Supporting Greta Is Great, But It’s Not Enough

greta thunberg

If you are an allistic person who claims to be an ally to autistic people, you should celebrate Greta Thunberg becoming TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. You should use the privilege you have because of the way social communication favors your neurotype to defend her against ableist insults.

But, you should still support other autistic people, even if they cannot do what she did. It is important to remember that Greta’s award as Person of the Year is contingent on allistic people’s approval.

As long as society is constructed against us, some of us will never have access to the kind of success Greta Thunberg has, and you should show just as much support to those autistic people who are not standing in the global spotlight.

Support those who cannot do what Greta did because they are unable to speak in ways that neurotypicals find pleasant, or because they do not speak orally at all.

Support those who live in poverty and have to take a job when they are Greta’s age or younger to keep their family alive and don’t have the privilege to travel the world.

Support those whose voices are marginalized because of racism, and remember that as wonderful as Greta is, she is still a white person born in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. She has never experienced racism, colonialism, or genocide.

Remember that autistic people have been doing what Greta is doing for centuries— bucking the status quo— and it has often resulted in them being stoned, burned at the stake, crucified, exiled, jailed, beaten, and enslaved. The difference is not in anything Greta is doing differently from other autistics, but in how non-autistics are receiving her.

Support those of us who have physical illnesses that would prevent us from traveling and engaging in public activism.

Support those of us whose families do not accept us as Greta’s family accepted her for who she is.

And above all, support all autistic people who for whatever reason, are not what allistics define as “productive.” Greta’s activism does serve a productive end for allistic people – convincing the world to take action on climate change. That is a good goal, and I really hope she succeeds in it, for the sake of humanity’s future survival.

But it is still a productive end that allistics deem valuable. Autistics don’t have to produce in order to be valuable. When you listen to autistic success stories, continue to celebrate them, but know that success is not a precondition for human dignity, which we deserve as much as you do.

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9 Responses

  1. Absolutely, I am sure Greta herself is against all the lionising, whereas she only wants action, that people would do something instead of putting her on a pedestal. Neurotipical neurology supports drama,our autistic neurology prefers peace. Each and every person on this Planet has the right to live happily in abundance. We have the intelligence to create our world, so why not create a better one. That is merely what Greta wants, so do I.

  2. Greta and the Planet would be much happier if those who work at Time magazine would have turned vegan instead of giving an award.It is nice of course the award, but as Greta and myself too saying we don’t need heroes or celebs, we just need a livable Planet. It is not about Greta, please notice that, it is about our Home, the Earth.

  3. I agree with this article and think that Greta would agree too. Neurotypical society values fame and celebrity and believes that if someone goes public about an issue it’s just for fame and celebrity. This doesn’t mean everyone values fame and celebrity. All Greta wants is for world leaders to stop being greedy and do something about climate change. Not everyone desires fame and celebrity, neurotypicals.

  4. “It is important to remember that Greta’s award as Person of the Year is contingent on allistic people’s approval.”
    With that in mind, perhaps we should consider also having our own autistic/asperger Person of the Year award that will not depend on allistic approval. How about it? Any ideas on that welcome!

    1. There are already so many celebs. Greta and I myself along with others are doing our best to get equally secure position to anyone, get humanity out of the survival level. What is Greta doing is not about herself, it is about the animals, our environment,our Home this Planet. Greta is not accepting any of her awards because that is what neurotipicals do instead of taking action, they give out awards, make a big fuss around things so noone has to do anything.Greta wants people to take action. For the likes of Greta, the best award would be if people on Earth turned vegan, or they would stop using so much plastic, or all the houses were off-grid, all the cars electric etc.. I would like to have that too. Enough silly awards, more action and more safety and security for people regardless they can sing very well or not, or they are famous or not. I, as an austistic don’t understand why people who are famous get more money? We humans, have extraordinary intelligence but it is used to make weapons, to create unfair systems. We can, all and each of us can live an abundant life, we can create it, once we gain that consciousness. 🙂

      1. Regarding the 12/17/19 Michael Burns post above, I’ll spare these two words: “Meandering Diatribe”! 😉 Oh, and it appears this person deleted their WordPress account right after posting this, lol..

  5. I have had a number of blogs on and off on this present operating wordpress account. The page that you are looking at was deleted, oh maybe a year ago. It is under construction with new and improved safeguards and focus.
    Presently I have others under various pseudonyms. The one you speak of was lastly a site dedicated to poetry but alas interneters can’t behave and one is constantly ripped off. Or abused by drive by commenters who really have nothing to say but, can’t help typing for some fucking reason.
    Speaking of reasons did you have a point, or were you just prone to burping out someything of illogical….because you live in a thought form.

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