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March 11, 2019

‘Progressive’ Posse Buys, Shuts Down Poland’s Most Popular Adult Publication

Twój Weekend, or “Your Weekend,” was a Polished-based erotic monthly – “was” being the operative word here as a collection of marketing agencies, publishers and payment processors recently bought the magazine with the express purpose of shutting it down.

Your Weekend has been in circulation since 1992, making it Poland’s longest-running adult publication. In addition to erotic fare, it seems like the magazine also contained content related to culture – technology, sexuality and the like.

In December 2018, the magazine’s publisher announced the title was for sale. It was subsequently acquired by a collective of “progressive” organizations as part of a wider initiative: to combat sexism in Poland.

Wavemaker, an organization self-described as being “created to reinvent the media agency” via “award-winning work, diverse thinking and the latest news from around [their] 90 markets worldwide,” partnered with Polish newspaper Gazeta.pl, VMLY&R, Mastercard and Bank BG? BNP Paribas. Their press blog about the initiative gleefully stated: “Wavemaker buys and then closes down Twój Weekend, Poland’s most popular porn magazine…” – because nothing says “diverse thinking” like shutting down popular speech.

They wrote:

When in December 2018 the oldest and most popular Polish porn magazine was put up for sale, we bought it immediately. Why? To close it down. Because no man should ever learn about women and relationships from porn magazines.

Closing down the longest running Polish erotic magazine is an opposition to the objectification of women. For 27 years, “Twój Weekend” has reduced them to nothing more than sex objects. Now, in cooperation with its partners, Gazeta.pl will publish a special last issue of the magazine, devoted to extraordinary women.

The final issue of Your Weekend was released in print and online on March 8, apparently in honor of International Women’s Day. The issue includes stories “raising issues everyone should read about, regardless of gender.” Authors featured include a New York Times journalist, therapists and psychologists and other luminaries writing about “sexual education, gender portrayal, equal rights, sexism and to promote diverse and progressive narratives of femininity.”

Though the final issue of the mag features no nudity, sections and columns familiar to the magazine’s regular readers remain “in order to give them completely different meaning in an unexpected way.” Presumably, this means that, like, rather than a sexy cartoon, the issue presents a specifically slanted political cartoon. Rather than a “Positions” article featuring an adult personality, there’s a piece about activist perspectives on something – another form of “position,” if you will.

The cover image, shot by Weronika ?awniczak of Papaya Films, features Ewa Kasprzyk, Orina Krajewska and Joanna J?drzejczyk — women deemed acceptably important for whatever reasons by the new owners. According to Wavemaker, profits from any sales will be used to fund equality training at schools.

News of this stunt — and it is a stunt in the most attention seeking, patronizing, elitist and repressive of ways — is extremely alarming.

One wonders what factors motivated Your Weekend both to sell in the first place, much less sell to this group in particular. And though combating sexism is a noble and worthwhile goal, one wonders how the collective behind this initiative thinks this type of ideological force-feeding and thought control is going to change minds.

Really, it’s just going to piss people off. Lord knows I’m mad.

Screen grab of Your Weekend’s final cover via YNOT.

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