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Swiss Rail advert triggers accusation of sexism

© Denis Linine | Dreamstime

According to various newspapers, Swiss Rail placed an advert on a job portal at ETH, a university in Zurich, offering work to cunning vixens, “schlaue Füchsinnen” in German.

Successful applicants need to dress up as foxes, including fox tails, and run around train stations with posters informing travellers of alternative train connections.

20 Minutes reported that a Swiss Rail spokesperson said that of course male foxes could also apply.

The organisation Terre des Femmes Switzerland is not convinced by this declaration of gender neutrality. In an article in the Handelszeitung Milena Wegelin, a representative of the organisation, described the company’s actions as questionable and sexist. Sexist advertising is still widespread in Switzerland and it is important to talk about it, she said. At the same time she thinks there are examples worse than this.

Cunning foxes, who will be paid CHF 150 for two hours work, are needed to cover nine stations in the German-speaking part of Switzerland starting at the end of August.

The British comedy character Blackadder once said, I’ve got a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. The same could probably not be said of this plan.


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