(This column appeared in The Sault Star Jan. 31, 2023)
What would you say if I suggested that teen crusader Greta Thunberg’s environmental activism is a product of small breast syndrome?
Don’t tell me. I already know.
You’d heap scorn upon me for my sexism and crudeness. Many would bombard me with screeds about the dangerous consequences of body-shaming. A few might threaten to de-man me.
And I’d agree with you, except for the de-manning part.
In truth, I don’t know or care or even want to contemplate the mammarial mass of the famed environmentalist who has been making giant anti-carbon footprints globally since she was 15. It’s irrelevant.
Whatever motivates her, and I’m pretty sure it’s not a feeling of inadequacy about breast size, I’m all for it.
But I’m confident many of the same people who would be quick to vilify me for that spurious suggestion were applauding and high-fiving just over a month ago when Thunberg suggested one of her antagonists was compensating for a small penis.
In case you missed it, she became the hottest thing on Twitter just before the new year when she burned a so-called social media influencer.
It happened when Andrew Tate trolled the internationally famous 20-year-old. Tate is a 36-year-old former pro kickboxer, self-described woman-hater and all-round despicable person. Some parents have been dismayed to discover their teenage sons are falling under the sway of Tate’s ultra-macho mantra.
But when he tried to put the boots to Greta, she blindsided him.
Tate tagged her in a post about his “33 cars” and offered to email her a “complete list of . . . their enormous emissions.”
“Yes, please do enlighten me,” she replied. “Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
In short order that became one of the most-liked tweets of all time.
And to boot, the next day Romanian police arrested Tate and his brother and charged them in an investigation into rape and human trafficking of women, allegedly to produce pornography. Later, authorities seized 15 of his treasured high-emitting luxury gas-guzzlers.
Now, it would be hard to come up with someone more deserving of being publicly phallic-shamed by one of the most famous young women in the world.
I mean, this self-styled alpha male apparently sent a woman a voice note in which he appears to admit to raping her, saying “the more you didn’t like it, the more I enjoyed it,” according to VICE World News.
And if there is a man who might be obsessed with penis size, someone who spews Tate’s stone-age machismo is a likely candidate. So perhaps Thunberg’s jab was well-aimed.
But the idea that men compensate for feelings of phallic inadequacy by accumulating Lamborghinis or huge, noisy trucks with oversized tires is a tired trope, though it seems to me it’s deployed a lot by female environmentalists on social media.
I’ve yet to see any scientific evidence of a correlation between penis size and horsepower.
Might as well claim that women who are on a first-name basis with all the clerks at Winners and whose sofas are hidden by a mountain of throw cushions from Wayfair suffer from breast size envy.
Yes, both breast size and penis size insecurity would seem to be quite common. About 20,000 Canadian women go under the knife for breast enhancement each year.
Only about 9,000 penis enhancements are performed each year in the entire world. But some studies report half of men think their penis is smaller than average (and wouldn’t that be about right statistically?)
Those men worry even though something like 85% of women express satisfaction with their partner’s penis size (although hubby was in the room when they took the survey).
Regardless, I don’t get why people feel smug about blaming a man’s odious behaviour on a physical quality that he can’t do anything about, rather than a character defect that he could and should remedy. Doesn’t that just let him off the hook?
I think Tate has some serious shortcomings, but probably they are in his psyche rather than his physique.
And if people drive fancy cars or souped-up trucks because of perceived inadequacies beneath the waistline, does that mean the guy in that eight-year-old minivan or riding that bicycle probably needs an extra-large codpiece?
Likewise, is every man who is endowed with genitalia of a certain size automatically a wonderful fellow?
Those questions are only slightly more stupid than the penis-size proposition.
From the time at age 16, when she took delegates at the UN Climate Action Summit to task for their limp responses to our climate crisis, Greta Thunberg has punched well above her weight.
She doesn’t need to land bawdy blows below the belt.