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Old 30.06.2011, 11:51
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

I guess there is no way to ask such questions without inciting flames.

My experience has been - > 25 years in Switzerland - that women here tend to be less outgoing/open than in other places.
Women's solidarity comes at a price if at all.
One of my best friends - a swiss woman - said you have to wait for solidarity in this country till the woman is out of child bearing age .

Anyway, generalizations are never a help.

City women are definitely generally slimmer and quite stilish than in some other countries around Switzerland, but again I guess it depends where you live (city vs. town vs. village?)

Relational aggression is an unspoken topic in Switzerland, my experience has been that if you are a career woman in a certain position these allegedly teenager behaviours happen quite often between "mature" women.
Again, that is one impression among many.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_aggression

Manners are always appreciated - actually they really should be a requirement for any adult person - and as a guest in this country you have to make the first move if you want to meet other people

Sounds like most other places?
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Old 30.06.2011, 11:57
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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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.
Only too true. And this (paid) maternity leave is only too recent. Before it wasn't allowed to work during the maternity period, consequently also no pay...

As I said - the need to change is here - but the political will is slacking behind.
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Old 30.06.2011, 12:03
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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I guess there is no way to ask such questions without inciting flames.

My experience has been - > 25 years in Switzerland - that women here tend to be less outgoing/open than in other places.
Women's solidarity comes at a price if at all.
One of my best friends - a swiss woman - said you have to wait for solidarity in this country till the woman is out of child bearing age .

Anyway, generalizations are never a help.

City women are definitely generally slimmer and quite stilish than in some other countries around Switzerland, but again I guess it depends where you live (city vs. town vs. village?)

Relational aggression is an unspoken topic in Switzerland, my experience has been that if you are a career woman in a certain position these allegedly teenager behaviours happen quite often between "mature" women.
Again, that is one impression among many.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_aggression

Manners are always appreciated - actually they really should be a requirement for any adult person - and as a guest in this country you have to make the first move if you want to meet other people

Sounds like most other places?

I agree with quite a bit of the this post. The only differences I felt, were that I don't find Swiss women (city or not) to be stylish at all-I feel that they like to follow trends or combind copies of other fashion style meccas, but I see a general lack of real style.

And it's very true, that you should make the first move if you're new in a foreign country, but that shouldn't be the rule, and it definitely isn't like that in other countries. Many countries bend over backwards to help assist and welcome foreigners--and do whatever they can (commonly at a personal cost) to make the foreigners fell comfortable and included.
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  #44  
Old 30.06.2011, 12:06
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

I had to have a good belly laugh at the "skinny dipping" part. Half the EF was up in arms the other week because nudity is apparently all over the place here in Switzerland.

Naked saunas and naked kids running around in playgrounds.

Seems it's actually Canada leading the world in getting your kit off...

Gender roles in Switzerland - try telling that to the wife of my husband's friend. She's a qualified mechanic for BMW.
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  #45  
Old 30.06.2011, 12:10
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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.

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.

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....

So.... am I crazy, or is there some truth to this?
As a Canadian guy the same age as you, maybe I can add something to this discussion. First, in Canada, there are probably two different groups we can generalize (doesn't include everyone):
a) the majority of the people who are okay with your everyday kind of behaviour
and
b) the smaller minority who would be disgusted if you burped because they are too posh for that kind of stuff. They can be found scattered about, but mostly concentrated in big city centers such as downtown Vancouver or Toronto.

My sister belongs to group b, and if you lived in her circle of friends in downtown vancouver, you would probably feel too embarrassed to act as you usually do.

In Switzerland, it's just the other way around, that minority in Canada, is the majority here. That being said, there still are some girls here who will chug a beer with you. You just have to look a little harder.

Ultimately my point is, no one can generalize and say that all canadian girls are way different than the swiss girls. The ratios of posh to our definition of normal is just different.
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  #46  
Old 30.06.2011, 12:15
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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I had to have a good belly laugh at the "skinny dipping" part. Half the EF was up in arms the other week because nudity is apparently so offensive here in Switzerland.
I'd also like to point out that this isn't just the case amongst women. My boyfriend (French) can be a bit of an exhibitionist. In his hometown, he's been known to skinny-dip (he comes from an island) but, when he first moved here and tried it, people were shocked and ultimately he ended up pretty embarrassed! (It doesn't help that people also didn't mind when he did this in England).

Having said all that, people may have been shocked because he's 1970s hairy.
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Old 30.06.2011, 12:30
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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As a Canadian guy the same age as you, maybe I can add something to this discussion. First, in Canada, there are probably two different groups we can generalize (doesn't include everyone):
a) the majority of the people who are okay with your everyday kind of behaviour
and
b) the smaller minority who would be disgusted if you burped because they are too posh for that kind of stuff. They can be found scattered about, but mostly concentrated in big city centers such as downtown Vancouver or Toronto.
It's funny how the "advanced" (I hear that a lot, just paraphrasing) society of Canada seems to pretty much match that of the youth in the Swiss countryside; unrefined, uncouth, easy to meet/open-minded, drunk and smaller gender-divide (girls behaving like boys)

Before you give me a (deserved) groan, I grew up in the Swiss countryside so I know what I'm talking about.
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Old 30.06.2011, 12:33
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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It's funny how the "advanced" (I hear that a lot, just paraphrasing) society of Canada seems to pretty much match that of the youth in the Swiss countryside; unrefined, uncouth, easy to meet/open-minded, drunk and smaller gender-divide (girls behaving like boys)

Before you give me a (deserved) groan, I grew up in the Swiss countryside so I know what I'm talking about.
Only certain circles... only certain circles.

They're just louder so you notice them more.
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  #49  
Old 30.06.2011, 12:40
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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-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....
As far as I can see there is only Israel and a handful of countries on the African continent that have mandatory military service for women. Why should Switzerland become the only country in the Western world that operates this?

C'mon!
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Old 30.06.2011, 13:16
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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Well, she can't exactly come back saying no, now can she?
She can, she is from Canada. But, even if she doesn't, if she hasn't already, maybe we helped her turn the corner of what is acceptable and what is not, eh? All this Canada stuff is affecting my typing. Oh no!
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  #51  
Old 30.06.2011, 13:25
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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So.... am I crazy, or is there some truth to this?
No you are definitely not crazy, you're just Canadian A.K.A Fun People
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  #52  
Old 30.06.2011, 13:36
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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I agree with quite a bit of the this post. The only differences I felt, were that I don't find Swiss women (city or not) to be stylish at all-I feel that they like to follow trends or combind copies of other fashion style meccas, but I see a general lack of real style.
I don't find Swiss women to be more or less stylish than all the others around the globe.

Every time I hear the same thing about the OH SO GREAT French and Italian women I wonder "are we talking about the same Rome and Paris I visited so many times"? I didn't notice anything special about the fashionable women there.

If we talk about Swiss teenagers, then it comes to a whole different topic: they are way more "over-dressed" than any other girl their age I know, that sometimes, to my dismay, I have problems being sure the young woman I am looking at is really a woman. The extreme excess of make-up, extra fake hair style, abusive décolleté and chubby legs remind me far too much to drag queens. On the other hand, it seems to be what young men (and less young men) find attractive here. Fashionable? I put my reservations there... Sexy? Well… I consider Marlene Dietrich sexy, so I might bet he wrong person to be judging Swiss teenager fashion…
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  #53  
Old 30.06.2011, 13:56
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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b) the smaller minority who would be disgusted if you burped because they are too posh for that kind of stuff. They can be found scattered about, but mostly concentrated in big city centers such as downtown Vancouver or Toronto.
posh [pɒʃ] Informal chiefly Brit
adj
1. smart, elegant, or fashionable; exclusive
2. upper-class or genteel



Is it really considered ''upper-class'' to not burp ?!
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  #54  
Old 30.06.2011, 14:00
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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Every time I hear the same thing about the OH SO GREAT French and Italian women I wonder "are we talking about the same Rome and Paris I visited so many times"? I didn't notice anything special about the fashionable women there.
That's probably because you were roaming the touristy sites..
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Old 30.06.2011, 14:09
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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That's probably because you were roaming the touristy sites..
Opposite to common belief, a woman knows how to read a map (that awful old version in which the most direct route was not vomited out of an electronic device). And the best way to see a city is to get lost or take the long route (or ignore the woman screaming "PLEASE TAKE THE NEXT RIGHT" and just turn left).


P.S.: The most stylish women in Rome are still in the touristic places though... It all depends on the type of tourism we are talking about here...
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Old 30.06.2011, 14:16
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

My daughter is at a pivotal age - 11 - and I have been watching how the Swiss girls around her this year have influenced her development. Most obviously, gone are the tie-dye tees and flower power pants! It's pretty chic over here, and now it's all about skinny jeans, hoop earrings, ballet flats.

I find the girls quiet, discreet, graceful, and restrained compared to their anglophone counterparts. They are quite aware that they are pretty, and now my daughter is, too. But they are also gracious, confident without being necessarily haughty, and capable.

I certainly think Swiss girls and women behave in a more feminine way than your average American gal. But these scarf-bearing men wearing baby blue shirts with yellow blazers with all that gel in their hair - are arguably more feminine, too. And graceful, discreet and courteous.
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Old 30.06.2011, 14:42
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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My daughter is at a pivotal age - 11 - and I have been watching how the Swiss girls around her this year have influenced her development. Most obviously, gone are the tie-dye tees and flower power pants! It's pretty chic over here, and now it's all about skinny jeans, hoop earrings, ballet flats.

I find the girls quiet, discreet, graceful, and restrained compared to their anglophone counterparts. They are quite aware that they are pretty, and now my daughter is, too. But they are also gracious, confident without being necessarily haughty, and capable.

I certainly think Swiss girls and women behave in a more feminine way than your average American gal. But these scarf-bearing men wearing baby blue shirts with yellow blazers with all that gel in their hair - are arguably more feminine, too. And graceful, discreet and courteous.

awww, but I love american girls!

http://i.imgur.com/xUFPU.gif
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Old 30.06.2011, 14:49
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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If we talk about Swiss teenagers, then it comes to a whole different topic: they are way more "over-dressed" than any other girl their age I know, that sometimes, to my dismay, I have problems being sure the young woman I am looking at is really a woman. The extreme excess of make-up, extra fake hair style, abusive décolleté and chubby legs remind me far too much to drag queens. On the other hand, it seems to be what young men (and less young men) find attractive here. Fashionable? I put my reservations there... Sexy? Well… I consider Marlene Dietrich sexy, so I might bet he wrong person to be judging Swiss teenager fashion…
You're sure you're not mixing up Swiss with Essex girls?
And I have to disagree with your assessment of French and Italian girls... their reputation is well deserved and acknowledged the world over, slim and well-dressed but with just a bit more charm than our Swiss misses.
The more North you go the worse it gets, with the lovely exception of Sweden. (they do all run around naked up there don't they?)
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Old 30.06.2011, 15:03
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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You're sure you're not mixing up Swiss with Essex girls? [IMG]file:///C:/DOKUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOKALE%7E1/Temp/msohtml1/01/clip_image001.gif[/IMG]
And I have to disagree with your assessment of French and Italian girls... their reputation is well deserved and acknowledged the world over, slim and well-dressed but with just a bit more charm than our Swiss misses.
The more North you go the worse it gets, with the lovely exception of Sweden. [IMG]file:///C:/DOKUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOKALE%7E1/Temp/msohtml1/01/clip_image002.gif[/IMG](they do all run around naked up there don't they?)
Well, since I come from the South, I will just go with the flow and take that as a compliment! AH! Take that! hihihihihihi

I don't know if it's the feminist in me, that once and a while feels like making a pile of Cosmopolitans and Under bras and pour some good old gasoline on it, but I do have some problems with the whole "Nationality X" dresses better than "Nationality Y". (don’t have problems discussing who dresses more slutty, though)

I remember being in the Pergamonmuseum and while slobbering over an awesome reconstruction from a Sumerian pillar, I saw a young Japanese girl passing by in a dark blue kimono. "Wow, that is one beautifully dressed woman". One room later I see a black woman on a heavy print colourful dress. "Wow, that is one beautifully dressed woman". Then I scratched my heels in between my damn old flat sandals and put my old geek t-shirt in place, while my husband told me “you look really cute today”.

I think I’m gonna steal some Cosmopolitans and make a barbecue today! Fashion makes me feel all eeky!
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Old 30.06.2011, 15:06
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Re: Gender roles in Switzerland

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The more North you go the worse it gets, with the lovely exception of Sweden.
Sweden? They know NOTHING about style!

Norwegian women, on the other hand, do. And the food is better, too.

Tom
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