Roman Polanski blames the pill for the current state of gender politics, controversially citing the advent of hormonal birth control as a factor in eradicating “romance” and straining relationships between men and women.
It’s not exactly clear by what mechanism Polanski blames the pill — whether it’s an effect of hormones (ones that mimic the more natural state of frequent pregnancy) or simply the decision making ability contraceptives offer women and their families.
The director — who himself has been in exile over a 1970s statutory rape involving a very young teenager, quaaludes, and alcohol — made the comments when speaking about the themes of his new film screened at Cannes, Venus in Fur.
Expounding on the subject of gender relations, Polanski blames the pill inexplicably for chasing away romance and somehow making small romantic gestures by his claim offensive.
“I think that now offering flowers to a lady becomes indecent, that’s how I feel about it … I think that the Pill has changed greatly the woman of our times, ‘masculinizing’ her — how would you say it? … I think that it chases away the romance from our lives and that’s a great pity.”
Polanski continues, with no clear thread, suggesting that the pill and its fellows have been a detrimental force in society by placing both genders on more equal footing — which seems to be predicated on women having control over whether or not they become pregnant, thus allowing them to make decisions more like men.
“I think that trying to level the genders is purely idiotic. I think it’s a result of, like everything else and I will be Marxist here, of progress in medicine and these are outcomes of it.”
Are you surprised Polanski blames the pill (female agency doesn’t seem to be a trait he values very highly) for loss of “romance” in modern gender relations?