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A Nation in Mourning of Women’s Rights

Currently in the Eastern European nation of Poland, women are expressing great distress over their uteruses by marching through the streets of Warsaw dressed in traditional mourning clothes. No, she’s not going insane from premenstrual syndrome, commonly referred to as PMS because the word “premenstrual” is just too hard to spell every single damn time. She’s upset over Polish Parliament and its potential mandate to permanently outlaw the termination of any and all pregnancy in any way, shape, or form.

Abortion is already severely restricted in the overwhelmingly patriarchal society that drags through Eastern Europe; for Polish women in particular, they cannot undergo the legal, safe procedure performed by a medically trained professional unless under extreme duress, chiefly resulting from the stress and pain from rape, incest, and irreversible physical and psychological damage to the fetus and their body as a whole. So, basically, unless she’s facing death, she better start glossing through baby magazines. 

Though this thinking may seem pretty strict and possibly quite dangerous to both the mental and physical health of their female population, Poland thinks this endangerment of women’s wellbeing is not enough. They need to officially go all out and wholly ban the procedure, no matter what the woman and her doctor and nurses say. In Poland, apparently your ass in a government chair weighs more than the ass sitting on a sterile swivel chair with a degree in medicine hanging on the wall. Additionally, there is suggestion that their new law would punish women for miscarrying, and doctors who fail to revive those who have passed will be criminalized. 

The women of Warsaw believe otherwise. and have chosen to bravely protest that these men (the Polish Parliament’s gender ratio scale leans so far towards an abundance of males that if it was holding a plate of pierogis, it would fall and splatter all over the floor) have no right to dictate their personal health choices, and I pray that women in other European nations follow suit. The way women in these nations and in their diasporas are viewed and treated in terms of their health and sexuality can be quite unnerving.

Picture this: a fifteen-year-old girl volunteers to stay home from Mother’s Day brunch as she has determined her AP test the following morning is more important than tasty finger sandwiches. She promises to celebrate the following weekend with her family and stays in her bedroom to study. While at brunch, she receives a phone call detailing that a male family friend needs verification regarding the state of her bedroom, as he insists it is currently swarming with an abundance of boys in various stages of undress. This person, armed with his male all-knowingness, is positive that there is no way this girl, or any girl for that matter, could be spending her whole day studying.

Picture that same man mentioning in her presence that birth control pills cause infertility, miscarriage, and untimely death.

Picture that same man wondering aloud whether that same girl is seeing anyone because if she does not start husband hunting soon, now that she is aged into her college years, she will be doomed to a life of loneliness and misery.

This global culture of male all-knowingness needs to be reviewed for accuracy and authenticity. They do not understand female reproductive systems. They do not recognize their sexuality and desires. They do not comprehend why they wish to be in charge of their own fates. They do not see why they care so much about the quality of their own lives. 


Marta Leshyk

DePaul '20

Aspiring high school English teacher who hopes to help students learn to love and value themselves the way an old friend once helped her. Loves cats immensely, and enjoys iced coffee in the dead of winter. Is the proud daughter of immigrants, and learned English from Elmo, the ultimate PBS scholar. 
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