Is Poland Reversing The Sexual Revolution?
When Meryl Streep gave an interview to promote her new film August: Osage County in the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, she appealed to Polish politicians to get their act together: “I thought that after years of communism you’d caught up with the west in a social-cultural sense.” It’s a pity nobody told Streep that, in fact, it was during the People’s Republic when women in Poland enjoyed civil and reproductive rights. Although homosexuality wasn’t officially recognised (but wasn’t penalised), both abortion and contraceptives were legal and available. In today’s Poland, both doctors and pharmacists can deny women contraceptives, abortion law is the tightest in Europe (with attempts to punish women who do it illegally) and sex education practically nonexistent. Even scientists speak in one voice with the church: the Polish Academy of Sciences published a letter in which they called the gender workshops an attempt at “unseating children from their own sex”.
This situation can no longer be explained by the fact that the Catholic church was the only alternative under communism. It is the power of the church, not the old miasma of communism, which is profoundly and negatively influencing the social consensus. Statistics have shown that Polish women actually bear relatively more children in the UK, a country where they have access to sex education, contraceptives and abortion. Polish politicians’ pro-family crusade is having the opposite effect. But most of all, here we can see what a fallacy it is that a “liberal” economy means liberalism in social norms. As we in post-communist Europe show, the truth can be the opposite.
The horror. The horror. As soon as we finish setting Russia straight, America must dispatch more of its top celebrities to lecture these Polish counterrevolutionaries out of their backwardness, and how good they had it under communism, when sex was freer.