…..Then They Laugh at You- Greta’s Story.

The whole quote, attributed to Nicholas Klein, Ghandi, and many others is:

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.


tRump has already escalated this little scenario to the point of ridiculing Ms. Greta Thunburg, so those of us who support her in fighting the good fight for a livable Earth, know that we are one step away from a “win”.

Now let’s look at another aspect of this thing. Let’s look at how she spoke so “scoldingly” to the UN, at the tender age of 16.

Greta herself admitted her youth, saying that she should be in school. Instead, there she was, speaking to the UN, bravely bearding the world’s (supposedly) best and brightest adults. (Or at least the most influential ones). And she didn’t come to make a request.

We, the common folk, have been “making requests” for decades. To some extent, that worked……….until tRump.

With tRump’s reign, came the era of EPA rollbacks.


And now he is picking a fight with California, over our car emissions regulations, because our dealerships will not make cars to his standards, when OUR higher standards make for the production of cleaner emitting cars:


But I digress……

The point here, is that there will be many of the older generation, who will see Greta as having been rude because she had the temerity to SCOLD the UN. Some will see her as weak, because she cried as she gave her speech.

The fact of the matter is that WE are being rude TO HER.

We are, as she put it, stealing her childhood.

Instead of being in school, where children are supposed to be,……….she was compelled to make a trip to the UN, to tell them how to do their jobs! She is too terrified, (for good reason) of not having a livable Earth, by the time she hits retirement age, to be able to focus on her studies, and on making friends.

Also, it is well known that meek and polite speeches, are not memorable. What is memorable in a speech, is humor and passion.


  1. Be vulnerable. Share something about yourself. Speakers often think they can’t interject themselves into their talks. Yet audiences find it hard to relate to such speakers. Let them see the real you, because the chances are good that they’ll like what they experience.
  2. Give your audience an emotional gem. Sure, you’re good on the information you want listeners to take away. But how do you want them to feel? Audiences won’t remember the facts and figures you throw at them; but they’ll remember their emotional response. Instead of turning on the fire hose of data, hand each listener an emotional jewel or two.
  3. Discuss something you’re passionate about. You don’t need to be the world’s foremost expert, but you should have an abundance of passion for your topic. Haven’t you noticed how hard it is not to listen to someone who’s speaking passionately?

Since the climate change situation is actually becoming dire, humor and meekness would have been weak tools for Ms. Thunburg to use, in order to make her voice heard.

Yes, she was passionate, and yes she was scolding, and she had every right to be!

Age doesn’t and SHOULDN’T ever take away one’s right to be passionate or to speak truth to power, when power is in the wrong.

It probably put off old men in power who are threatened when they hear truth from out of the mouths of women and children. I know some men like that. Sadly, they are the ones who hold the fate of those women and children and all of us, in their hands, and

they have not been taking that responsibility seriously, with their “……fairy tales of eternal economic growth” (Greta Thunburg)!!

This social myth that children should be seen and not heard, or that women and children should always be polite, rather than saying what they want and mean, is perpetuated by a race of abusers who need to be right and in control, all the time. They are afraid of hearing any facet of a reality not of their own making, and……

Women are expected to put up with it if they really want to be a ‘good woman’ full of unquestionable loyalty. -

So Ms. Thunburg called us all out, very passionately, and because she was truthful, assertive, and direct, powerful men and other “grown-ups” will say that she was rude, or as our Toddler-In-Chief put it……

“She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

I’d call BS, but AMANDA MARCOTTE already did, very eloquently:


The funny thing was that he wasn’t even in the room, when she gave her speech. He hadn’t had a visit to the UN on his schedule, that day. He dropped by after, for another photo op.

Though he was not scheduled to attend the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Monday, Trump did briefly drop by. He crossed paths with Thunberg, and while it’s not clear if he saw her, she definitely saw him.-

Sadly, even one of my idols, Piers Morgan had a lackluster comment on Ms. Thunburg’s well thought out, passionate, and relevant speech. His comment forgets to take into account, her bravery and the seemingly monumental prospect of facing all the world’s leaders on their own turf, with a well placed criticism. He also failed to remember, in his name calling rebuff, that she has Aspergers. I’d be far too intimidated to speak my own name, in front of world leaders, and this young girl with Aspergers, not only told them her name, but gave them what-for!

Normally, I recognize Piers Morgan as someone who is much better informed, and someone who’s opinion I can respect. This would seem to be just another case of toxic masculinity, because Kavanaugh made pretty much the same face at one of his hearings, that Greta made in front of the UN, and got away with it:


So according to the Republican controlled congress and this male dominated world run on toxic masculinity, it’s okay for men to get angry in public, but not women and children. It’s not okay for a 16 year old girl to be passionate and have an opinion and to be brave enough to leave school to face our world leaders, but it’s okay to put a man on the Supreme Court, when he may have committed horrible crimes against women, and his court decisions are going to affect women, and he has made his feelings about his accusers and about women in general very clear, through his behavior in college and before this panel that questioned him about having raped college girls while he was a student.

But this really isn’t very surprising, in Today’s rape culture.

For more on this, see another of my recent articles, HERE.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Sue Hirsch

Activist, Author, Secular Humanist, National of California, Wife, Mom, Daughter