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Polish Asexualities: Catholic Religiosity and Asexual Online Activisms in Poland

Abstract

This chapter explores Polish asexual activism through an analysis of posts on the largest Polish-language forum devoted to asexuality, the Asexual Education Network (SEA). We focus on two themes in particular: Polish asexuals’ alliances and antagonism to LGBTI+ identities and Polish asexuals’ articulations of religiosity. We find that asexuals express ambivalence regarding their participation in LGBTI+ activism, with some arguing for inclusion in the community and others taking explicitly homophobic and transphobic positions. While most asexuals understand their identity as a secular sexual orientation, some use Catholic-influenced concepts of purity and supremacy to conceptualize it. We conclude that Polish asexual activism online is not uniform in its political alignments; rather, it can be and is mobilized for both progressive and conservative purposes depending on its conceptualization.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-20401-3_12
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Notes

  1. 1.

    ‘Post state-socialist’ is our term of choice because it indexes the ways in which Poland, under occupation, never achieved socialism but rather was state-socialist, built on inequality and dictatorship (Grabowska 2012).

  2. 2.

    Many of these are secular Catholics: Only 39% of Poles declare that they follow Catholic directives, while 52% refer to themselves as ‘religious in their own way’ (Public Opinion Research Center 2015, p. 2).

  3. 3.

    Chastity is not synonymous with refraining from sex; in marriage, chastity can be practiced as sexual faithfulness to the spouse and as the proper conduct of one’s sex life, following Catholic dogma on the place and practice of sex (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1993, p. 2349).

  4. 4.

    In a foundational Catholic text on love and religion, Miłość i Odpowiedzialność [Love and Responsibility] (1982), Karol Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II) discusses the uses of sex within marriage as including not only reproduction but also functioning to strengthen the bond between spouses.

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Kurowicka, A., Przybylo, E. (2020). Polish Asexualities: Catholic Religiosity and Asexual Online Activisms in Poland. In: Buyantueva, R., Shevtsova, M. (eds) LGBTQ+ Activism in Central and Eastern Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-20401-3_12

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-20401-3_12

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