Well as I am typing this we are also getting ready for a quick 4 day weekend to Locarno. Locarno is in the Canton of Ticino which is right next to Italy. So all of my German will be wasted over the coming days! It is looking like this may be our last get away for a while; due once again to Covid. The powers that be are very concerned about the 4th wave coming. Our case numbers had been going down, but about a week and a half ago, they started going back up. They are not climbing fast, but that is the same graph shape that has occurred every time. The growth starts slowly, and then WHAM!!! it becomes a matter of geometric progression. I am sure Kaylee could explain to me why it happens this way, but I also know it would take her a long time to get through to me. She is much smarter than her old man. The Swiss people seem to be getting really tired of the lockdowns. There are starting to be more protests and they are becoming more animated.
The picture above was taken at a protest near where I live. The protests are becoming more frequent as well as larger. It is going to be very interesting to see what happens in June. If you remember from previous posts I talked about the ability of the citizens to propose referenda for even national consideration. There will be a vote in June to strip the national government of the powers to control things during a health emergency. My feeling is that it will be a close vote.
Switzerland and Women
In a lot of ways Switzerland is an idyllic place to live. That is, if you are a man. Women have made a lot of strides here, but there is a long way to go. I mention this, because Julie and I toured the new exhibit at the National Museum on Saturday. The exhibit was the history of women’s rights in Switzerland.
The exhibit takes you through the history of women’s rights from the beginning to present day. The country did not grant women the right to vote until 1971, and due to the federalist system of government (like the USA) the last canton did not grant the right to vote on state and local issues until 1990!!! Those are some pretty shocking dates to me. In fact, we learned that two weeks before Julie moved; there was a nationwide strike by women. Protesting the inequalities that are still prevalent in the country.
The similarities to the US are pretty astounding. Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution talk about Men, and it took our Government a long time to realize that included people of color as well as women. The Swiss are the same. The constitution uses the german word Menschen for people, however many of the laws that followed the constitution put women in a secondary status. Believe it or not until 1985 men had complete legal control over their wives. A man could keep his wife from working. The wife had no say in where they would live. In fact, a woman had to get permission from her husband to open a bank account.
It honestly blew both our minds when we found this out. I now understand why I have gotten so many mean comments on social media from Swiss men, and why every time I have talked to a native Swiss person about living here I get such strange looks. Julie and I are far from the norm. I remember it was strange back in the early 2000’s for me to be a stay at home Dad. That would be even more strange here. I know one thing, I am going back and changing my resume and cover letters. I talked in both about being here for Julie’s job. That could be one reason I can’t even get an interview. It is simply too strange compared to the country’s norms.
On Sunday, we went back and took a hike through the “Wildness Park” (this is the actual name not a spelling error.). This is a wonderful little perk to living here. The park is basically a free zoo. The park has all of the large animals that are native to Switzerland. Everything from Red Deer to Wild Boar. Wildness Park Website. We really like the park, and it is very close to our house so we visit frequently. One of the pictures below is from a door into the water storage facility. Julie and I always play a game that every door we see like that is one of the secret military installations. They keep it secret by labeling it as something else!
I will try and get some pictures up later this week from Locarno. It might just be a post with nothing but pictures. Not sure how much time I will have to do any writing!