Feminism hasn’t yet reached Poland. Or at least the elites, the ones who should be setting the standards and providing guidelines of behavior to others.
Backstage of a very popular political tv show. Half of the debating politicians (not usual for the show) were women. Economy was the topic. One of the male guests is asked about how he found the show. The answer: It was very nice, very enjoyable. Question 2: why? Answer: because such charming and nice ladies were there and debates are always more pleasant when ladies participate. One of the women who participated in the show just smiles vaguely with visible uneasiness but doesn’t respond.
Naomi Klein – the guru of the alterglobalist movement comes to Warsaw to promote her new book and give a lecture at the University of Warsaw. How is she being introduced by a high-up representative of the university? As a very charming lady with charming ideas. Some members of the audience boo here. Others don’t seem to notice nor care. Naomi Klein, as the guest, kindly smiles. The studies of the failure of the War on Terror, thousands of deaths in Chile after the coup d’etat, hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami and how liberal capitalism is being introduced when people are in a state of shock – charming ideas indeed.
Situation 3 (I did not observe this one first hand):
A PhD candidate comes to a PhD (a man of about 70), an expert in interpreting and says that she will be conducting a research on the differences in translations done by women and men and asks whether he could help. The answer: ‘you better grow yourself a penis first’. (This is an extreme example, from what I’ve seen it doesn’t happen too often)
It seems that the ideas of valuing women for the merit of what they are saying and for their knowledge hasn’t yet reached some groups, perhaps most of the population. It is encouraging that it is visible among the younger generation, but why aren’t politicians and professors up to date? It personally disgusts me but I also blame the women. Why don’t they respond? Why don’t they kiss the man’s hand back. Why, after being called charming or pretty (in the context of a lecture or a political debate), don’t they thank ‘the charming or handsome gentleman’? They never do. They seem to notice and seem to feel uneasy and just hide it behind a smile. But what if it’s time to react? It is time to react. To stop being nice and just fight back with the same weapon. Why don’t female politicians start talking about how handsome their co-debaters were or how the conversation was nice, because there were some charming gentleman in it? Perhaps this will show the males who still live with the ideas of the past in their brains, realize that women are their equals and should be judged and treated the way they treat their male colleagues.
I am not calling for physical equality of the sexes or for gender evenness, but it is about time that people start being treated as equal human beings, not as men, who know things, and women who should be the background and smile.