Tag Archives: Polish women

Polish women are evil?

Here’s a fascinating story that I’m willing to risk my very life to bring you: According to Polska Times, a US psychologist has concluded not only that woman can be a bit catty towards other women, but that Polish women are the cattiest in the world. The first part of this conclusion is about as startling as a finding that there really is no smoke without fire, but the second made me pause to consider. I’ve long been of the opinion that Polish people don’t really like each other and enjoy nothing more than seeing their neighbours fall face-down in mud, but now I come to think of it, perhaps it’s just the women who are like this. Polish society is strongly matriarchal after all—maybe this is the root of the phenomenon. On the other hand, maybe the whole thing is rubbish and US psychologists should get back to investigating whether throwing the baby out with the bath water is genuinely inadvisable.

Take back what you said about my hat or I will destroy your life and the lives of everyone you ever met.

To help you decide, here is a completely genuine extract from a survey that probably wasn’t used in this research.

1. Your best friend recently got married. Do you…

a) Congratulate her loudly and often on her new-found happiness?

b) Tell her she must be happy because she’s put on weight?

c) Seduce her husband, demand he divorce, marry him, then leave him a broken alcoholic shell after 20 years of bitter psychological abuse?

2. Your best friend recently got a great new job. Do you…

a) Send her flowers and arrange a party to celebrate her success?

b) Ask her who she had to sleep with?

c) Send her new employer those photos of her passed out after 17 margaritas?

3. An attractive young woman starts work in your office. Do you…

a) Welcome her warmly and offer to help with anything she is unsure about?

b) Ask her how long she’s been out of prison?

c) Convince her that bikinis are mandatory on Fridays?

4. Your female friend says something rude to you under stress. Do you…

a) Laugh it off—everybody has bad moods sometimes?

b) Remind her of it on every possible occasion for the next 20 years?

c) Have ‘REVENGE’ tattooed on your forehead and hunt her down with a knife?

5. Your female friend just bought that dress you’ve been thinking about getting for yourself. Do you…

a) Say: “It looks so much better on you than it would on me.”

b) Say: “I really admire women who just wear what they want and don’t care what other people think.”

c) Rip it from her body and dump a bucket of goat’s blood over her head.

Scoring
Mostly A’s: You are not a woman. If you thought you were a woman up until now, we suggest you get your chromosomes checked, or become an Olympic sprinter.
Mostly B’s: You are a woman and probably have some Polish ancestry.
Mostly C’s: Stay well away from us.

You are, essentially, doomed.

The original story on Polska Times (Polish)
A shortened version on News.pl (English)

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12 warning signs Poland should have

Visitors to Poland could use a few official warning signs to help them cope. Here are twelve signs I would like to see put up at strategic locations around Poland’s tourist spots.

bald-heads

Men with shaved heads are not necessarily ex-convicts or skinheads (though they might be)

* * *

no-churchill

Churchill is not as universally popular as you might have been led to believe

* * *

no-change

This shop has no change, and by the time you leave neither will you

* * *

proper-dancing

Proper dancing, with feet, is expected in this area

* * *

moustaches

High risk of non-ironic 70s-style moustaches in this area

* * *

handshake

Handshaking is required at ALL times

* * *

polish-women

Hordes of ridiculously attractive women – please watch where you are walking

* * *

fatbelly

Wedding feast area – do not attempt to eat everything

* * *

tourist-area

Designated English-tourist area – men wearing dresses may not leave this zone

* * *

tongue-twister

High risk of Polish tongue twisters

* * *

mixing-drinks

Do not drink between vodka shots

* * *

stereotypes

Non-stereotype zone – expectations of tractor factories and food queues will not be met

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Feminism in Poland (3)

Here at Polandian we announced a series of posts about women in Poland and feminism. In the first episode we give the floor to an actual Polish woman and feminist.

Meet Katarzyna Hejna, who agreed to talk to us, over a cup of tea. She is a political science and sociology graduate. She works as a journalist, covering the economy and market.

KHPolandian: – You are a feminist. What does it mean?

Katarzyna Hejna: Of course I am! I can’t imagine it any other way. I imbibed feminism with my mother’s milk. [laughs]
It means that I respect the women, who only several years ago were knocking on Marshal Piłsudski’s door. Women who broke storefronts in England demanding rights. It means that I am aware that the situation of women in Poland and around the world is far from satisfactory. And that we are still on a worse starting position than men. But it also means that we, women – but also men – can change this.

– What are women’s main problems in Poland today?

There still is plenty of them. From such things as unemployment rate being much higher among women. Through women being silent victims of home violence, or sexual violence. To having no real influence on political decisions, especially at the top level. Women being treated with flippancy. And there’s the invisibility of lesbians in the public life.
Even though the Constitution of the Republic of Poland says that all citizens – men and women are equal in rights, it is not so. When we take a closer look at how our culture functions, how it determines us, and how it pushes women into narrow marginalising roles, it becomes clear that women in Poland are in a worse position. Our great-grandmothers secured themselves voting rights 90 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Our situation is far better than it used to be. However we still, Polish women today, should fight for a world, where one’s gender doesn’t determine what is achievable for them. People are all different, and stereotyping about what is “feminine” and what is “masculine” makes us not see or respect the whole richness of world and diversity of people. Girls are raised to be silent, nice and polite. Boys are raised to achieve, fight and show off. Why? This is a trap. It scares me and I want to change it. I don’t fit to the stereotypes. Too many people don’t fit to them.

– So do you try to change the situation of women in Poland? How?

I engage in pro-women, queer, and pro-freedom going-ons… All those which enlarge the space for people, which aim to question assigned roles… I talk a lot. With girls and guys, and explain: what gender and feminism are. But it gets frustrating: debunking myths, explaining things from feminist perspectives, answering the same questions and doubts all the time… What I like most is working with women, and for women. Doing a cultural festival, workshops, meetings. It sparks creativity and gives me a lot of energy. The most difficult thing is to change something in your own life, in yourself. To break the patriarchy within. To not be insecure speaking to a crowd. To talk strongly and make demands. To run for an office. To fight for oneself.

[Translated from Polish]

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Feminism(s) in Poland: a long way to go (?) [2]

The city bus is real democratic institution. Anyone can speak, and everyone else (who happens to be on 34 at the same time) has to listen. It’s like a people’s television. And as with tv: you cannot reply. It would not be polite to interfere in other people’s conversations, even if you’d love to disagree.

Thankfully blogs were invented.

What have I overheard on the bus then? A chat between a girl and a guy. When they started to talk about feminism, the girl was quick to declare that she is not a feminist. That she thinks feminism is “radical”. And that she enjoys to have some things done for her by men. She said a friend of hers was a feminist and she disagreed with her, because men and women were “created” for different roles. Interestingly the guy did not express any opinion, was only a listener, and then they went on talk about how terrible the weather is here comparing to Barcelona.

Whenever she spoke I rolled my eyes thinking “oh dear”. She was a university student, yet she obviously never heard of gender/sex distinction – and where it comes from (the view that gender and gender roles are constructed socially and acquired in the process of socialisation).

I wondered if she really understood what she said, and whether she really believed that… Is it worth to have drinks bought by a guy, in exchange for no political representation? For lower wages? For fewer chances of promotion? For doing both professional work and housework (as happens in most Polish homes)?

I mean, come on!

This inspired me to do a new series here on Polandian that will focus on women. How is life for women in Poland? Are women equal? Where is feminism in Poland? And what do women think? Is what I heard on the bus a wide-spread view? And – if so – why? I will seek answers.

Coming soon, stay tuned.

[Previously on Polandian about feminism: here and here]

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Ten things to remember when you have a Polish girlfriend

There are an awful lot of guys out there in Poland (and elsewhere) with Polish girlfriends. It’s not always an easy thing, I know and I feel your pain. This is the definitive list of ‘things to remember’ …at least until I think of the next definitive list.

1 Her name
Bear with me, I’m not being (completely) flippant. About 90 percent of all women in Poland are named Magda, Ola, Anna, Dorota, or Kasia. That’s it. This can be confusing. If you can’t remember your Polish girlfriend’s first name ask her what her second name is. Everybody has a second name here. Unfortunately it’s usually just one of the above, but you might get lucky and come across a Jadwiga (if you’ll pardon the expression).

2. Women’s Day
This is one of approximately 74 occasions during the year when you are required to give a Polish girlfriend flowers. Flower-selling is an immensely profitable and stable business in Poland. There are flower sellers everywhere and, until recently, they were about the only businesses that stayed open on a Sunday. Women’s Day? It’s in April some time; look it up. I’m not even mentioning Valentine’s Day; that’s so obvious that you entirely deserve to lose a testicle if you forget it in Poland.

3. She is a a princess
Polish girls are brought up in the tradition of old-fashioned chivalry and deference to the ‘weaker sex.’ That means YOU carry the bags, open the door, mend things, make tea in the morning, escort her to the bus stop etc. When a little exasperated by this I often point out to my girlfriend that she’s being a ‘bit of a princess’ to which she usually smiles and flutters her eyelids in complete ignorance of the negative connotations of the phrase in British and American English. Oh well.

4. Walking is impossible
Part of the chivalry thing mentioned above is the expectation that whenever you are walking somewhere together she should have her arm looped through yours. Down narrow and crowded streets this makes progress painfully slow. It’s sweet, and I kind of like it sometimes, but it would be nice to walk through crowded areas in single file sometimes instead of having to go through ridiculous sideways-shuffling maneuvers, every five feet.

5. You are furniture
While trying to relax and watch a film in which hundreds of Russian troops are hosed down by panzers she will use you as a pillow / footstool / nose-scratching device. This is also kind of sweet and nice, but it can make it hard to concentrate on the body count.

6. She has a mother…
…who regards you with more than a hint of suspicion. Polish mothers of that generation are convinced that foreigners are godless, feckless, untrustworthy imps sent by satan to steal their daughters and carry them off to London / Dublin / Des Moines. In other words, they are remarkably well informed. You have two choices; get your act together and behave like a decent human being or avoid the mother like the plague. Neither is painless.

7. Your food is not your own
It’s a well known fact amongst men that women mysteriously become ravenously hungry only when you happen to have a large plate of long-anticipated chips in front of you. However, the effect does seem to be particularly pronounced among Polish women, who claim to eat almost nothing. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, order or cook more than you can possibly eat because your stick-thin Polish girlfriend will inevitably develop the appetite of a blue whale the moment her anxiously selected ‘small salad’ arrives.

8. You can kiss other women
She has female friends and it’s perfectly acceptable, in fact encouraged, for you to kiss all of them up to three times every time you see them. Exactly where you put your hands while you are doing this is a issue I have yet to resolve successfully. Still, it’s an up side.

9. She’s smarter than you are
The Polish education system is a marvel and good education is respected above almost everything else here. Chances are that your Polish girlfriend not only speaks English, German, and Russian (how many languages do you speak) but also has a pretty good grasp of a lot of things that you slept through at school. You’re only hope is to pretend that such things ‘aren’t considered important in Western culture’ and shrug until she buys it.

10. …uh oh
I’ve forgotten the last one! I’m in big trouble.

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