One can barely view the content of any mainstream news outlet without getting assailed by stories about Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg. As the details of who she is and what she stands for are well-known, I will avoid giving a recap of this. However, what I wish to highlight is that Ms. Thunberg is, as of this moment, the walking embodiment of female privilege.
It is common knowledge that Ms. Thunberg has Asperger’s Syndrome. And in this, we see the example of female privilege: does anyone truly believe that a 16 year old male with Asperger’s Syndrome would ever be adopted as the figurehead of an influential left-wing movement, and at the same time be innoculated from criticism on the grounds of his age and gender?
We all know the answer.
Were we to be dealing with Gary Thunberg, as opposed to Greta, it would be much more frequently pointed out that Thunberg’s movement can only further decarbonize the Western economy with the wide scale adoption of low-carbon energy technologies like nuclear power and hydrofracking (both of which are opposed by Thunberg’s movement, which believes in wide scale reductions in both the human population and the quality of life enjoyed by said population, and supports an economy powered primarily by fickle sunshine, good intentions and unicorn farts). Were it Gary Thunberg ‘sperging out in front of the UN, we would see more frequent discussions of Thunberg’s complete lack of charisma and awfully pestering, nagging style of rhetoric. Were it Gary Thunberg, more people would point out that the greatest polluter nation is China and ask for Thunberg to perhaps consider the well-known Environmental Kuznets Curve. Were it Gary Thunberg, no one would say “he’s just a boy” to deflect criticism of Thunberg; instead, such criticism would be seen as acceptable to “toughen him up” to deal with the realities of politics. Indeed, if Greta were Gary, there would be no Thunberg “Movement” at all, because women are socially perceived as more charismatic and authentic and trustworthy.
Indeed, Thunberg was merely adopted by a pre-existing movement as a public face and spokesperson. Political movements are frequently well-aware of how the Women Are Wonderful Effect impacts the way the movement is perceived. Hence the meteoric rise of a 16 year old. How many 16 year old boys have rose to prominence in global politics as swiftly as Ms. Thunberg?
Most 16 year old boys with Asperger’s Syndrome are highly introverted, nerdy social losers, or they’re intensively studying social mimicry (deceptively called ‘social skills’) in order to conceal their atypicality. They typically enjoy very little in the way of teenage romance or romantic success with members of the opposite sex. Some of them end up as involuntarily celibate. In all cases, they’re seen as at least ‘quirky’ and sometimes as ticking time-bombs likely to shoot up their high school. They often endure bullying from other males in their lives. They certainly are not asked to testify before the US Congress or UN General Assembly on important geopolitical-economic-scientific matters without having any relevant scientific experience.
It should be noted that none of the above has anything to do with one’s views on Anthropogenic Climate Change or on the appropriate policy responses to this phenomenon (although I think the policy responses that Greta’s movement promotes are absolutely impractical and even immoral. Then again, they’re not a humanist movement whatsoever and thus don’t care about the wide-scale impoverishment and depopulation that would occur as a result of them). Whatever one thinks about the issue of ACC, it seems obvious that Ms. Thunberg has benefited from being a woman.
Approximately 90% of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders are male. I do not wish to suggest that the female 10% suffer no drawbacks from being on the spectrum, but it seems that positive prejudices about women generally – and the female privilege which results from them – mitigate some of the downsides of having Asperger’s Syndrome.
This is a case of female privilege; no matter what one thinks about the environment, it is clear that Greta Thunberg is an exemplar of it.
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