Criminal record, supports a different football team, ‘I can't stand that Greta Thunberg’ - all perfectly good reasons to ask for the bill prematurely on a first date.
Seriously, if your date hates the Scandi teenager trying to save the world, then say thank you, next.
For most, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg is the breath of fresh air we so desperately need in order to give our world leaders a kick up the backside when it comes to climate change.
But for others, she’s a precocious schoolgirl with absolutely no idea what she’s talking about, ahem Jeremy Clarkson. It seems the Top Gear host has a serious vendetta against Greta, recently calling her 'mad and dangerous' after previously saying 'shut up and go back to school.' Although her Nobel Peace Prize nomination - and the fact she recently turned down an environmental award worth £40,000 - begs to differ.
So what is it about this young powerhouse that has got people trembling in their boots?
Greta marched into the public eye in August 2018 when she skipped school, aged 15, to protest climate change outside the Swedish parliament building. The sole person there, her parents warned her against going, her classmates declined her invitation to attend, but her skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for climate) banner stood tall.
One year later, her homemade sign has been translated into dozens of languages and her protests have travelled across over 70 countries. She has just been named GQ’s ‘Game Changer of the Year’ but still people hate her.
Why? Because she makes them uncomfortable.
For some of the weak men and women in power across the world, it must be hard to be told by a 16 year old that they have failed at their job. But that’s kind of her point. She wants them to be nervous. Greta told political leaders and billionaire entrepreneurs in Davos: ‘I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.’
As the clock ticks down on our time left to make a positive impact on the climate crisis, Greta has spent time in UK Parliament, TED talks and now UN conferences, educating our world leaders on why we need to act now. One her greatest rivals is President Trump, a man she refuses to meet with because she believes it will be a ‘waste.’
She told The Guardian in March, ‘I expected when I started that if this is going to become big, then there will be a lot of hate. It’s a positive sign. I think that must be because they see us as a threat. That means that something has changed in the debate, and we are making a difference.’
Smear campaigns have followed the teenager from the moment she stepped into the limelight fighting for her cause. Accused of spreading panic and conspiracy theories about our planet, she continues to prove time and time again, in most situations, she’s more mature than many politicians and media outlets.
A 16 year old who doesn’t wear makeup or conform to any of the Instagram-worshipping, generation Z stereotypes that politicians love to belittle? No wonder they don’t know how to handle her power.
Beyond attacks on her mission to force a change for our environment, some journalists have taken it upon themselves to hit below the belt, with Andrew Bolt, a columnist for The Herald Sun, an Australian paper owned by business tycoon Rupert Murdoch, called her ‘deeply disturbed’ and commented on her ‘many mental disorders.’ The 16 year old has Asperger’s and has been very open in the past about her condition.
As she continues on her two week solar-powered yacht journey towards the states, only time will tell whether political leaders will stand with her or not. But we know what side of history we want to be on.
And so if your date doesn’t support Greta Thungberg, then there's every chance that they also most likely support the likes of Trump or have a UKIP bumper sticker. Probably a word of the wise to steer clear of them.