kaloyanides, an architectural designer, posted the picture to Facebook, and it has since been shared more than 14,000 times.
Ms Kaloyanides captioned the photo: “Almost as if out of central casting, some Wall Street finance broseph appeared and started humping the statue while his gross date rape-y friends laughed and cheered him on.”
“These three young men came along, and at first they were hanging off the bull,” Kaloyanides said, describing the scene to Inside Edition.
“Then this one guy rushed up and started grinding against the statue of the girl, being lewd and totally inappropriate.”
The stunt shocked the crowd of people who had gathered to take photos of the statue, Ms Kaloyanides said.
“There were people there talking about empowering children and women, and for then to have this 20-something showing his entitlement, defiling the statute… it was utterly revolting.”
Many have reacted with anger and disgust on social media. Commenting on the photo, Zak Rouse said: “The complete lack of originality in this ‘joke’ is indicative of how there is a whole culture of rape, and not just a handful creepy guys, as some people like to claim.”
The statue was unveiled by investment services company State Street Global Advisors on Tuesday, and has proved popular with New Yorkers.
On Sunday, 13,000 people had signed a petition asking the city’s mayor to make the temporary installation a permanent feature on Wall Street.
Lori Heinel, a senior figure at State Street Global, told Business Insider she wanted the statue to apply pressure on companies to appoint more women to top finance jobs. “One of the most iconic images on Wall Street is the charging bull.
“So the idea of having a female stand up to the bull just struck us as a very clever but also creative and engaging way to make that statement.”