How Greta Thunberg is Inspiring Young Women
By now, the entire world has heard of Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old Swedish activist fighting for global climate reform. However, Greta is no longer in this fight alone, as millions of people, young and old, joined her for a world wide climate strike for change.
Greta Thunberg began her illustrious career in activism as a lone protestor outside the Swedish Parliament in 2018. Greta, without blessing from her parents or school teachers, began her ‘School Strike for Climate” all on her own. A year later, it is evident that she is no longer the only young activist willing to call out our governments for their refusal to enact change.
“You are failing us, but young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you,” Greta said at the UN Global Climate Summit on Monday, September 23rd. As one of the youngest activists to take the international stage, Greta spoke for an entire generation of people desperate for a better future. What is it that is so gripping about Greta Thunberg? For starters, she is nearly everything counter-protesters choose to shut down out of fear. Greta is young, female, strong, handicapped, and incredibly intelligent. With science and hundreds of countries worth of young people on her side, Greta Thunberg is nearly unstoppable.
Greta’s argument for why older, more seasoned activistas and politicians should listen to her? Simple: we are the ones who will be around to clean up the mess that is the future of climate change. “Listen to what we’re having to say because soon you’ll all be gone,” she said. “Not to offend anybody but we are the future generations and we do have a voice and you should listen to us. Please.”
As much as Greta meant her reminder that she did not mean to offend anyone, she takes no issue with calling out irresponsible and unchecked leadership around the world. As a result, some of these politicians and leaders have taken offense, even turning to public platforms like Twitter to criticize the sixteen-year-old. President Donald Trump quoted a tweet containing a video of Greta at the UN speaking passionately and angrily about the irresponsibility of world leaders like Trump. Trump captioned the tweet “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” However, Trump’s snarky and satirical tweet did not seem to bother Thunberg. Taking the insult in stride, Greta quoted Trump’s tweet in her twitter bio, calling out his bigotry in an artful, and quite hilarious, way.
Greta continues to smash societal standards of what it means to be young and female, and her achievements continue to inspire female youth to take a stand against what some people think “a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright a wonderful future” should be.