OPINION: Attacks on Greta Thunberg Reveal Fragile Masculinity

Greta Thunberg is the thundering voice for climate change that we need in 2019.



Greta Thunberg, sixteen-year-old climate change activist who spent weeks crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a zero-emissions boat and spoke to world leaders at the 2019 UN Climate Summit in New York.

Last Monday, we saw the emergence of an icon; and as usual, some men are too dumbfounded to see past her appearance.

September 23rd saw the United Nations Climate Change Summit, where amidst the stiff world leaders that have overseen our world’s atmospheric corruption, a young Swedish girl by the name of Greta Thunberg thundered with the strongest words spoken to any politician in years, “How dare you!”

Thunberg critiqued and attacked the U.N. leaders with a fury, fervor, and eloquence which puts her above any other teenage girl. At only 16 years old Greta has done more for climate change action than anyone else in 2019, raising more awareness than anyone else has in years.

Though she expressed disappointment in the lack of U.N. leader action, with only applause and no emergence of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, her passion has been received by young people throughout the world, and her campaigning sees no signs of stopping.

How did our President respond? With sarcasm, but no wit. He claimed she “seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future,” refusing to even comment on global warming. In the past, he has expressed and called it a multitude of things, such as “a Chinese conspiracy,” a “globalist hoax,” and “fake news.” His tweet perfectly captures the “mansplaining” attitude of talking down to women that seems to be prevalent among Republicans. How have Donald Trump’s Republican guttersnipes reacted? With purely masculine malice.

One of the most notorious cesspools of conservative knuckle-draggers, the Donald Trump support subforum on Reddit, /r/The_Donald, has created countless internet memes attacking Greta based on her credentials, putting into question the validity of what she said and refusing to listen to her warnings based on the idea that she isn’t a scientist.

But when the scientists give the exact same warnings she does, they are ignored. Climate change action has finally found a voice in Greta, and it is ignored because it’s coming from a passionate youth instead of the silenced scientists.

Fox News, an entire network dedicated to the Conservative baby boomers that allowed most of the greenhouse gas emissions to destroy our planet in the first place, invited a guest from the Daily Wire, Michael Knowles, onto the program to bash the 16 year old girl for her beliefs.

Michael Knowles called her a “mentally ill Swedish child,” an ableist comment which reeks of xenophobia. Greta Thunberg has Aspergers, a developmental disorder that causes difficulty for children to communicate, something which Greta has clearly overcome seeing as she concisely and effectively gave the entire world a plan and drive to combat climate change.

However, rather than comment on the strength of her overcoming her difficulties, Michael Knowles decided to brand her an “other” with her being foreign and “mentally ill,” displaying the mind-numbing ignorance and hatred natural to the misogynistic Conservative pawns of the Republican Party.

Other attacks have included calling her a pawn of Putin (because he’s such a climate change fanatic, isn’t he?) and a particularly egregious tweet from John Ocasio-Nolte claimed she “deserved a spanking.”

But Greta Thunberg isn’t a little girl susceptible to these attacks, she doesn’t care about men’s attacks on her or what is typical of girls her age. She is the voice of our generation and a key to saving the environment for our future.

Greta Thunberg perfectly showed her attitude toward Donald Trump’s trite comment with an edit to her Twitter bio: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”

Greta Thunberg isn’t kneeling.