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From now on I don't think we'll merely have a top-down male society -- but one wherein women will branch out horizontally. Women have the power to embrace a society worn out by the top-down model.

13 Comments

Akie Abe, wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Mainichi Shimbun)

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13 Comments
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What the heck does that mean? Sounds like one of her aids used some cheap Japanese - English interpretation software.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Branch out horizontally '" WTH???????

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Women have the power to embrace a society worn out by the top-down model.

You mean after a couple of thousand years, Japanese women are finally "worn out" of their second-rate treatment in Japanese society? Yea, sure!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yeah, and the Japanese were celebrating the news of a new-born girl half way round the world who will become fourth in line to the throne while their own royal girls can look forward to the days when they'll be kicked out of the family! Yay! Female empowerment!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Meaningless drivel.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is either a deeply profound insight or utter nonsense. My money is on the latter.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That actually makes sense to me, although I really don't know the whole context. Although hidden, female culture is very strong and powerful in Japan, and the women tend to have very strong bonds. They are also much more egalitarian than the males.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If this is an example of branching out horizontally most sensible women will give it a miss.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is either a deeply profound insight or utter nonsense.

Let's give her the benefit of the doubt for a minute and consider what it might mean. For example, we often read of reports that measure female equality in terms of how many senior executive positions they occupy in large corporations. But say most women (and men for that matter) don't aspire to hold such positions and instead they'd rather be directly involved in making and creating things. So we might look at what barriers exist to prevent women (and men) from starting their own design consultancies, landscape gardening operations, bakeries, robotic research operations, etc. Or we might look for innovative working practices in smaller companies that support both a working life and a family life. In other words, we shouldn't look for or expect change to come from established corporations and institutions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This probably lost something in the translation. She is advocating more Japanese women entering the workforce without any intent to rise through the ranks of the traditional Japanese hierarchical structure; a move towards western type work attitude which balances private life with work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ divine - At least I can understand what you said, thank you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think I almost understand after reading others interpretations and reading again. Maybe she is saying that she sees that in the near future Japan Inc with be less hierarchical and more merit based. This will help women have opportunities because even if they take maternity or work less overtime they can still be successful based on merit rather than time at the desk or years at the job. The last line implies that maybe she thinks woman will be able to accept this system more than men?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does that mean it's time for the horizontal mambo?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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