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  #21  
Old 29.06.2011, 13:46
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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I know that for myself, I can't even fart in my own apartment without wondering if the neighbors heard it.
Cause of the sound isolation of the outside walls, the great acoustics of the flat or the dezibel of the fart?
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  #22  
Old 29.06.2011, 13:50
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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Dat's a Good One!

My observation here of Swiss women is similar to many in the States. It's all about the Image. Superstar wannabes. Even the tweens dress up like supermodels.(or hookers) I saw one the other day, had to be 12? with the big sunglasses, hoop earrings, SO BIG they actually didn't hang, they just rested on her shoulders on an angle. I was laughing at how ridiculous she looked.

In the States women don't fart, they poof!
LOL!!!
Well, you know the Swiss are ALL about control... so Swiss girls can probably hit a perfect F sharp when they want to.
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  #23  
Old 29.06.2011, 21:33
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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Welcome to the 20th century.

I don't know where you've visited here, but outside of the cities, in the countryside - especially as you get into the mountains - you might find the occasional woman, who can swill down a few beers, followed by a couple of schnapps - and still be able to wrestle a cow to the ground as she kicks the dog to hide the fact that she'd farted (but only when she's not having to wipe the kids' bums and get some food on the table).
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I look forward to meeting Mrs. TiMow then
If only she was that perfect.
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Old 29.06.2011, 21:46
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

Look, there is no SWISS role!

My girlfriend can probably out-dress most, and on a far lower budget, and meanwhile beat the crap out of any nay-sayers (anyone who wants to nay-say, please let me know! )

Personally, I like women to be women, otherwise, why bother, as men are so much easier to deal with!

Tom
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Old 29.06.2011, 22:13
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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Personally, I like women to be women, otherwise, why bother, as men are so much easier to deal with!

Tom
Amen to that!
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Old 29.06.2011, 22:15
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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Cause of the sound isolation of the outside walls, the great acoustics of the flat or the dezibel of the fart?
Because of the decibel, of course... (I'm American, I can't help it.)

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  #27  
Old 30.06.2011, 02:13
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

Great discussion here! This has shifted my perspective somewhat.

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You've defined normal for yourself and decided that gender roles here are 'abnormal'. You do see the problem with that, don't you?
I do understand that I can't expect to come to a new country and everything will be the same as home.... and I also know that it is folly to try and pin down a fixed idea of "normal". I guess I was just wondering if others agreed that Swiss women are more dainty than North American women.

I'm encouraged by those who disagree...

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I have problems believing we live in the same country. Last time I saw a group of "gazelles" coming out of the train, not only they were spitting on the floor, they dressed and acted like ladies of the night trade (but with the trademark fake Louis Vuitton bag to prove otherwise), shouted out loud, and banged their vodka bottles on every single metal rod around.
HOORAY! They do exist! I guess it might just be a coincidence that the women I've met aren't like that. I have to find these girls...

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you might find the occasional woman, who can swill down a few beers, followed by a couple of schnapps - and still be able to wrestle a cow to the ground as she kicks the dog to hide the fact that she'd farted
Awesome.

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How old are you, just out of curiosity ?
I'm 24.




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Manners cost nothing; it may be prudent to consider others before acting uncouthly.
I'm not a beast, I promise. I have manners, and I am careful to only 'let my hair down' when in the right context. I was just scared that in Switzerland I would NEVER be in the right context, and would have to be at my most feminine at all times in order to integrate. But others in this forum seem to disagree.

Although I still haven't put my finger on exactly how genders differ here in Switzerland, I see that I needn't fear becoming a Stepford Wife here... I just have to find the right people to hang out with.
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  #28  
Old 30.06.2011, 07:04
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

Ahem,


Neigh!!!
almost like moo.

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Look, there is no SWISS role!

My girlfriend can probably out-dress most, and on a far lower budget, and meanwhile beat the crap out of any nay-sayers (anyone who wants to nay-say, please let me know! )

Personally, I like women to be women, otherwise, why bother, as men are so much easier to deal with!

Tom
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Old 30.06.2011, 07:34
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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If you like to swig beer and get your kit off, please come down to the Viadukt on Thursdays, there may be a few traditionals glad to see such a display of freedom.
What's that about, then? Some cool hang out place I've not heard of, or some seedy hole I've not heard of?
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  #30  
Old 30.06.2011, 07:35
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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What's that about, then? Some cool hang out place I've not heard of, or some seedy hole I've not heard of?

Yep, all the hip and trendy and sexy EF'ers hang out there on Thursday evenings. Sometimes I go too.
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  #31  
Old 30.06.2011, 10:12
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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I have been trying to figure out the darn gender divide in Switzerland.

As a young woman from Canada, I feel completely comfortable in my skin about acting in "un-feminine" ways - doing things like skinny dipping, laughing/shouting loudly, having belching contests for fun, and being otherwise hyper/vulgar when among good friends (male or female). In Canada I'm considered pretty normal (if a little outgoing). There's not a big behavior divide between Canadian men and women.
Honestly - if you'd be one of my students, I'd ask you to please learn some manners and start behaving accordingly.
There is a simple rule: Anything what doesn't offend is OK.
Laughing/shouting loudly: if it's in a bar with noisy music - why not.
If it's in a quiet coffee or tea room - There's no need for either, your conversation partner can hear you just fine.
Belching contests: with your friends - sure.
But not in a nice restaurant or on public transportation.

You see - it's all according to the situation. Tomboyish behaviour is sometimes taken as "well, she's a bit a tomboy, but she's ok".
With "hooker-looking-teens" (and twens) most people just hope they grew up quickly and start developing some sense.

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But it seems to me that Swiss girls are different.
I've spent a lot of time in Switzerland, and all the girls I've met so far seem so....well, just so dang gentle, they're all beautiful, mature, stylish, polite and cute. (Swiss men, on the other hand, behave more or less the same as Canadian people).

It makes me feel awkward sometimes... like a big loud elephant among gazelles, even though I myself am very petite and can be ultra-feminine when I want to be.
Believe me: We are not nice and gentle. Don't confuse politeness with gentleness. And most of us can be very pointed, while still minding manners. Dressing nicely is just another way of showing respect to the other people we are meeting in daily life. It's a sign of showing "I care" - because no-one would like to look at unwashed faces, greasy hair, dirty clothing, belching and swearing items. It's a very small effort to drive a comb through your hair, use a clean t-shirt, use a deodorant and if you're feeling posh - iron your shirt before wearing.

On the elephant issue: I feel quite elephantish myself (but not as much as back in Japan), as I am a tad taller than average, I don't wear shoes what ruin my feet (but lend the wearer a "feminine" walk (or crippled, depending on the lady). I ignore trends and fashion, and define my own style; I have a brain, I use it regularely and I don't hide the fact: so yes, I know the feeling of sticking out only too well.

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My Swiss boyfriend says I'm just inventing things in my head... but I KNOW there are some messed up gender things going on in Switzerland. For example:

-Sooo many Swiss women are housewives.
-Military service is mandatory for men, but not women.
-Women didn't get the VOTE until SEVENTIES, for crying out loud....
No - there are quite some issues - you do see this right. But it's the old game "If you are in Rome, behave like a Roman. Or remain a visitor"

On the issues you mentioned above:
- It's a slow change - but change is on. At the moment, there are still too few options for working parents (part-time), daycare is horribly expensive, and if a couple (especially men) can't reduce their work on part-time to have some time with his children, usually the family settles on "the one with the lower income becomes the stay-at-home-parent". As even today women earn less than men - it's the woman what becomes a house-wife and soccer-mum.
The need for change is here, but politics still slack behind. It took us more than 3 attempts to have a paid maternity leave...

- I long for the day when mandatory military service for men will be over.

- Ehm - the 90ies please. At least in one canton. And yes - we are nearly as bad as Saudi Arabia. Until 1989 a women needed the permission of her husband to work outside the house. You see - we women are catching up. When I went to school, there was a poster in the tram, sporting "imagine, in the Council Federal is also a male member" - to change the perspective, as at that point Ms Dreyfuss was the only woman in the council.

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So.... am I crazy, or is there some truth to this?
Nope - not crazy, but don't confuse gender roles with manners ;-)
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  #32  
Old 30.06.2011, 10:28
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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use a deodorant and if you're feeling posh
Woah Woah Woah!!

is this why the trains smell so bad in the summer?

Deodorant, is not elective... perfume/cologne on the other hand...

and OP, you haven't said where you're coming from? "I'm from Canada", is like "I'm from Asia" or "I'm from Oceana"; means nothing.

Aside from that... I do understand what you're getting at, but at 24... I'm sorry, but only in very certain circles is that kind of "freedom" even remotely acceptable (yes, even in the great wild north). 16, maybe tolerated, but 24?
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Old 30.06.2011, 10:31
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

I think you're just experiencing the culture shock of coming to Switzerland, and yeah it's shocking.

Especially coming from Canada, were society, culture, manner and respect are so drastically advanced (not always a great thing), it does sometimes feel a bit backwards here.

But they have had it this way for a long time, and are very set in their ways, so the best bet is to take the 'melting pot' approach and just try your best to blend in and follow suit. Or be strong and proud, but be prepared for backlash and akwardness. C'est la vie!
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Old 30.06.2011, 10:34
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

*gg* it is the complaints corner, isn't it? I am just sometimes wondering whether people don't think it might not be a bad idea to refresh their deodorant in the afternoon, especially if it's a warm summer afternoon.

On the excessive use of perfume... Ouch. I get headaches easily when sitting next to someone who apparently took a bath in that substance.
I usually inquire if they did - the reactions one can imagine. Though it is easy to overdose with perfume, especially if one is using it daily - the nose becomes accustomed to the smell, and the lady (or gent) doesn't "smell" the scent anymore, unless another two or three splashes are applied...
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Old 30.06.2011, 11:00
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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Woah Woah Woah!!

is this why the trains smell so bad in the summer?

Deodorant, is not elective... perfume/cologne on the other hand...

and OP, you haven't said where you're coming from? "I'm from Canada", is like "I'm from Asia" or "I'm from Oceana"; means nothing.

Aside from that... I do understand what you're getting at, but at 24... I'm sorry, but only in very certain circles is that kind of "freedom" even remotely acceptable (yes, even in the great wild north). 16, maybe tolerated, but 24?
I believe she said previously that she can be feminine, so I am assuming she would act lady like in a nice restaurant or another quality situation. I believe she knows the difference. Right julsiebear? Please don't embarrass me and say no!
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Old 30.06.2011, 11:09
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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I believe she said previously that she can be feminine, so I am assuming she would act lady like in a nice restaurant or another quality situation. I believe she knows the difference. Right julsiebear? Please don't embarrass me and say no!
Well, she can't exactly come back saying no, now can she?
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Old 30.06.2011, 11:14
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

Young women: They drink but not excessively. They are loud but not Canadian loud. Quite often it's the girlfriend who's "wearing the pants." Families are important. Careers as well but there is still the problem of being a working mother.

Working mothers:
It's very hard to be a working mother here. School hours change daily. Kids eat lunch at home. There are lots of school days off throughout the year. Unless you have a mother, family or good friends available for babysitting, it's easier just to stay at home.

Be kind to the Swiss women. They are trying so hard to do what they feel is right for their family and for themselves.
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Old 30.06.2011, 11:27
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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*gg* it is the complaints corner, isn't it? I am just sometimes wondering whether people don't think it might not be a bad idea to refresh their deodorant in the afternoon, especially if it's a warm summer afternoon.

On the excessive use of perfume... Ouch. I get headaches easily when sitting next to someone who apparently took a bath in that substance.
I usually inquire if they did - the reactions one can imagine. Though it is easy to overdose with perfume, especially if one is using it daily - the nose becomes accustomed to the smell, and the lady (or gent) doesn't "smell" the scent anymore, unless another two or three splashes are applied...
Haha! I'll be careful who I sit beside the next time I ride a train or tram and decide on an impromptu perfume top-up.
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Old 30.06.2011, 11:31
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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Working mothers:
It's very hard to be a working mother here. School hours change daily. Kids eat lunch at home. There are lots of school days off throughout the year. Unless you have a mother, family or good friends available for babysitting, it's easier just to stay at home.
I found out yesterday from one of my students that, by law, women have 14 weeks maternity leave, and men only have 2 days (or something equally short), and that there is no such thing as paternity leave (as in if the mother wanted to return to work just after having the baby and the father wanted to stay at home). It has to be said that Swiss legislation makes it extremely difficult to challenge "traditional" gender roles.
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Old 30.06.2011, 11:35
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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....Be kind to the Swiss women. They are trying so hard to do what they feel is right for their family and for themselves.

How about just be kind to everyone, I don't think it's a gender role to do what is right for family and one's self.
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