Ideas

Poland's Abortion Battle, Why Free Women Are Done With Weak Men

Only when an abortion is legal, can we begin to speak of moral decisions and love. But men, we are told, are scared and frustrated by these protests. One Polish woman's frank words for men.

The so-called Black (Czarny) protesters on Oct. 24 get ready to march.
Katarzyna Wezyk

-OpEd-

WARSAW — A recent interview with Polish psychologist Pawel Drozdziak set off a renewed round of polemics following the massive nationwide protests this month against government proposals for strict bans on abortions in Poland.

Drozdziak was quoted at length in Saturday's edition of Gazeta Wyborcza, speaking about the "frustration" of Polish men, often facing economic hardship, as an explanation for incidents of lashing out at women protesters. But the psychologist apparently isn't so concerned with the frustrations of Polish mothers, who are told that their needs are secondary to the needs of their husbands, of their children, the Church and the nation.

"Uncontrolled aggression is the result of men's problems and the experience of failure," Drozdziak said. "Half a century of free competition has taken its toll. The "frustrated man" is taking his revenge on the inaccessible independent woman from a big city."

Well, this is a very poor estimation of Polish men. If I were one, I would be offended by such generalizations. But in Poland, we are told that this is normal, this is who we are, and nothing can be done about it. And you definitely can't do anything about it by wearing black clothes and taking to the streets to protest. To think, women wanting autonomy! The possibility to decide about your own life, health, fertility and sexuality! Moreover demanding it aggressively, like a man might do, instead of, you know, in a womanly way, delicately, careful not to hurt any man's pride — and that most delicate male organ: his ego.

Then Drozdziak moves on to "feminists," who he says, "completely ignore the love that can exist between a man and a woman. I have found nothing about that feeling in any feminist studies. They mention instead the rights, the limits ... the slogan "my belly, my business' is in reality a symbol of great loneliness. Afterwards, you can really wear black clothes, as a symbol of mourning this time. If a man said "your belly, your business," what else is left?"

Freedom maybe? The right to decide about one's own body? The right to be an adult, an autonomous entity, who is able to understand a moral issue? Perhaps, for those frustrated and frightened men, somebody at the protests should have written on a banner: "Dear men! We love you, we admire you, you are the best in the world, the most clever and handsome. But, just by the way, only if you have time, can you please consider that the new abortion bill threatens our lives and health, and maybe it's not such a good idea to pass it. But you know what — no rush. Thanks for your attention. Signed, Polish women. P.S. We apologize for going to work. It won't happen again"."

Even a loved child reminds about the rape

Drozdziak then turns his attention to the male partner of a raped women who seeks an abortion "Why is he not consulted, to see if they want to bring up the rapist's child? A man who sees a woman only as a mother, and not as a sexual being, can accept something like that. Another man in such situation would lose his mind." I am not so sure about that. Maybe because it's not a man who for nine months must carry the baby inside — a baby who is the result of the worst kind of trauma that can ever happen to a human being. And a child who, even if she will be able to love it, will constantly remind her of the rape.

Czarny protesters on Oct. 24 — Photo: Wiktor Dabkowski/DPA/ZUMA

An American student wrote to her rapist, "You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice ..." Dr. Drozdziak, can you really compare that to, as I understand your argument, the discomfort of a man, whose belonging was touched and is now going mad because he cannot look at her as a sexual object? Very brave indeed.

Abortion, as it turns out, is a legal issue. It means that either it is legal, or allowed with limitations, or completely banned. In my opinion, only when abortion is legal can we speak of the issue of love and its tragic implications, because only then can we speak of moral decision. When abortion is illegal, that decision is made for us.

Natalia's courage

Finally, it is worth mentioning another recent interview, with Polish singer and songwriter Natalia Przybysz in Gazeta Wyborcza"s supplement Wysokie Obcasy. It shows the issue of abortion not from the perspective of what men might think, but simply from the point of view of woman who decided she didn't want to be pregnant. And no, it was not because of some drama — rape, health issue or genetic disease — but because she liked her life as it was, and did not want to change it. She did not want that kind of sacrifice.

Przybysz, 33, already has two young children. She said that "they also need my attention and that they also deserve to have a life. Not only to be fed and be driven from one place to another." She decided to publicly reveal that she wanted to end her pregnancy. "We live in a reality where everyone pretends that this does not happen. Every women is left alone to deal with it. So I want to say it out loud: I'm a woman who decides for herself."

And for saying that, as one could have expected, she experienced a wave of hate.

Well done for your true courage, Natalia. For speaking of your abortion of convenience as the outraged moralists, who sit on the sofa doing nothing, wrote. Because somehow I don't believe that the estimated 100,000 Polish women who have abortions every year are all facing severe circumstances. I think instead that the majority of those abortions are carried out, because in that moment of life, for this or that reason, these women did not want to or could not have a baby.

A woman's selfishness, as it turns out, is still the most horrifying thing in the world.

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La Sagrada Familia Delayed Again — Blame COVID-19 This Time

Hopes were dashed by local officials to see the completion of the iconic Barcelona church in 2026, in time for the 100th anniversary of the death of its renowned architect Antoni Guadí.

Work on La Sagrada Familia has been delayed because of the pandemic

By most accounts, it's currently the longest-running construction project in the world. And now, the completion of work on the iconic Barcelona church La Sagrada Familia, which began all the way back in 1882, is going to take even longer.

Barcelona-based daily El Periodico daily reports that work on the church, which began as the vision of master architect Antoni Gaudí, was slated to be completed in 2026. But a press conference Tuesday, Sep. 21 confirmed that the deadline won't be met, in part because of delays related to COVID-19. Officials also provided new details about the impending completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin).

El Periódico - 09/22/2021

El Periodico daily reports on the latest delay from what may be the longest-running construction project in the world.

One tower after the other… Slowly but surely, La Sagrada Familia has been growing bigger and higher before Barcelonians and visitors' eager eyes for nearly 140 years. However, all will have to be a bit more patient before they see the famous architectural project finally completed. During Tuesday's press conference, general director of the Construction Board of the Sagrada Familia, Xavier Martínez, and the architect director, Jordi Faulí, had some good and bad news to share.

As feared, La Sagrada Familia's completion date has been delayed. Because of the pandemic, the halt put on the works in early March when Spain went into a national lockdown. So the hopes are dashed of the 2026 inauguration in what would have been the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.

Although he excluded new predictions of completion until post-COVID normalcy is restored - no earlier than 2024 -, Martínez says: "Finishing in 2030, rather than being a realistic forecast, would be an illusion, starting the construction process will not be easy," reports La Vanguardia.

But what's a few more years when you already have waited 139, after all? However delayed, the construction will reach another milestone very soon with the completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin), the first tower of the temple to be completed in 44 years and the second tallest spire of the complex. It will be crowned by a 12-pointed star which will be illuminated on December 8, Immaculate Conception Day.

Next would be the completion of the Evangelist Lucas tower and eventually, the tower of Jesus Christ, the most prominent of the Sagrada Familia, reaching 172.5 meters thanks to an illuminated 13.5 meters wide "great cross." It will be made of glass and porcelain stoneware to reflect daylight and will be illuminated at night and project rays of light.

La Sagrada Familia through the years

La Sagrada Familia, 1889 - wikipedia

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