Machines of Knowledge

Public Sphere and the women right protest in Poland

In this group topic we discussed a case of Polish women protesting against the government’s anti-abortion law. According to Habermas’s definition of a Public Sphere, public sphere is a public communication with reading as an intermediary and communication as the core, and that speech is rational and speaks for public interests rather than private interests. Without being affected by the power system and economic control. Our case is based on the public interest of women, and it’s rational voice. It is inclusive, using social media such as Facebook as the main communication platform for protest. Therefore, I think this case satisfies Habermas’ definition of public sphere. At the same time, it is also a representative of a liberated communication virtual space. As citizens, they speak out for their own women’s rights and freedom, and they are representatives of fighting for liberation through communication on social media. At the same time, this, combined with their offline protests, made public opinion even more powerful and produced a spiral effect.

However, this protest did not change the final law making. But as a feminist movement, it has had a certain impact on the rights and interests of women in society. Meanwhile, there is a potential privacy issue in this incident, because all those who support the protest on social media can be tracked to their accounts and labeled as anti-government personnel.

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