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  #61  
Old 07.02.2011, 22:58
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

I am going to go for the groans on this one but I can tell you who I think is the man in this relationship.
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Old 07.02.2011, 23:00
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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You know, some countries are so politically correct, they would even allow a woman to become Prime Minister?

That's a cross-dresser!
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Old 07.02.2011, 23:01
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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My mother did not just agree, she told me to take care of the whole stuff
Our mothers were obviously very different. Mine btw was born 1915 but was way ahead of her time. Don't know - but maybe you could have talked to her and persuaded her that SHE should use her vote, because HER views did matter in a free and democratic society - despite what she had been told in the past. Would you have eaten her food ration, or spent her pension for her? An honest question - not a criticism W.
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Old 07.02.2011, 23:02
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

Seriously though, back on topic....having grown up as a man and in a country where the whole sufferage debate was long over by the time that I was aware of things it was a real shocker to chat to one of my friend's mom in the UK. She remembers being an adult and not having a vote or being allowed to have her own bank account.
It is a good thing that the world is changing.
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Old 07.02.2011, 23:03
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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This has been a real problem in some Asian communities in the UK.
You're correct, of course... but I don't think it is a problem, in reality. Or, at least, not a problem that can ever be solved.

The thing is that liberal democracy relies upon various things that are, quite frankly, slightly risible in the real world. It presumes that voters look at the positions of various parties, consider them rationallly, then vote with either the interests of the nation, or, at the very least, their own interests at heart.

Unfortunately, very few people actually do that. People vote according to their gut reactions; people vote according to how their parents voted; people vote according to the way their MP voted in a debate about fishing quotas ten years before; people vote according to their religion; people vote according to their distrust of women or homosexuals or Muslims or Christians or Jews or black people; people vote according to the mood they're in; people vote according to what they've read in the papers, or discussed in the pub, or heard in the madrassah.

Liberal democracy presumes that we are all rational islands in a sea of presumption, when all the evidence suggests that all of us - even the clever people at dinner parties in North London - are prisoners of our own cultures, our own prejudices, our own preconceived ideas.

Bangadeshi girls who let their brothers vote for them in dingy Victorian schoolhouses in the Midlands are not much different from lecturers at community colleges who vote Labour because, well, because they do.

Have you ever, honestly, met a truly rational political creature?
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Old 07.02.2011, 23:07
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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If you want the Swiss to be critical about something Swiss, just compliment them on it and then you will have a real fight on your hands...I have found them to be fairly self-critical at this stage although it is early days.

What would weejeem's avatar say?
In the great book of Oxymorons, Swiss and self-critical & self-objective, have top ranking!!!

no serious...self-ironic, self-critical and self-objectiveness are things that you can't accuse swiss to be...only when it comes to others!
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  #67  
Old 07.02.2011, 23:27
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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..

Have you ever, honestly, met a truly rational political creature?
Ok, we are back to Soviet Russia, again. I think what you wrote is maybe in cultures that take voting for granted. Since there will always be enough opinionated people to make the voting system work. Even there, I don't think if people vote, they do it on a whim or momentary state of mind or fashion. For those who couldn't make a difference for hundred of years, they really do think about their votes, in fact they go over them and over and over and they take pride in going to the voting urn and they cry. The first thing ladies did when they could after 1989 (and they officially could vote way before, but we could only vote douchbags, our votes counted for nothing, since it was all fake). I think there is a different dynamics in cultures where nobody can vote and then voila, all of a sudden all can, as opposed to cultures where guys only can vote and then, reluctantly, the chicks, and cultures that could vote for decades, already, both genders. Btw I wonder what would happen if allowed people vote at 16, not 18.

Nobody is discriminating against cultures that consider voting pointless or that consider chick voting pointless or those who have poorly executed campaigns pointless, I do not have patronizing view, even though it sounds like it. Stating that's the way things are, not bad nor good, just a simple anthropological fact is not going to steer any progress though (neither does pointing fingers, sure) but no matter what letting women vote meant a giant positive change towards improving their chances for careers, positive image, confidence, respect, independence, financial situ, etc. Since although they might not need it now, they might later. Or their daughters. Or their sons will need a different mindset towards women... I only think that liberal democracy is functioning if people in fact exercise their rights, ie one of them is the right (and I say civic duty) to vote. Who cares for the decoration, like the dinner parties or whatever else stereotype wise. It's just a little bit of theatrics that all cultures have.

To be fair, I also think on one hand we hold very pc opinions coz we have to, on the other, on personal level, we ain't quite there yet. Maybe it is the cultures who are open about their traditional ways, are just more open about a lot of things we still think as well, but don't dare to vent anymore since it has become un-pc.
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  #68  
Old 08.02.2011, 00:38
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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Have you ever, honestly, met a truly rational political creature?


See, polictically honest.

Is politics not just one of the external abstractions that us humans like to partake in.

You know, from the inside:
id -> ego -> super ego
outside
family -> social group -> culture/nation
Politics is just part of the external and by itself is neither rational nor irrational and is never be represented by just one person. I almost feel that it is wrong to say "that man's politics" as it politics itself can't really exist with just one man/woman(just to palcate the .....jk).
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  #69  
Old 08.02.2011, 09:15
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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It does seem that many women still (and NOT just in CH) vote as instructed by the men in their lives.
No, I just always date women who share my views.

Tom
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Old 08.02.2011, 18:06
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

Until Switzerland as a society - as a nation, wake up and realize that it's EXTREMELY difficult for women to resume a career with the crazy school hours - 2 hour lunches, 3 afternoons a week no school. Until the school day is standardized (day school) and becomes the norm - any talk of women's equality or women's rights is simply HOT AIR.

At the moment - the school system is set up in a way that binds a parent (usually the women) to the home every lunchtime for 2 hours, and 2 or 3 times a week from 12-16.00.

Yes, there are tagesheims and you can hire help. But what message is this sending? I really hope that Switzerland will enter this century soon and implement regular day schools nationwide which will then help women to re-enter the workforce.

Of course there are many strong independent minded Swiss women - lets hope they create the momentum to change society!!
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  #71  
Old 08.02.2011, 18:14
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

I suppose if I ask what the relationship between choosing to have children and women's rights is, other than the obvious, I will be shot, right?

I think community and family are the solution to children's daycare, i.e. having reliable/practical daycare will allow women who really want to have a career, to have one.

Give me a home in a community, three grandmas and enough money to eat, drink and have a little fun and I will look after the little blighters while everybody goes to work.
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  #72  
Old 08.02.2011, 18:16
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

It seems that your problem are local/Cantonal not generally Swiss Stephanie. Here in Neuchatel, kids have the same hours every day- and only Wednesday pm free. If I were a young mum/parent faced with those difficulties (I went back to Uni then worked full time as soon as youngest started school) - I think I'd try and organize a suitable room and a rosta with lots of others + shared staff to overcome this. I have friends in Paris who have done this very successfully. Bonne chance.
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  #73  
Old 08.02.2011, 18:21
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

My grand-children are the apple of my eye - and I love them so much.
I'll always be there to help - even though I'm in CH and they in UK. but I'd jump on the next plane if I am ever needed, or in an emergency. I'll look after them during holidays, illness, whatever.
And yet - NO - I will not bring them up for my daughters, and my daughters would never expect this either. I find it astonishing that so many parents expect grand-parents to be free child-carers and not to have a life of their own.
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  #74  
Old 08.02.2011, 18:32
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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It seems that your problem are local/Cantonal not generally Swiss Stephanie. Here in Neuchatel, kids have the same hours every day- and only Wednesday pm free. If I were a young mum/parent faced with those difficulties (I went back to Uni then worked full time as soon as youngest started school) - I think I'd try and organize a suitable room and a rosta with lots of others + shared staff to overcome this. I have friends in Paris who have done this very successfully. Bonne chance.

Hi Odile,
We have block time where I live too (same hours everyday) but it doesn't change the fact that those hours are still extremely limiting for any kind of outside work life for a women. Here the hours are 8am - 12 every morning. And 2 afternoons a week 2 - 3.45pm (raising to 3 afternoons in primary class 4)

Do schools in your area have lunch provision too? (I'm happy for the women there if they do)

I hear what you're saying about rostas and the like. I've been there and tried it. What I found was this. People are extremely helpful and willing to help out on the occasional basis - but no-one was willing to enter a 'fixed agreement' ie. I take your child for this time and you take yours.

In my own situation I've been extremely lucky in that a) I have an amazing, forward thinking employer who work around my availability. b) My hubby was able to reduce to 90% - therefore I work 4 mornings a week 'out of the house' 2 afternoons a week 'home office' and a full day a week at work. But my situation certainly isn't normal!!

The point is, women should not have to scrabble around asking for favours and setting up rostas so they can be available to work or study outside the home for more than a 4 hour stretch. If you look across Europe, from the UK, to France even Italy, you'll see standard full day school structures which enable women to at least go out of the house and put in a 6 hour day without the tremendous logistical headache of arranging childcare.

This is not even about (as Colin hinted in his post) women having babies and then disappearing back to full time work quickly (although there is nothing wrong with doing that) What I'm talking about is, after having stayed pretty much at home for 5 years - shouldn't a women then be able to look to re-enter the workforce? And shouldn't a system and society be set up in a way that allows that to happen 'as the norm'?

Why should having children automatically mean that the default life for a women should be housewife until that child is 15?? I mean why even bother to educate women, why even bother to build a career as a women if the expectation is once they've had children they'll stay at home for 20 years. And this IS how society is set up here in CH at the moment. Which is why any talk of women's rights here, just makes me laugh!!

When I tell friends and colleagues from around the world what women have to work with here with regards to the school hours - they simply cannot believe it.

ps) I've had no help from my mother in law at all - and that's fine. I take the responsibility for bringing up my son. But goodness me - with these school hours, the odds are stacked against any women hoping to re-establish a career!
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  #75  
Old 08.02.2011, 18:40
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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You're correct, of course... but I don't think it is a problem, in reality. Or, at least, not a problem that can ever be solved.

The thing is that liberal democracy relies upon various things that are, quite frankly, slightly risible in the real world. It presumes that voters look at the positions of various parties, consider them rationallly, then vote with either the interests of the nation, or, at the very least, their own interests at heart.

Unfortunately, very few people actually do that. People vote according to their gut reactions; people vote according to how their parents voted; people vote according to the way their MP voted in a debate about fishing quotas ten years before; people vote according to their religion; people vote according to their distrust of women or homosexuals or Muslims or Christians or Jews or black people; people vote according to the mood they're in; people vote according to what they've read in the papers, or discussed in the pub, or heard in the madrassah.

Liberal democracy presumes that we are all rational islands in a sea of presumption, when all the evidence suggests that all of us - even the clever people at dinner parties in North London - are prisoners of our own cultures, our own prejudices, our own preconceived ideas.

Bangadeshi girls who let their brothers vote for them in dingy Victorian schoolhouses in the Midlands are not much different from lecturers at community colleges who vote Labour because, well, because they do.

Have you ever, honestly, met a truly rational political creature?
This is silly. I've never heard anyone say that people always vote along purely rational lines. I don't even do that . . . partly because we don't even have a good idea of what that rational approach would be!

I think we can say that in some cases, people will try to inform themselves and after reading some newspapers, watching the telly, talking to some friends . . . they might, just might, vote in a way that their parents didn't.

But, as ever, you're confusing a description of the situation with a suggestion for what might be a better approach. I know that sometimes people vote on racial lines, for instance, but I think they ought to make their decision on non-racial lines.

Your straw men are so flimsy sometimes.
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  #76  
Old 08.02.2011, 18:53
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

Stephanie I am with you and all young mums on this one. Yes, the big difference with UK is lunchtimes, but otherwise hours are pretty much the same. It is a huge struggle for my daughter and sil in the UK - but you are right, lunchtimes are covered and the Wednesday pm is not an issue.
As said before I went to full time study when youngest started school, then taught full time. Of course I usually could get back earlier than most- so I was lucky.
Asking for 'favours' is very difficult on a regular basis, which is why I was thinking about organising a 'proper' structure - rent a room (perhaps even at the school- worth discussing with them) and take turns and/or employ staff for lunch-time supervision. You can't be the only one in your area struggling with this. An advert at the local Migros/Coop to arrange a meeting to discuss possibilities. But yes, I agree that Switzerland is way behind, and I am glad I was in the UK when my kids were young. Perhaps you young parents can get together and show them the way. Bonne chance.

GastroGnome - I am so grateful for the huge diversity in my family, religious, racial, cultural, etc. For me it was so liberating, as from a young age, we had to think for ourselves and not just follow like sheep. If you are born in a family of one race, one religion, one 'class', one culture - it might difficult to shake away stereotypes and make informed judgments, sadly. My brother told me today that when he lived in Zurich, it was possible for one person to turn up to vote with up to 4 poll cards. So some- probably mostly men - had up to 4x the voting power.
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Old 08.02.2011, 19:12
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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I think they ought ...
Do you ever do anything else?
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  #78  
Old 08.02.2011, 19:14
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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Hi Odile,
We have block time where I live too (same hours everyday) but it doesn't change the fact that those hours are still extremely limiting for any kind of outside work life for a women. Here the hours are 8am - 12 every morning. And 2 afternoons a week 2 - 3.45pm (raising to 3 afternoons in primary class 4)
Stephanie, I agree with everything you say. I simply hate having to "scrabble around" as you so correctly describe it, to get assistance with looking after my children. And I do not totally agree that the big difference between the UK and CH is lunchtimes, although Odile, that sounds like it is the case where you are. The hours Stephanie described are the norm for my friends who have children in schools in 4 different cantons around here, or if anything a little generous (certainly in comparison to our school in Baselland). I have a very very part time job - 2 hours every week and it is a real struggle to get to work and back in the 3 hours 45 mins that my son is at school in the morning! It also does not help when our supposed "blockzeit" is "forgotten" by the teachers .. eg sending the children home when they have finished their project work early on a Friday!

In a system such as this, it is hard to appreciate the supposed respect and equality that universal suffrage was meant to have engendered.
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Old 08.02.2011, 19:19
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

ecb - I really sympathize- as said, CH is so very behind the times in many ways, this one included! Just thought that you young parents might be able to 'beat the system' with some ingenuity and teamwork. Perhaps think outside the Swiss box - I'm sure YOU can do it. Such a shame I am too far away as I have the ideal room/space for this, and would love to help.
Bonne chance.

Maybe a fantastic job opportunity for a couple of you- find the room (school, Vicarage, townhall, restaurant side room???) - get some toys, books, etc, check insurance and legistics- and start your own business - success - turn this into a Franchise, hurray. It could be the start of something big - and a business opportunity where you can look after your own kids at the same time.
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Old 08.02.2011, 19:29
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Re: Women's suffrage in Switzerland

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ecb - I really sympathize- as said, CH is so very behind the times in many ways, this one included! Just thought that you young parents might be able to 'beat the system' with some ingenuity and teamwork. Perhaps think outside the Swiss box - I'm sure YOU can do it. Such a shame I am too far away as I have the ideal room/space for this, and would love to help.
Bonne chance.
Thank you! you are so lovely! When I was reading your previous two replies to Stephanie, I thought to myself, I wish you were one of my Mom friends because I bet you would beat the inertia out of me and make something like this happen! I know in part our difficulties (well mine at least) are exacerbated by being in a foreign country and not having sufficient confidence or language skills to be able to organise such a system. And we moved here knowing this was how it would be, so I shall not continue to complain except to repeat that, turning back to the subject of the thread, it is a very concrete example of how votes for women can be just window dressing in the face of bigger obstacles such as these.
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