Greta Thunberg must be protected

“This shows we’re winning,” responded young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg to an extremely graphic cartoon sticker earlier last week. The appalling sticker depicts teen activist Greta Thunberg being sexually assaulted with the name of an Alberta oilfield company stretching across the decal.

“They are starting to get more and more desperate,” Greta added to her response, and rightfully so — the image has sparked great outrage.

A vast number of Canadians have got to feel ashamed. Is this the memory of Canada we want Greta to have? Certainly not.

The men behind the sticker have justified it by bringing up Greta Thunberg’s age in their defense.

Apparently, being a 17-year-old girl qualifies her for this kind of mistreatment. Why is it that when young girls and women speak out, men dismiss their ideas with brute criticism and violence?

Greta received immense international recognition over the years and has since been met with many people whose goals are to humiliate her beyond belief.

After her speech to world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit, Donald Trump tweeted about her abnormal angry tone and attitude. People in defense of Trump have become brave enough to throw out their own hateful comments in public, often asking “Shouldn’t she be in school?”

In 2018, Thunberg let the public know that she would not attend school until the 2018 Swedish general election because of her protest concerning the heat waves and wildfires during Sweden’s hottest summer in approximately 262 years.

Following this announcement, Thunberg added that many of her teachers were divided in their support for her. She was told by some of her teachers that she should stop.

The RCMP have denied the allegations that the decal depicts elements of child pornography.

So, then, if we go with that theory, we might ask ourselves: what connection does this sticker have anyways with the oil and gas company? What makes this sticker acceptable to be given out to the public?

In my opinion, any image of a woman being sexually assaulted, whether young or old, shows nothing but an industry violently depicting women in explicitly graphic ways and, in turn, makes it harder for women to progress, strive and be taken seriously.

And if no action is brought forth by the Canadian government, we should probably ask why nothing is being done. Yet, if the company were taken to court, it has been argued that the context surrounding the image would be insufficient.

The RCMP have made it clear that they will not be commenting any further on this investigation. Nonetheless, the image is degrading and unacceptable.

And the best way to leave off is to remind the public of her successes, especially since many people are confused and questioning Thunberg’s success over the years.

On Feb. 22 in Paris, between 5000 and 8000 students marched in support of her activism. She has encouraged students everywhere to protest for faster action.

In September  2019, Thunberg led and inspired 7.6 million people from around the world in a Global Climate Strike. She testified before Congress in September pleading with American lawmakers to do something.

And in response to those that have used her Asperger’s diagnosis to hate on her, Thunberg turned the negativity surrounding it into a way of calling her difference a superpower.

She told the New Yorker: “It’s very common that people on the autism spectrum have a special interest,” and on Instagram stated in a caption “I have Asperger’s and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And given the right circumstances being different is a superpower #aspiepower.”

Let’s protect Greta, support Greta, fight with Greta and spread her message of goodness. What harm are we doing by wanting better for our planet?

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