Detail from Wild Corporation: Executive Lounge
Archival pigment print, 2018
IKL: This detail shows a woman rejoicing after cutting her opponent's hair. Clutching her enemy's cut hair like a trophy, she is almost euphoric.
How much of this moment feels slightly sarcastic, and how much of it is spot on in terms of how women might treat one another?
Mimi Kato on leadership and gender.
Images of women fighting against women, so-called “cat fights”, are viewed as entertainment in popular culture. Cat fights are treated as easy dramas that don’t carry any significance and they are something people can laugh at. These images promote the stereotypical image of women who will likely turn against each other, which is a baseless characterization of women. However, unsupportive and disapproving mannerisms of women to one another do exist. Especially in my home country Japan, a study conducted by Kantar found that only 28% of women approve of female leadership of major companies as CEO. Many of them answered that they prefer male leadership because they don’t know any examples of female leaderships to judge how they would lead the companies. I support women. I know that women are capable of taking on any task. Gender should not be used as any measure to judge the ability of a person. However, I caught myself doing exactly that at the airport. I am terrified of flying. Every time I step into the plane, I feel like this is my last day. On a particular flight, I saw a female pilot boarding the plane. And there was me being nervous about it since I have not knowingly taken any flights with female pilots before. I was ashamed of my thought. After all, I am also a product of a society that has deep roots in patriarchy. The thoughts come from a gut feeling and this is a problem.