2010 Gender images and political conflicts over gender in post-socialist Poland
2010 Gender images and political conflicts over gender in post-socialist Poland, GENDER – Zeitschrift für Geschlecht, Kultur und Gesellschaft, 3/2010, 7-23.
Since 1989, Poland has experienced strong political conflicts over gender. However, promoted gender order, prevalent norms, and social reality often diverge. How can this fact be understood and explained? Taking Birgit Pfau-Effinger’s concept of gender arrangement as a starting point, the article shows inconsistencies between gender culture and gender order in Poland and analyses argumentative patterns in four parliamentary debates on a gender equality law between 1999 and 2005.
Ultimately, it is shown that national-conservative discourses on gender models and mothers’ roles are over-represented compared to the population. Liberal voices are almost absent and leftist proponents barely develop positive visions on gender equality. The article hypothesizes that past state socialism continues to influence the debate, as actors still rhetorically and politically distance themselves from the old regime. Furthermore, reasons for the gap between the hegemonic national- conservative discourses, actual ways of living and gender policies are discussed.