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Old 20.04.2017, 15:35
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Female and Asian here in Switzerland

I thought about posting this in the daily life section because this happens so often here, its almost part of daily life for me.

Sexism case 1
Stranger: Are you visiting Switzerland?
Me: No, actually I've been living here for the past 2 years
Stranger: Oh! Did you because of your husband's job?
Me: No, I'm not married and I'm here because my company posted me to Zurich.
Stranger: Oh really?
Me: Yes, really.

Sexism case 2
Me: I need to file taxes.
Acquaintance: You mean help your husband file taxes?
Me: I'm not married! I file my own taxes.
Acquaintance: But if you don't make more than $x amount you're taxed at source honey, don't worry
Me: But I.... oh nevermind

Racism case 1
Stranger: Where are you from?
Me: Singapore.
Stranger: Wow, you work here! I've heard its very hard for Asian passport holders to come much less work in Switzerland
Me: Asia is a huge continent with a lot of countries and the Singapore passport is pretty awesome actually
Stranger: Yah, but you need qualifications to come
Me: And?
Stranger: Asian qualifications are not recognized here
Me: Oh really?

Racism case 2
Stranger: You speak English without a weird accent
Me: Erm, thank

Sigh... plus side of things is I've yet to experience overt racism or sexism here. It's still a relatively safe place being female and asian given what is going on in the rest of Europe I guess!
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Old 20.04.2017, 15:46
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

I think you nailed it. I've encountered other gems as an Eastern European, people thinking I am an au-pair to my kid...assuming I have no career nor education and am here for passport advantages and run away from war, certainly. But then you shrug that off and get a good chuckle out of things. Once I had my kid's teacher run to me on the street saying my accent is hard to miss and she would like to say Hi! Lol...I think I prefer that to the PC nonsence, tbh.
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Old 20.04.2017, 17:58
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

Not forgetting having a meeting with external clients (who do not know you yet) and then being asked to serve/get some coffee. Always a nice moment to see the look on their faces when they realize the meeting is with me
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Old 20.04.2017, 17:59
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

As a fellow Asian female immigrant, I'm sadly familiar with all of the above exchanges (except for case 1 as I did start off as a trailing spouse). I'm not sure whether "Asian female" really has much to do with it though as my male expat friends of all colours and origins seem to get them too

I still find those remarks always annoying and sometimes offensive after a few years of dealing with them, but I have also learnt to take them as a sign of lack of worldliness and sophistication from the person and use it as a cue to guide my future interactions with them.

After all, they are basically just spitting out the first thing they can associate with you and that's never a sophisticated way of communicating with anyone!
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Old 20.04.2017, 18:11
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

Ouch.
Yes, people can be ignorant.
The worst I've had so far, personally, were two doctors(!) who went something like "lol haha you have an accent!"
Made sure never to go back to them. That might not be possible with clients and coworkers though...
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Old 20.04.2017, 18:21
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

Sexism is, unfortunately, a really big thing here that people are only just starting to understand. :/
The number of times I've been in town with female friends and heard people say things like 'jolis seins' to them…

But I don't think that's necessarily racism that you're describing. It's probably more a mix of ignorance and curiosity. I used to live in East Asia and despite speaking the language of the country I was in, people would often answer me in English, make comments about my accent, or ask me 'where in America [I] come from.' At first I always took the time to insist on speaking the local language and told them that not all white people come from America. After a while I just stopped and consoled myself by bitching about such people with other foreign friends in private. ^^
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Old 20.04.2017, 19:01
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

Find something nice and choice to say in Swiss German, preferably with Zurich dialect, practice to get it good, wait until a suitable opportunity comes along, lert rip, stand back and ask if that's better.

It's great looking at their faces whilst your speaking, classic
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Old 20.04.2017, 19:16
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

Do you really think that because I'm Swiss I have it that much easier?!? OK, not the racism, but the sexism definitely.

Try being a full-time worker mum and look at strangers expressing concerns at your children's well-being, which must obviously be at risk with such a selfish mother who dares putting them in daycare!
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Old 20.04.2017, 19:25
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

"Sexism is, unfortunately, a really big thing here that people are only just starting to understand. :/
The number of times I've been in town with female friends and heard people say things like 'jolis seins' to them…"


Now, not to take anything away from the OP's comments which are very valid (and similarly experienceable in London, Paris...)...
...but honest to god chomp, your comment is incredibly Irritable, an irritable and pathetic comment dealing more with sexual harassment and not sexism.

But seeing as you brought it up and whilst we're on the matter then, right so you often hear the words "nice breasts" in French directed at the women you are walking with...and only ever in French, NEVER in English or in any other language?? Absolute pure pish

And this "problem" you claim they have here, my guess is you must come from a village somewhere, because if you call that abuse, your head must zip from the back! You have no idea. This is what I call abuse and this is what I have experienced same as other women in such stand-up nations as the UK and the US where screams of "show us yer fanny hen!", "Oy, ca'món darlin'! just a quickie" and "Yo bitch come suck ma dick".

That is sexual harassment, and not something you encounter here. As for the OP, I take it ALL these examples were with men only, and all were Swiss?
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Old 20.04.2017, 19:28
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

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Do you really think that because I'm Swiss I have it that much easier?!? OK, not the racism, but the sexism definitely.

Try being a full-time worker mum and look at strangers expressing concerns at your children's well-being, which must obviously be at risk with such a selfish mother who dares putting them in daycare!
Yes
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Old 20.04.2017, 19:31
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

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I take it ALL these examples were with men only, and all were Swiss?[/I]
And the same would happen in Germany, in Austria, in a lot of countries. I do not think this is typical Swiss.

A friend of mine (German) is married to a Korean. People still think "he couldn´t get a German female" or with others "mail order bride".
Even my husband´s aunt asked my MIL whether my husband couldn´t find a proper German girl (I´m white/Dutch). Plain stupidity and that you´ll find in any country.
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Old 20.04.2017, 19:42
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

Also lovely for me: Walking around with my dad (Swiss, age difference between us more than 30 years) and random acquaintances assuming I'm his wife, because they know/have heard that his wife is Asian.
Then when I tell them in Swiss German that I am in fact the daughter, they are surprised that I even speak Swiss German, for whatever reason...
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Old 20.04.2017, 20:03
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

Wehn studying in NYC, I got remarks because of wearing my hair very short. Only black people loved it and wanted to touch. People told me that I was remarkably white, coming from Swaziland, only my dark hair looked the part.

I found the obsession about breasts quite funny. When I wanted to get drinks for free, I had to don a certain T-shirt and it worked like a charm. Never had the same luck in Switzerland.

And I was asked if we had proper toilets in Switzerland. My NYC one was very capricious and when you flushed, your roommates cried out for getting boiling water in the shower.

I was frowned upon changing in the changing room - for ballet class - without draping a towel around me.

I became a sort of wonder-woman among my classmates because I could cook "from scratch"! "Where do you get those amazing vegetables?" I lived not far of the NYC fruit belt and I just loved to get to the wholesalers who had the ripest and most delicious vegs, great prices - loved it. My friends were amazed that such a thing existed in their city!

And when i went back for good, they really pitied me, going back to such an underdeveloped country somewhere in Sweden. Where I still dwell.
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Old 20.04.2017, 20:44
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

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Yes

Says the man with a stay-at-home wife
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Old 20.04.2017, 21:22
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

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Says the man with a stay-at-home wife
Wow, very personal and uncalled for. Not to mention not true and even if it was there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mother.
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Old 20.04.2017, 21:32
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

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nothing wrong with being a stay at home mother.
Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Whatever your choice is, stay at home or work
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Old 20.04.2017, 21:33
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

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there is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mother.
There isn't indeed. And that wasn't my point.

What I resented was the judgment on my situation - i.e getting sexist comments from strangers just like the OP despite the fact that I'm Swiss - from someone who I feel is not really able to judge the situation, if only becaus being male makes it difficult to place oneself in the opposite sex's position.
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Old 20.04.2017, 21:51
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

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There isn't indeed. And that wasn't my point.

What I resented was the judgment on my situation - i.e getting sexist comments from strangers just like the OP despite the fact that I'm Swiss - from someone who I feel is not really able to judge the situation, if only becaus being male makes it difficult to place oneself in the opposite sex's position.
So what was your point? Just to personally attack me?

Your situation which is nothing like the OPs, as you admitted in your post that she has the sexist element and the race element. Your 'poor me' post was nothing but to belittle the OPs plight which, by your admission, is worse than yours; and then to personally insult me and my Wife.

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Old 20.04.2017, 22:01
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

I am not sure, but it seems to be much easier to be prostitute in Switzerland than making a career in any business sectors.
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Old 20.04.2017, 22:03
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Re: Female and Asian here in Switzerland

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I am not sure, but it seems to be much easier to be prostitute in Switzerland than making a career in any business sectors.
By the sounds of it there's probably less sexism involved too.
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