www.TedLipien.comBeing proud of their national heritage and role in society, Polish women thought about their own status essentially the same way as John Paul II. They rejected radical feminist ideas and supported his positions on the role of women. He in turn based many of his "new feminism" ideas on what he had heard from Polish women. In the 1980s, he asked a Polish nun, whose academic career he had supported, whether there was feminism in Poland. When she told him that Polish women were not supporting feminism in its Western secular form, John Paul II was pleased. But he was disappointed that many Western feminists considered him their enemy. He assured Sister Zofia Zdybicka of his great respect for women.

As one Polish female Solidarity activist observed, Polish women would oppose some forms of discrimination if encountered in their personal lives, but because of their pride they would not admit that they were being discriminated against and would recoil at the thought of being described as “feminist.” The terms “feminist” and “feminism” were associated in Poland with communist propaganda and misguided Western communist sympathizers. If there were any Western feminists who were anti-communist, many Poles considered them equally clueless. While Polish men and women were often right about things that Westerners may have gotten wrong, their pride may have sometimes prevented them from seeing and understanding some of the advantages of liberal democracy and the feminist movement and their positive impact on women’s lives.

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This book is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the personal network of highly influential women who shaped John Paul II's attitudes, particularly on the debate of women's roles. Dr. Nancy Snow, author of Information War

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Ted Lipien has written an incisive and penetrating book on the role remarkable women, played in shaping John Paul II's outlook on important and controversial issues that defined his papacy. One of them was the Albanian-born nun and Nobel laureate Mother Teresa. Dr. Elez Biberaj, author of Albania in Transition: The Rocky Road to Democracy