How can I fight angry women

How men react to questions that are otherwise only asked of women

Women can be recognized as the best female footballer or elected to the federal council - sexist questions still come up. Why is that? And how do men themselves react to such questions? An experiment.

It has been a year since tens of thousands of women across the country stopped working and demonstrated for equality at the 2019 women's strike. Sexist questions, however, are still mainly asked of women.

Why is that? "We still live in a society in which power and influence are unevenly distributed between the sexes," says Anja Derungs, head of the specialist department for equality in the city of Zurich. It is about structural inequality and deeply anchored role models. "With questions like this, an attempt is made - often unconsciously and unintentionally - to refer famous, successful women 'to their place'."



So we dare to experiment. And confront men from different industries with sexist questions. Not invented ones, but those that were actually posed that way.

Mauro Tuena, National Councilor and President of the City of Zurich SVP

Mr Tuena, you are childless. How do you want to represent families?(Originally asked Karin Keller-Sutter and Viola Amherd on the day they were elected as federal councilors.)

First of all: I am surprised that such a question still occurs. Equal rights are enshrined in the federal constitution. Nowadays women and men are equal. If a woman has the feeling that she is getting less wages than a man for the same work, she can sue for it. Incidentally, this also applies to men.

Regarding the question: As an elected representative of the people, I often have to talk about things that I do not experience myself. About cannabis trials, for example, although I've never smoked. Or a green man has to vote on streets even though he has never seen the inside of a car. So I get information from those affected beforehand and talk to different people in order to be able to form my opinion.



How important is it to you to look good when performing?(Originally a question to ski racer Lara Gut-Behrami.)

I make sure I'm well dressed on a podium or on TV. My fingernails are then properly trimmed, my hair coiffed, my suit has to fit. My appearance should be decent at public appearances, that's what I value.

Can you 'work'?(Originally asked Ada Hegerberg when she was awarded the Ballon d'Or as the best female footballer in the world.)

Asking a footballer this question is out of place. One has nothing to do with the other, so please. If I were asked a question like that, I wouldn't go into it.

Christoph Sigrist, Pastor Grossmünster

Mr. Sigrist, you have children, now you are here and working. How do you do it all?(Originally asked to Anita Weyermann, former athlete.)

I've never been asked that. Well, I can do it because my wife and I discussed who would be responsible for bringing up our children even before the birth of our two sons. We have mutually agreed on them after an interpretation. In terms of a good work-life balance, I would ask this question to employees - men and women, mind you.

How important is it to you to look good when performing?(Originally a question to ski racer Lara Gut-Behrami.)

That is not an issue - I am outraged by this question. Also from personal experience: I have experienced such sexism on the male side: My father was affected. When he became a deacon, i.e. a church social worker, he was told that one would have liked to have had a nicer man for it.

Can you 'work'?(Originally asked Ada Hegerberg when she was awarded the Ballon d'Or as the best female footballer in the world.)

What's this?

A crouch dance including wiggling your buttocks.

Was that really asked Ada Hegersberg? (Break) This is sexist, this is beyond. Basically, I would like to comment on all these questions: If you only ask women, the discrimination against women cries out to heaven.

Benjamin Lüthi, ex-footballer and teleclub expert

Mr. Lüthi, you are childless. How do you intend to get families interested in sport?(Originally asked Karin Keller-Sutter and Viola Amherd on the day they were elected as federal councilors.)

Ou ... I was once a child and am part of a family to this day - even without my own children. I have dealt with my past and can therefore speak retrospectively from experience. So I do have family experience. On the other hand, I can ideally represent people without a family. That's a good balance.

How important is it to you to look good when performing?(Originally a question to ski racer Lara Gut-Behrami.)

I have to feel good. Before performing, I dress in such a way that I feel comfortable according to the setting. Appearance itself is secondary to me, the main thing is that I can perform freely.

Can you 'work'?(Originally asked Ada Hegerberg when she was awarded the Ballon d'Or as the best female footballer in the world.)

We'll see. Should I try to show it off? (laughs) Sometimes I like to make a monkey of myself and don't take myself so seriously. (getting serious again) To be asked this question as a woman and first of all at the Ballon D’Or is something completely different. With a man this can be funny, with a woman, on the other hand, it is immediately charged. A question always depends on the context - and with Ada Hegerberg it was completely careless and off the mark.

"Sexism is not a luxury problem"

What can be done about this inequality? Anja Derungs from the Equal Opportunities Office again: "It takes a change and a willingness to question and break with norms," ​​she says. Sexism - that is, the unequal treatment and devaluation of a gender - is not a luxury problem. The most important thing is to make such stereotypes visible and to name them.

That means: “Questioning one's own social position, fighting inequality, taking responsibility,” says Derungs. And: "Name sexism, even if it's uncomfortable." This requires a broad mobilization of women and men of solidarity, as in the women's strike a year ago. Incidentally, this power is not lost, but simply looks different this year due to the pandemic situation.

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