The attacks on her from neurotypical critics are glib and spiteful. But they are a tribute to the power of her arguments
Rarely have I identified with anything so strongly as when I listened to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Nobel peace prize nominee, talking to Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Like her, I have been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, and it is rare that women like me appear in the media.
Yet Thunberg’s rise to prominence has been accompanied by a kind of thoughtlessness and intolerance that you might have expected society to have moved beyond. Some reactions expose how much ignorance and malice remains towards autistic and neurodivergent people, especially among those who don’t share their political views. Spiked’s editor, Brendan O’Neill, seized upon autistic traits Thunberg exhibits, such as her “monotone voice” and forthright manner, to liken her to a “cult member”, in an attempt to delegitimise her message.