I've been reading the Bergli Books titles on Swiss culture and many of the essays are about sexism and patriarchal tendencies in Switzerland. First published decades ago, surely these comments must be out of date?
Perhaps not so out of date after all. Last Saturday Tony and I made a quick lunch stop at Brasserie Federale in the Hauptbahnhof. We both ordered the same thing, but I was automatically served the smaller beer. Wow.
No big rant to follow here Just caught me by surprise.
Whatever the facts are on gender equality, I can say that men do not claim public space here the way they do in some countries. There's not much of either a visual claim, as there might be in Paris where it is obligatory for a man to demonstratively asses a woman's looks, or physical,as in the US where men typically do not yield space on the sidewalk and often take up more space than strictly necessary in a pub or on transport.
Brasserie Federale is, by the way, excellent. We just had the house (?) lagerbier, and it was perfectly balanced and completely wonderful. We need more time to to seriously taste the beers here. Over 100 Swiss beers are served, and we will be back to try more on a regular basis. On the other hand, my misgivings about ordering "risotto" and sausage were accurate. The sausage was a work of art, but the risotto was mushy and tasted like the sauce was made with powered cheese or Velveeta. Yech.
It's hard to imagine, however, any food in a train station in th UK or US even being palatable. Yeah for the Swiss, who thoughtfully provide a proper beer and nicely grilled sausage for the busy traveler.