Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted “fight like a girl” to her followers Tuesday. She later used the same phrase in an interview with National Public Radio promoting her new book.
Fight like a girl. pic.twitter.com/qGTn46jS9W
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) April 18, 2017
The line may seem familiar. It was a popular catch-phrase of a woman so-called “progressives” have loved to mock and reveled in ridiculing since her explosion onto the national political scene in 2008: former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but when Governor Palin learned of Warren cribbing her line, she told Breitbart News, “I don’t know. Coming from liberals who urge women to claim victimization, ‘Fight like a girl’ just doesn’t sound the same as when legit fighters for equality say it, mean it, live it, and will never give it up.”
Warren delivered the line electronically, standing beside the art installation “Fearless Girl,” a copper figure of a small girl in a pouty pose. The little statue has caused a big stir on the left-wing since it was installed on Wall Street in front of the much more famous 1987 work “Charging Bull” by Italian artist Arturo Di Modica.
While supporters of the “Fearless Girl” see it as a symbol of feminist resistance to the greed of institutional finance, they might be surprised to learn the little statue was bankrolled by multinational finance giant State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third largest asset manager with over $2.4 trillion — with a T— under its authority. State Street Global claims their motive in funding the addition was to promote its ongoing “Campaign for Enhancing Gender Diversity in Corporate Leadership Roles.” Professional feminist activists, politicians like Senator Warren, and their friends in the mainstream media were quick to seize on the diminutive statue as an important symbol of female empowerment.
Di Modica, for his part, explained to Marketwatch how embarrassing he finds the whole episode. Di Modica spent $350,000 of his own money crafting “Charging Bull” and risked legal sanction by covertly dumping the statute in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a symbol of economic vitality and virility in the aftermath of 1987’s devistating stock-market crash. He compared this corporate addition to his work to someone putting an AR-15 rifle in the hands of Michelangelo’s David. “That is not a symbol! That’s an advertising trick,” he told Marketwatch. As for those who think it’s a symbol of feminine achievement? “They made a mistake,” Di Modica said.
Senator Warren, however, seems not to think so. She even channels the “Fearless Girl’s” hands-on-hips stance on the cover of her new book on “the battle to save America’s middle class.” The multi-millionaire Massachusetts senator, however, is far less able to channel governor Palin’s fiery appropriation of the age-old tease “fight like a girl.”
In more than a mere tweet, the self-described “hockey mom” belted the phrase out in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin after thousands of public sector union members threatened to shut the state down over measures designed to curb their outsized influence in Wisconsin politics. She spoke to ordinary Wisconsinites after their refusal to give in to leftist thuggery yielded a historic victory.
Rather than fit in nicely with her party’s latest fad, as Warren has done with feminists’ favorite new statue, when Palin used “fight like a girl” in the “Tea Party Spring” of 2011, she did so to call out her own party’s establishment, drawing contrast between her and the populist-nationalist grassroots’ tenacity and Washington Republicans’ refusal to engage in political combat with the entrenched leftist interests. “Maybe I should ask some of the Badger women’s hockey team, those champions … ” she told the crowd, “If we should be suggesting to GOP leaders they need to learn how to fight like a girl!”
Breitbart News’s own founder, the Pioneer of Populist Political Pugilism, the irreplaceable Andrew Breitbart, introduced Palin’s 2011 speech, calling out big labor leader Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO for siding with cartelized state employees over ordinary private sector taxpayers who make up traditional union membership and have deserted unions in droves. He appealed to the “silent majority” against these forces of division hawking race and class. He hit the left on its constant tone-policing patronization. And he called out the “community organizer in chief,” setting the stage for Palin to deliver her stirring address.
In the lead-up to “fight like a girl,” Palin appealed to traditional union families and other groups commonly forgotten by the Republican establishment. She talked “real solidarity.” She spoke for a “common good” and fair solutions, and against special interests, left and right, teachers’ union and Wall Street. Palin used “fight like a girl” to exhort, from everyone in the Wisconsinite populist grassroots, the stubborn determination to win so characteristic of the middle-American woman and so absent from the “conservative” class in Washington.
By contrast, Warren used the phrase as a cheap piggy-back on an even cheaper corporate ode to gender warfare. The example she cites of the phrase in her National Public Radio interview was even more telling. Warren describes seeing a little girl riding on her father’s shoulders at an anti-Trump so-called “women’s march,” complete with knit pink “pussy hat.” She held a sign emblazoned with that phrase, “fight like a girl,” once so subversive, so apt to unify, but now — in its obviously written-by-her-parents-and-put-in-her-hand guise — so easily dismissed, so calculated to divide, and so utterly unoriginal.