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'Murderers of the unborn’ and ‘sexual degenerates’: analysis of the ‘anti-gender’ discourse of the Catholic Church and the nationalist right in Poland

Author(s): Piotr Żuk, Paweł Żuk

In: Critical Discourse Studies, 2019, pp. 1-24

The article analyses the language used by the Polish nationalist right in relation to LGBT communities and women’s right to abortion. The authors show links between the language of Church officials hierarchs and right-wing columnists. The attack on gender uses the same methods of political mobilisation and power management as the campaign against refugees and immigrants. The anti-gender discourse may strengthen the narrative against the ‘liberal EU’ and create substitute ‘scapegoats’ inside Poland. The dispersed anti-gender discourse does have a real impact on social attitudes – on the one hand, it polarises social sympathies and, on the other hand, it strengthens right-wing attitudes. The analysis is based on right-wing press articles, Church officials’ statements, videos on YouTube and a parliamentary debate about the right to abortion.