Thursday, September 20, 2007

Idiot’s Guide to Polish Elections II


The Women’s Party have launched their election campaign in Poland.

The caption says: Poland is a women, and with nothing to hide.

Nice! It's got them huge amounts of...er...coverage in the press - although not much of it has been about their politics.

The Women’s Party is one of the newest political parties in Poland, set up in January this year. It’s leader is writer Manuele Gretkowska (first on the right, front row).

Supporters include singers Kayah, Anna Maria Jopek and Maryla Rodowicz.

They are trying to position themselves beyond left or right (though conservatives would think of them as being…er…nakedly leftwing wing).

They want to concentrate on equality issues and the rights of children, etc.

They are for more sexual education in schools, and better childcare facilities, etc.

In fact, it seems like pretty standard feminism from the 1970s in Britain.

Which shows they think Poland is a little behind the times as far as gender issues are concerned.

And they would be correct.

But how well will they do in the elections on October 21? Well, it doesn’t look too good for them at the moment. They need five percent to get any seats in parliament, and none of the opinion polls I have seen gives them that – more like two percent.

A Feminist Initiative party was set up in Sweden a couple of years ago to contest the elections there last year – and they got just 0.69 percent.

So ‘identity politics’ is probably not a good road to go down if you want to do well in elections in Poland – or anywhere else for that matter.

But if they get people to debate matters like the lack of affordable collective childcare, and other obstacles to women improving their lot, then more power to them, I say.

And I am very pleased that it is the Women’s Party who decided to declare that they have ‘Nothing to hide” rather than say Law and Justice or Civic Platform.

But the danger is that if the researchers for the Women’s Party find that they have had a ‘bounce’ in the opinion polls since unveiling their election campaign poster, other politicians might just be tempted to do the same!

I mean, what if heads of state decided to get them all off for photo oppotunities at international summits?

Agggghhhhh!

See Idiots guide to polish elections I

21 comments:

geez said...

Looks more like an erection campaign.

METKA BY TRACZKA said...

The problem with women in politics in Poland is:
- a succsesful woman(in any range) would always say "oh, God, I am not a feminist at all!" - when you see that she is a perfect example of what a western woman-feminist could do/achieve.
In simple words: feminists don't have a good PR in Poland at all.
Women here are not convinced (or better to say -they are not aware)they have any influence at all. It's generally thought that politics is for men. Active women are weirdos and probably have moustache.
So, even if they seem ridiculous - the Gretkowska party - at least they try to do sth. Which is unusual in this country...

michael farris said...

metko, this is exactly the same situation in the west, for a couple of different reasons.
First, 'feminist' is a loaded term. It has some connotations that every woman wants to distance herself from (exactly which connotations will differ from woman to woman). Second no woman can assume that she can say she's a feminist and then be _listened to_ as she explains what that means to her.
In that situation the only safe option is to say 'i'm not a feminist' even if she doesn't like it. If I were a woman I'm sure I'd do the same (except in those very rare circumstances when I could explain what it mean without being called a feminazi or the like).

Overall, though, I'd say Polish women are not _that_ bad off (by world standards). They generally rule the domestic sphere which is more important to most Polish people than the public one where men are in charge.
And (getting into delicate ground here) they're certainly in demand. How many male foreigner-female Pole couples do you know and how many female foreigner-male Pole couples?

In the marketplace of human relationships (not that different than any other market), Polish women out-compete Polish men by a huuuuuuuge margin.

If Polish men had more sense they'd learn from that and start respecting Polish women more, but as it is ...

beatroot said...

Mike, what you are describing in the West – ‘I am no feminist, but…’ is Post Feminism.

What Traczka is describing in Poland ‘I’m no feminist but..’ is Pre Feminism….it never happened here.

And that is because of communism – which wasn’t really about ‘equality’ at all.

Anonymous said...

Does the world need another "post"? It's de facto feminism. Calling it post-feminism will just encourage more people to deny their feminisimity.

michael farris said...

I don't think the 'post' 'pre' distinction is really that important as the dynamic is the same (and also characteristic of the 'during' feminism stage)
Most women want to avoid a term that's both under-defined and over-defined and has been targeted in a relentlessly negative way.

The fact that Poland hasn't really had a real feminist movement is an important point and helps to explain why anyone could think that posing nude could possibly be construed as furthering womens issues, especially since the women in question were obviously selected for photogeneity.

opamp said...

I mean, what if heads of state decided to get them all off for photo oppotunities at international summits?

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We are interested in licesing of your content for distribution on our network. We believe we have numerous clients interested in such offerings.

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beatroot said...

What...you are interested in my idea of nude photo shoots of international statemen? Feel free...I am sure Gordon Brown would be interested!

sonia said...

Michael,

The fact that Poland hasn't really had a real feminist movement is an important point

Remember Minister Barbara Labuda ?

and helps to explain why anyone could think that posing nude could possibly be construed as furthering womens issues

An illogical statement. It's in the countries where feminism is strong (for example, Scandinavia) that women are free to be nude. While in the countries where feminism is weak (for example, Iran), women are forced to cover themselves head-to-toe.

True feminists defend nudism. It's the pseudo-feminists (also known as feminazis) who defend traditional morality and old-fashioned values...

METKA BY TRACZKA said...

"Feminazis" - till now I have never heard that one. Wondering who used that term forst - a man or a woman?
Feminazis... what a disgusting word. Equivalent of Macho-hitlerism? macho-stalinism? bollocks.

Renegade Eye said...

Where is Camille Paglia, when you need her?

If the feminists in Poland skip the Andrea Dworkin stage, more power to them.

geez said...

Feminazis was a term coined by Rush Limbaugh, an extremely odious right- wing radio commentator who had quite a few problems with his oxycontin use and means of purchase. Fairly popular though in terms of audience share.

Anonymous said...

How ironic, they call themselves the women's party but they are degrading slavic women by living up to the stereotype of slavic women as bimbos. Juat ask yourself would male politicans pose for a poster like this? The answer obviously is no.

michael farris said...

"It's in the countries where feminism is strong ... that women are free to be nude"

And the women who exercise that right just happen to be on the younger/more photogenic side.

I'll agree with you when ordinary middle-aged and less slender women decide to exercise the right to public nudity for political aims.

geez said...

Opting to bare it all is about as much an indicator of political accuity as wearing bell-bottom trousers.

That said, there was a guy in the 60s, who in his book The Greening of America, heralded the coming of a "progressive" new age because hippies were the future and they wore bell-bottoms.

Damien Moran said...

I think the possibility of nakedness amongst PO, PiS, LiD is fairly small so I a semi-naked mud-wrestling competition to replace the Oct. 21st elections.

I like the idea of a Mad Max'ian rule:
2 Men Enter, 1 Man Leave
2 Women Enter, 1 Woman Leave

That at least would give us some entertainment value.

If that doesn't tickle the public's taste then I would propose as an alternative a 'Naked Mile' race. All candidates for election would have to
a) be at least 80% naked
b) run over 5 kilometres an hour - we don't want any heart attacks afterall
c) have a race number tarred and feathered onto their bellies
d) drink at least 2 litres of beer (alcoholic/non alcoholic) prior to the 'get ready, get set, go' instruction....

The first 460 people to cross the finishing line succeed in admittance to parliament.

Anybody to second this motion?

Damien Moran said...

The 2nd line of my comment should not read "is fairly small so I a semi-naked mud-wrestling" but "is fairly small so I suggest a semi-naked mud-wrestling."

beatroot said...

I am glad you sorted that out, Dam.

But real mudwrestling actually starts with the clothes on. The aim is to get the other person's clothes off! I watched it once at a Gay Pride thing in Kennington Park, south London. It was...interesting...

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