Here’s an uncontroversial statement: domestic violence is bad. It’s bad for women, children and men. It’s an all-around nasty thing, right? And it’s worth doing all we reasonably can to stop it, right? Well, if you answered yes to both of the previous questions you are in opposition to the Polish Minister of Justice Jarosław Gowin who spent the major part of last week opposing the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Counterintuitive? Yes! Bigoted and incredibly stupid? Yes! In opposition to the minister’s very conservative views of women and marriage? Sadly – no.
The (and I cringe when I write his job title) Minister of Justice thinks that this convention will force Poland to legally acknowledge partnerships (including – oh, the horror! – homosexual partnerships!). What’s worse – the convention claims that gender is a social construct and men and women shouldn’t be limited in their life choices based on their sex. A former Catholic Church altar boy and current Opus Dei affiliate as well as self-proclaimed defender of ‘common sense’ could not stomach any of this “vicious feminist propaganda” (a charming phrase he uses to describe the Convention in question).
Who would have suspected – Gowin is proving to be a backward, bigoted chauvinist (pardon the legal jargon). Although he has surprisingly progressive views on transsexuals and thinks the state should help them live in accordance with their identified gender rather than that assigned at birth (including supporting gender re-assignment surgery). I say surprisingly because a lot of Catholics claim transsexuals are just confused, or something, because “God doesn’t make mistakes”. He can obviously cut himself off from some of his religiously and conservatively oriented worldview in a few cases but gender equality is not one of them.