According to Inside Edition, Alexis Kaloyanides and her friends wanted to check out the new statue. When they arrived, they saw plenty of people admiring it and celebrating what it stood for — as well as something not so great.
"It was a beautiful night [...] there were about 15 or 20 people there," Kaloyanides told Inside Edition. "We started talking about the statue, a little girl about 5 or 6 years old proudly posed with the statue for a picture, it was just a nice moment. These three young men came along, and at first they were hanging off the bull [...] and then this one guy rushed up and started grinding against the statue of the girl, being lewd and totally inappropriate."
Kaloyanides adds that the stunt totally shocked the crowd. Onlookers immediately shouted at the man, who continued to laugh and joke with his friends. Kaloyanides snapped a photo of the incident and posted it to Facebook, where it quickly went viral.
"Douchebags like this are why we need feminism," she wrote.
Since the post went live, it's already earned over 13,000 shares and plenty of outraged comments. Many see the "joke" as a perpetuation of rape culture and the "boys will be boys" mentality that's allowed people to simply brush off certain incidents as "locker room talk."
"Disgusting! I hope this gets seen by his boss and his ass gets fired. But more importantly folks need to take a moment and question a culture where someone would think this ok," one commenter wrote.
"This makes me sick to my stomach — it's that potent combination of disgust and rage. What a world..." wrote another.
"He was gone within 20 seconds, but it just ruined the mood of the scene," 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 statue [...] it was utterly revolting."
Installed by State Street Global Advisers, the statue is part of a campaign encouraging companies to add more women to their boards. It seems the unidentified "finance broseph," which is what Kaloyanides called him, didn't get the memo.
New York City's first lady Chirlane McCray later tweeted that "Simulating sexual assault — especially on a statue of a very young girl — is not funny."
While her husband Mayor Bill deBlasio had only one thing to say about the photo: "This is rape culture."