Greta Thunberg, the environmental activist, turned 18 years old last weekend. What did you do before age 18? If you are like me, I was trying to graduate from high school and figure out my future. Greta was been working to make sure we have any kind of future.
Search my blog for other Greta articles, but I wanted to focus this time on the Greta backlash. Normally, I do not pay much attention to it, but I saw a posting on LinkedIn about her and many of the comments were very negative. The post was about her 18th birthday and quickly turned into a raucous debate, and included some vicious remarks.
Now, to be fair, Greta dishes it out quite well, and finds some fun in the things people imply about her.
On her birthday she tweeted:
“Tonight you will find me down at the local pub exposing all the dark secrets behind the climate- and school strike conspiracy and my evil handlers who can no longer control me! I am free at last!!”
In my opinion, Greta is a breath of fresh air, her passion, which gets her in trouble, is refreshing and welcoming. She is not always on the mark with facts, and her precocious nature can be off-putting to some. A know-it-all teenager who has experienced little of life and juvenile generalizations show a lack of reality. That’s what some say. They also point to her health issues like Asperger syndrome and other disorders to undermine her credibility. She is called angry and Donald Trump has mocked her including questioning the selection of her as Time’s Person of the Year.
LinkedIn members typically stay away from politics and sensitive issues. I usually avoid anything controversial on the site. I saw a post about Greta’s birthday and could not resist reading many of the comments after I noticed a dismissive comment about her.
Here are some comments from LinkedIn, the Facebook of the movers and shakers. I have just about given up on LinkedIn, in part, for the reason below.
“Not a fan. You’re an angry white girl.”
“Unfortunately, Greta was a tool led by her parents to push their thirst for attention.”
“You are not a scientist, nor have you put in 30+ years of research. How am I to believe a teenager when you can’t even drive properly?”
“You’re a child being used by your parents. How dare your parents use you and fill your head with the GW/CC congame.”
“I have been pondering – yes men can do that – when I grow up the ’Female Lead’ was caring and nourishing! Not like this… dividing and hateful.”
“A teenager with no knowledge of impacts nor solutions to her screaming of problems.”
“Her parents used her to get the bucks…she has been denied a girlhood in favor of doing her little act for global warming. Her parents are leftists in Sweden.
“What an arrogant little girl she is, needs to live in The real world for a while to see how it works.”
“Sorry, this isn’t a woman thing. Its about a sad young life that is being manipulated by Soros.”
“Greta is a sad little puppet of those trying to grab money and power for themselves.”
“She’s an angry kid, and capitalized the right moment.”
“She is not winning anything. She is just brainwashed by the left and says things she doesn’t know about.”
“I’ll listen to Greta when she walks, rides, or rows a boat to the venues she attends and donates her large pay she receives to a society for world welfare.”
“I never once had an issue with her looks…. just her crazy ideas and hypocrisy.”
What is interesting is all of these comments appear to be from educated, professional men. There were some comments from women, but mostly these focused on not protecting women against criticism strictly for gender reasons.
Even as a minor, Greta swam in the adult section of the social discourse pool. She spoke out and challenged adults and world leaders to do the right thing. She has been critical and emotional in her speeches and interviews. This has attracted worldwide attention, some favorable for her passion and ability to get attention, other negative for reasons listed above. Young, naive, misinformed and controlled by others, she is dismissed by many.
I hope that Greta can continue to use this fame to encourage more activism by youth around the world. I do not care what these snarky, middle aged men think.
I do not mind some young, passionate ideas. Maybe those men don’t care, but I want to save the planet before it is too late.