Polish women and Polish girls are at the forefront of a cultural change in their country.
While benefitting from a shrinking gender pay gap, they’re still facing less access to abortion, more bureaucracy around birth control and struggling to have domestic abuse and rape by known perpetrators recognised in courts.
Women in Poland are fiercely loyal, yet not wanting to be constrained by traditional values. They are independent, smart, down to earth, and beautiful in every sense of the word. There’s even a goddess in Polish mythology to help them through childbirth.
This article is not written about how to pick up, date, bang or marry Polish girls. If it’s your genitals that directed you here, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Polish women & stereotypes
I’m not personally comfortable with painting every woman in a country with the same brush. Every human has different characteristics and doesn’t necessarily live up to pre-conceived stereotypes. Obviously.
So rather than comparing Australian women to their Polish counterparts, I thought I’d dedicate this blog to sharing what I do know about Polish kobiety – the battles they constantly fight, females Poles through history and how they’ve changed the country.
And for those of you wondering:
Beautiful in Polish –Piękny
You are beautiful In Polish – Jesteś piękna (yes-tesh pee-yenk-na)
Female Poles and Poles, in general, are sculpting themselves a new society. But the ladies of this land, in particular, find themselves at a crossroad.
Polish Politics and Women
3 times since 1989, has the Polish Prime Minister been female. Significantly better than Australia’s tally of female Prime Ministers. One, in over 100 years.
But the most recent female PM, Beata Szydło, and her cabinet seem to have put women’s rights more toward the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list.
With traditional Polish values the Catholic Church being forced down their collective throat, many Polish girls I know in the form of English students, work colleagues and friends have felt their rights over their own body eroded away by politics seeping its way into their private life.
This image means a lot:
Here’s the tl;dr about what it means:
This image represents the Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet, or the ‘All-Poland Women’s Strike’, a women’s rights social movement in Poland, established in September 2016 which was set up to protest the Polish Government’s move to further reduce a woman’s access to abortion.
As of today, the foundation stands for the following:
- full women’s rights: legal abortion-on-demand, sex education, and contraception that is free of charge at the point of use
- interpreting the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling against abortion as one of a personal testimony instead of a legal ruling
- the return of a “real” (independent) Constitutional Tribunal
- the return to a neutral (independent) Supreme Court of Poland that is not controlled by the Law and Justice party (PiS)
- the appointment of a “real” (independent, not someone from the ruling party) Polish Ombudsman
Long story short, a very political movement in a part of life that politics (and religion) should stay out of.
With the current political climate briefly spoken about, it’s worth shedding some light on how progressive Poland has been towards its ladies in the past, too.
A little about Feminism in Poland
In the years before World War 2, a young author and translator by the name of Irena Krzywicka would meet and fall in love with fellow author, stage writer, poet, translator, and (believe it or not) gynecologist Tadeusz ‘Boy’ Żeleński.
In the subsequent years, they would work together from his Warsaw clinic, spreading their knowledge about sex education and birth control.
Right-wing supporters would often verbally slander her, claiming she was ‘harming the nation’ by talking about women’s sexuality, abortion, and homosexuality.
Both Krzywicka and Boy heavily protest against the interference of the Catholic Church into the intimate lives of couples.
After World War 2, women in Poland were in many ways better off than women in Western Europe, the U.K, and the U.S.
Communism by definition promoted women’s emancipation from work and family.
Propaganda of that time promoted women and men as equals in factory work, agriculture, and politics.
Zofia Wasilkowska was a communist politician responsible for women’s affairs in Poland between 1948 and 1953. In 1956 she became the Minister for Justice making her the first female Minister of a government, anywhere in the world.
The rights of women in Poland
One woman who stood up for not only women’s political rights, but also women’s sexuality in communist Poland was Michalina Wisłocka.
A gynecologist, author, and sexologist, Wislocka wrote the first guide to sexual life under Communism, titled Sztuka Kochania. Her publication became a best seller and started to ease the ‘taboo’ around sex, sexual education, sexual identity, and sex life in Poland.
She co-founded a maternal society that went on to pioneer infertility, birth control and family planning in Poland.
My first trip to Eastern Europe was in 2007, and I spent a lot of time in Prague.
At the time, my girlfriend back then was part Irish.
Upon hearing about my travel plans, her Dubliner father said to me
‘Phil, Phil my boy, you’re going to discover the beauty of Slavic girls. And when ye do, you won’t be my daughter’s boyfriend fer much longer. And as a man that’s spent many teenage summers in the Ukraine, I understand why’.
I had no idea what he meant until arriving in Prague. On a balmy July afternoon, walking through the center of Prague I was utterly astounded at the sheer numbers of beautiful women.
Tall, petite, very feminine and very ‘casual’. It’s incredibly hard to not sound shallow , trying to find the relevant adjectives. Nevertheless, these observations followed through my brief visits to Krakow and Katowice, too.
In the west (and Australia) the image of the ‘Eastern European mailorder bride’ is well known. An incredibly beautiful woman, with zero personality.
I’d like to state it’s not true.
Slavic women, well every single one I’ve met, has had more personality and attitude than just about any other Cockney Londoner, Bogan Australian or Prissy Californian I’ve met!
All except the babcias. They’re utterly savage when it comes to getting on and off the bus. Their little wózek na zakupy should be classed as a weapon. They most certainly do live up to the ‘tough granny’ stereotype. ZACZEKAJ, PROSZĘ
Famous Polish Ladies
Maria Skłodowska Curie
Nope, she’s not French, she’s Polish – and Poles love her just as much as she loved Polonium.
Born in 1867 in Warsaw and responsible for some of the most ground-breaking research in radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, the first and only woman to win two Nobel Peace Prizes and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different fields. Arguably, one of the most famous Polish people of all time.
How’s that for a career of accomplishment and recognition!
The beloved Marie Skłodowska on the 20 złoty note. source
That long list of achievements included
- Development of the theory of radioactivity
- isolating radioisotopes
- the discovery of Polonium and Radium
- development of portable x-rays for use in the trenches of WW1
Even after becoming a French citizen, she never lost her Polish roots. She taught her kids Polish and regularly returned to Poland to visit.
Agnieszka Holland, a name you may not have heard of, but there’s every chance you’ve seen her work as she is a very prolific director.
Holland got her break in the international film community after the release of her 1990 film Europa Europa and later with 2011’s In Darkness.
As well as that, her latest work, Spoor (Pokot, in Polish) was incredibly well received and won an award at the Berlin Film Festival. She has also directed episodes of Cold Case and House of Cards.
She will also be directing Poland’s first Netflix series.
Not only was GoldenEye the best Bond film ever, Natalya Simonova was probably my favorite Bond girl.
Famke Janssen went on to be the lustful killer, but the Natalya the scientist was the one for me.
Natalya and good friend, Boris.
Other well-known lady Poles that must be mentioned:
- Emilia Plater – a heroic Polish woman, born in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. She was at the forefront of the November 1830 uprising against Russia.
- Krystyna Skarbek – an agent of the British Special Operation Executive during WW2. She’s best known for her unorthodox missions and daring exploits again Germany in occupied Poland.
- Irena Szewińska – Poland’s most-decorated female Olympian, winning a total of 7 medals in the field of athletics.
Characteristics & stereotypes
While I did start this article saying not all women are the same, there are a few things I’ve found a lot of Polski kobiety have in common.
- Super-model beauty – There are many beautiful Polish men, but when I ask some of my Polish guy friends what their partners do, so many casually say ‘oh she’s a model’. Then, when I get the chance to meet his girlfriend, I see he’s batting way above his average.
Kasia ‘Jac’ Jagacial. Source.
- Modest – many Polish girls that I ask to speak English with, hit me with the reply ‘oh nieeeee, nie mogę’ and then proceed to speak perfect English.
- Incredible livers – my god, they can put it away. Beer, Vodka, all of it seems to have no effect on them.
- Fantastic with money – and I don’t mean they’re tight. I get the feeling that nowhere near as many women go shopping ‘just because’ as they do back in Australia. Polish ladies save money and are quite thrifty. Polish girls want value for their złoty.
- Always dress well. I’ve never ever seen a woman in Warsaw walking around in public in anything less ‘elegant’ than business attire. I truly believe that no one here owns a crappy hoody or ratty sweatpants. It just does not happen.
So there you have it!
What are some other fantastic traits that make Polish ladies unique? Let me know in the comments!