Wednesday, August 16, 2006

From My Feminist Mailbag

Some things worth noting: First, news from Pepsi:

PEPSICO has appointed its chief financial officer Indra Nooyi as chief executive officer, making her the second most powerful female CEO in the Fortune 500.
The changeover, effective from October 1, will give Nooyi a place in an elite group of 12 female CEOs running Fortune 500 companies.
Patricia Woertz, CEO at agricultural processor Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), ranks first. ADM is ranked 56th in the Fortune 500, while PepsiCo, the world's second-largest soft-drink company after Coca-Cola, is ranked 61st.
Nooyi will replace Steven Reinemund, who is retiring to spend more time with his family, but the announcement was not expected on Wall Street.

I wonder what that makes the percentage of women among Fortune 500 CEOs. Not very high, most likely, because if it did this wouldn't be news.

Second, a new survey (pdf) for NARAL Pro-Choice America shows that the majority of voters might be quite unhappy with the South Dakota and Louisiana laws which would ban all abortions except when the woman's life is at risk. Two thirds of those surveyed disapproved of these laws, half disapproved strongly. In general, the majority of respondents also preferred:

the candidate who supports women making personal decisions without intrusion from government and politicians, coupled with a strong emphasis on prevention, over the competing anti-choice culture of life point of view from a candidate who is anti-choice (54 percent to 27 percent).

Surveys on abortion policies tend to be intensely sensitive to wording choices. Something to remember when one compares different survey results.

Third, the Ms. magazine is relaunching an old campaign. From an e-mail:
In 1972, a year before Roe v. Wade, 53 prominent U.S. women publicly
declared in Ms. that they had undergone abortions. Among them were Billie Jean King, Anne Sexton, Susan Sontag, Anais Nin and Ms. founder Gloria Steinem.

Now, in 2006, with Roe under serious threat, Ms. is relaunching the campaign with a call for women to sign an abortion rights petition headed "We had abortions." See for details. Those who have not had abortions can sign separately, in solidarity.

The anti-choice web has gotten wind of the project and has gone into attack mode. (Google "Ms. abortion petition" and you'll see all the vitriol it's spawned.)

This deserves a very long blog post later on.