On the 1976 album, Alice Goes to Hell, Alice Cooper made a plea: Give the kid a break.
This summarises how I feel about the treatment of sixteen – year – old Swedish climate change activist, Greta Thunberg.
She gained global attention last year when she did a protest outside her school.
This year, Thunberg initiated the Climate Strike, which saw students from around the world leaving school in order to protest and pressure governments to take action.
Since then, Thunberg has been has been deemed a prophet for some and a ‘brat’ by others.
I have had so many issues surrounding how Thunberg has been treated. Here are a few issues.
Analysis on Thunberg’s mental health
Greta Thunberg’s mental health has been a discussion in the media by both her admirers and critics.
Thunberg has been open about her struggles with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and mutism. Her mother, former opera singer, Malena Ernman wrote autobiography, Scenes from the Heart where she wrote about Greta’s mental health struggles, including an eating disorder. This was allegedly caused by worry about the state of climate change.
Now, if Greta herself wants to be open about this then, fine. But this has repeatedly been used against Greta ever since.
Being used as a martyr
I get why people are concerned about Thunberg being used as a ‘prophetess’ to the world. She has really been thrown out to the sharks, so to speak.
Some people think this has been quite a deliberate and cynical move by the United Nations and climate change activists. Who would pick on a sixteen- year- old and challenge what she’s saying?
The fact that Thunberg is a child and her mental health hasn’t stop her critics. Or bullies.
This is where things get sickening. On the one hand, Thunberg has been infantalised by her critics. On the other hand, she has been repeatedly abused by others.
Much of this has not been called out or condemned. That is despicable, especially from those who repeatedly call for her protection.
Sixteen can be a vulnerable age for anybody. You are still working out who you are, who your friends are, etc.
I am outraged at the abuse Thunberg has received by those in the media. If people are that concerned about Thunberg’s well – being, more of them would be willing t9 condemn her high profile bullies. Where s Andrew Bolt’s outrage over Fox News’ Michael Knowles’ comments. Where is the outrage for former football player, Sam Newman who called her a “brat” and “sh*t” on Twitter? Or outrage at people saying she needs to be slapped? That would be terrifying to someone with a history of severe anxiety and depression, don’t you think?
Everyone needs to get off Greta Thunberg’s back. She is a passionate teenager. And she is entitled to those passions. However, she shouldn’t be a martyr by climate change activists, nor be infantalised by critics. Just leave her alone!