Meet Japan's first female warship captain.
Commander Otani, 45, made Japanese maritime history earlier this year when she was promoted to the senior-ranking position of captain of the Yamagiri destroyer, overseeing a crew of 220, only ten of whom are women.
The Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) appointment marked a major step forward for Japanese women in the armed forces, long renowned as a male dominated world mirroring the nation’s sharp gender imbalance across the professional spectrum.
The Commander, predictably, has faced significant gender discrimination barriers along her path to command. From the almost complete lack of female peers to her family to the complete lack of female senior politicians to her colleagues asking her when she was going to leave her job after she got married, it's been a gauntlet of male bullshit. But she's overcome it all and is now speaking out to try and make things easier for women who want to be badass battleship commanders.
|CREDIT: ANDRONIKI CHRISTODOULOU|
Look how badass!
The ten female crew members who work on board the Yamagiri most likely count themselves as particularly lucky to be working for the nation’s first female captain – with Commander Otani even hosting regular “joshikai” (female gatherings).
Among them was Mayu Kanzaki, 28, Japan’s first female gunnery officer, who spoke with warm appreciation of her captain: “She is very friendly and very fair. She takes care of the officers and their families. She thinks it’s important for us to have a private life and feels responsible for everyone on board.”
I'd work for her, damn. And I'm anti-military.