The New York Times has just gone ballistic because Poland wants to withdraw from the so-called Istanbul Convention, which is allegedly designed to protect women from aggression, in particular domestic violence. The nightmare of Stanley Kowalski’s wife beating habits will transcend the fictional A Street Car Named Desire to afflict the anti-hero’s ancestral homeland.
Now for some facts. About a week ago the ruling Law and Justice Party’s junior coalition partner, Poland in Solidarity (Solidarna Polska — SP), suddenly proposed to commence a review process to consider withdrawing Poland from the Istanbul Convention. The proposal carries some weight because SP’s leader, Zbigniew Ziobro, happens to be the Minister of Justice. However, his senior coalition partners are both surprised and rather tepid about the idea. It is by no means certain that the proposed motion will survive its reading in the parliament. Without the support of the rest of the coalition, Ziobro clearly lacks the votes. From this point of view alone, the hysteria stoked by the New York Times is unwarranted.