Hello, guys. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but in my beloved, you’d think civilised, beautiful country, located in central Europe, Poland, the basic human rights are about to be taken away from women. Why is that? The Polish government, inspired mainly by the Catholic Church (that has definitely too much power in Poland), has created an anti-abortion project. For now, abortion in Poland is legal in case of rape or if the mother’s/child’s life is in danger. If the anti-abortion project comes through (which is very likely) the situation of Polish women will change dramatically:

- aborting a pregnancy that has started because of rape will no longer be legal (3 months to 5 years of prison for the mother and the doctor),

- aborting a pregnancy that endangers the mother’s life will no longer be legal (3 months to 5 years of prison for the mother and the doctor),

- aborting a pregnancy in case of a fatal disease of the fetus will no longer be legal (3 months to 5 years of prison for the mother and the doctor),

- the project says that whoever puts the woman in a situation of a probable miscarriage could be charged of 3 years in prison, which in practice means that some of the medical exams (like the prental exam which helps to indicate if the fetus is healthy) could not be available because of the doctors being afraid of going to prison,

- it all also means that men could get easily away with rape, since the women would be afraid of going to the police in case they got pregnant and didn’t want to give birth to the rapist’s child (which they will now be forced to do),

- also, on the side of this project, the Catholic Church wants to make in vitro even less available for families struggling to have children, since apparently “it’s basically just killing unconcieved babies” (?? fuck logic),

- what’s more, they’ve recently withdrawn chemical contraception for women from the pharmacies (things like spermicidal gels, liquids, creams, vaginal suppositories) cause they’re apparently “dangerous for women’s health”, so now the only contraception available without a prescription are condoms,

- don’t even get me started with the level of sexual education in Poland which is basically non-existent. Recently, just this week, a 12 year old girl gave birth to a child. A 12-yr old!! She had sex (they said it was consensual, but who fucking even believes this shit) with a 29 year old man. The doctors said she didn’t even know what was going on during the labour, she of course had to have C-section because her body was obviously not ready to have a baby at such young age. There are so many cases like this.

- all of this is supposed to “help” with the demographic decline and to “encourage” people to have more kids. Let me tell you something - if anything this encourges me to is to not have babies  a t    a l l.

Let me also show you some of the social media responses of “pro-life” activists and give you a glimpse of what kind of shit Polish women have to deal with:

“If the pregnancy started because of rape, the only victim is the child that can lose its life.”

“If abortion is such a dramatic decision to make, it’ll be better to not let women make it. To ban abortion.”

“Womanhood is all about being in service of life. Women/female MPs who are against life, contradict their own womanhood.”

“All of these women screaming that “their belly, their choice” [should know] that the life in their bellies belongs only to the child. Selfish women, assassins like during Holocaust. You just lend your body to give new life. You should be happy you were not killed. There should be no abortion.”

“Abortion is barbaric (…) and it will be remembered as equally bad as genocide and gas chambers.”

I found these in 5 minutes. Women are treated with no respect, they’re believed to be stupid and not fit to make decisions about their own bodies. Men leading our country (most of them are very religious) want to decide about what we should do with our bodies. Please, help us. Spread the word. We are trying to fight this, but we’re in the minority… The world needs to know!!


Edit:

Guys, if you wanna help, there’s a petition to sign!!

Thousands of women and men in Poland are protesting against a proposed anti-abortion law by wearing all black.

The organisers, the Together Party (Partia Razem), explain:

“Over the next three days our parliament will debate the most radical anti-abortion legislation in Polish history. If the draft is passed, Poland will have one of the strictest abortion laws in the world – pregnancy termination will be banned even if it is the result of rape, incest or if the pregnant girl is under 15.

Black is the colour of mourning, of sadness, but also of protest and resistance. By wearing black we show our despair, but also our collective strength and solidarity. We refuse to live with the consequences of this fundamentalist craze.

The numbers are truly amazing, thousands of women and girls have joined us online. Instagram and twitter are full of pictures of girls, sometimes entire school classes dressed in black. We really find it hard to believe we have to protest this in 2016, but there you go. Our struggle will continue for as long as necessary.”

If passed, the new law would treat every mother who miscarried as a potential suspect in a murder case. The current draft would also severely restrict the amount of prenatal tests available through the national health service, making it impossible to test for many life threatening conditions.

join the #blackprotest #czarnyprotest

6

POLISH LITERATURE [3/∞]Balladyna

BALLADYNA is a tragedy written by Juliusz Słowacki in 1834 and published in 1839 in Paris. It is a notable work of Polish romanticism, focusing on the issues such as thirst for power and evolution of the criminal mind. The story revolves around the rise and fall of Balladyna, a fictional Slavic queen.
It had been compared to Macbeth, dramas which show how evil and prone to suggestion human nature is. The author claims that it is impossible to righteously reign the country if the power was gained unlawfully.

The notoriously difficult phonology of the Polish language has always caused much trouble and confusion for neighbouring nations. But what are the absolute hardest words?

Germans look at Polish and see incomprehensible series of consonants. While to the east, Polish sounds so strange to Russians that they even have a verb for Poles speaking their language: pshekat. To top it off, Czechs think Poles sound like Czech children with a speech defect.

The most troublesome feature of Polish orthography is what linguists call complex consonant clusters ‒  series of consonants without any vowels. They occur in many languages, including English; for example, in the word ‘shrug’ the letters shr form a consonant cluster. But while English usually draws the line at three consonants, Polish sometimes joins as many as five consonants, a phenomenon called the Polish syllable structure, which is allegedly surpassed only by Georgian in terms of complexity.

Here are some outstandingly difficult examples of this damning syllable structure for you to have a crack at. Good luck!

1. Żółć

This word is comprised purely of Polish letters ‒ Latin letters that were modified with Polish diacritic signs. In terms of pronunciation, English-speakers still stand a chance, but they would need to know the sound every letter stands for… (Incidentally, this all-Polish word means ‘bile’. Could the choleric Polish temperament result from their impossible language?)

2. Szczęście

If you think happiness is hard to find, try pronouncing it in Polish! The Polish word for ‘happiness’ consists of a sequence of two Polish digraphs (sz, cz), a nasal e sound, the Polish diacritic ś, another digraph (ci), and a final e (which is probably the only sound you’ll be able to pronounce on your first go).

3. Pszczyna

With a name like this, this town in Southern Poland certainly stands out on the map. But despite looking rather daunting, Pszczyna features only three consonants one after the other (the digraphs sz and cz stand for one sound each). But we’re just getting started in terms of difficulty…

4. Następstw

The final letter sequence in the Polish word for ‘consequence’ features a headache-inducing cluster of four consonants, but don’t worry. You’re not likely to encounter ‘następstw’ too often since it is the genitive plural (and thus not infrequently used) form of the word ‘następstwo’. What’s genitive plural, you ask? In Polish, words like adjectives and nouns have six or seven versions depending on their grammatical function in a sentence. But never mind that now.

5. Źdźbło

We’re sorry. We know ‘źdźbło’ looks really awful. But no worries, it’s actually only four sounds, not five: Ź, DŹ, B, Ł. Surely, that’s slightly helpful news? Either way, this terribly difficult word means ‘a tiny leaf of grass’.  

6. Bezwzględny

Here we have five consonants AND five sounds to be pronounced. Fittingly, it means ‘ruthless’.

7. Szymankowszczyzna

Now that you’re an expert, the name of this small village shouldn’t pose too much difficulty (the longest consonant cluster is a mere three consonants long). You will be reassured to learn that it is one the longest place names in Poland and most places you’ll visit are actually easier to pronounce.

8. Szczebrzeszyn

Another town, Szczebrzeszyn is famous for being the beginning of the most famous Polish tongue-twister. Ready?

W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie

It means ‘In Szczebrzeszyn, a beetle buzzes in the reed’. No? Try again!

9. Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz :)

This name appears in the cult Polish movie How I Unleashed World War II when a Polish prisoner pretends to be thus named in order to thwart the Nazi officer who has to keep track of prisoners’ identities. His reaction is probably illustrative of most foreigners’ frustration with the devilish Polish phonology.

BONUS: Try putting them all together! Apologies in advance..

The ruthless Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz went from Szczebrzeszyn to Szymankowszczyzna and then Pszczyna. And though he was sometimes overwhelmed with bile, oblivious of the consequences, he eventually found happiness in a tiny leaf of grass.

Ready?

Bezwzględny Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz wyruszył ze Szczebrzeszyna przez Szymankowszczyznę do Pszczyny. I choć nieraz zalewała go żółć, niepomny następstw znalazł ostatecznie szczęście w źdźble trawy.

Phew!

Ludzie sądzą, że tak walczymy o prawo do wolnej aborcji, bo jesteśmy zwyrodniałymi grzesznicami i tylko marzymy o tym, żeby (nie owijając w bawełnę) się wyskrobać. Że jak tylko nam na to pozwolą, to od razu pobiegniemy sobie rezerwować termin, bo można, bo wolno. Tak nie jest. 

Aborcja to bardzo trudna decyzja i nikomu nie życzę przed nią stanąć. Ale nie życzę też śmierci matce trojga dzieci, która nie może usunąć kolejnej ciąży, a sama w jej imię bezsprzecznie umrze. Nie życzę widoku nowo narodzonego potomka rodzicom, którzy wiedzą, że po kilku godzinach przestanie oddychać. Nie życzę dziewięciu miesięcy cierpienia dziewczynie, która wracała wieczorem do domu i jakiś samiec postanowił zrobić z niej naczynie na swoją spermę (swoją drogą gwałciciel dostałby mniejszy wyrok niż ona po usunięciu ciąży). Nie życzę młodemu małżeństwu wyrzeczenia się swojego życia, pasji i możliwości na rzecz opieki nad skrajnie niepełnosprawnym dzieckiem, od którego nigdy nie usłyszą “mamo” czy “tato”. 

Możecie powiedzieć, że nikt nie każe się tymi dziećmi zaopiekować, że są okna życia, że można je oddać, że można je kochać, że co one winne. A co jest winna ta dziewczyna, że urodziła się dziewczyną i żyje w tak chorym kraju? 

To nasze ciała i nasza sprawa. Jeśli jesteśmy wierzący, to osądzi nas Bóg, a nie prokurator czuwający przy łóżku na sali porodowej. Jeśli to grzech, to my z nim będziemy żyć i to my za niego będziemy odpowiedzialne. 

Podziwiam matki opiekujące się niepełnosprawnymi dziećmi, podziwiam te, które rodzą dzieci gwałcicieli i kochają je tak samo. Szanuję je bardzo. Ale nikt nie ma prawa kazać mi być tak silną i tak dobrą, nikt nie ma prawa kazać mi wyrzec się swojego życia tylko dlatego, że mam w sobie jakiś zarodek wielkości dwóch milimetrów. To jest moje ciało, nie państwa, nie episkopatu. 

Przekazujmy to dalej, uświadamiajmy innych. Czasem niewiedza ma straszliwe konsekwencje. Nie chcę być zakładnikiem własnego kraju tylko dlatego, że mam macicę. Nie chcę żyć w państwie kościelnym. Nie chcę się tak bać.

Ps. Liczba aborcji w krajach, w których ją zalegalizowano, drastycznie spadła.