Dear Congress: In case you forgot, reproductive freedom is the law.

In January of 2015, Washington DC approved D.C. ACT 20-593, effectively modifying the Human Rights Act of 1977 to ensure that people could not be discriminated against for their use of reproductive technologies (contraception, in-vitro fertilization, etc.). To wit:

“(c) For the purposes of this section, the term “reproductive health decisions” includes a decision by an employee, an employee’s dependent, or an employee’s spouse related to the use or intended use of a particular drug, device, or medical service, including the use or intended use of contraception or fertility control or the planned or intended initiation or termination of a pregnancy.”

On April 8th of this year, Joint Resolution H.J. Res. 43 issued by congress “disapproves” of the DC amendment.

It appears that Congress is trying to pry open the door allowing bosses to fire workers if they disagree with their employees’ reproductive choices.

Let no one think that by my posting this that I am in favor of abortion. With the exception of rare medical conditions affecting mother and/or child, or in cases of rape or incest, I sincerely wish people would opt for adoption. But until SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade, it’s legal, and employers have no right to discriminate against anyone for their reproductive behavior.

The ACLU may be taking things a bit too far with this article, which trumpets “Congress Just Launched Its First Strike Against Women and LGBT People Under the Guise of Defending Religious Liberty.” On the other hand, knowing how polarized the political and theological divide in this country is, they may be spot on. Only time will tell.

I could think of a hundred issues that I’d rather see Congress spending their time on.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

What if it were the other way around?

Sexism and rape culture continues to be immovably enthroned in American culture. Awareness, happily, is rising, but only in certain sections of the population.  I think progress wherever it is made is a good thing, but we have so very far to go, and other countries are struggling with the same issue as well.

The short-lived 1985 TV series Otherworld addressed the issue of sexism with over-the-top camp in the episode entitled “I am Woman, Hear me Roar,” but sadly many people at that time viewed it as a jab towards the women’s liberation movement. Now comes a similar turnabout video called “Oppressed Majority,” a French film (with English subtitles) by Eleonore Pourriat.

How would men feel if they were really subject to the kinds of things women have to deal with every day? If you have the guts, watch this video – it’s not pretty – and think about it.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

No [insert group here] need apply

It wasn’t pretty. “White only.” “No Irish need apply.” “Japs go home.”

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While  we flatter ourselves to think that these shameful episodes in our country’s history are now a thing of the past, discrimination in many aspects of life continues. While more subtly than in years past, blacks and hispanics continue to fight discrimination in the workplace, in the housing market, and in social situations. Women and the gay[1] community are discriminated against constantly and openly.  People with excess weight are treated like pariahs.  Mormons are routinely pilloried by the media with seeming impunity. Despite the ADA, people with disabilities[2] still find barriers everywhere in society and individuals and companies who don’t give a rat’s South-4o. In fact, “-isms” are so rampant in our society that there are hardly enough nouns to cover them all. Oh, and there’s one more that employers might just as well hang out these days:

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Just try looking for work and being close to retirement age. It’s like you’re an invisible leper with terminal halitosis.

No, all is not lost. Public awareness continues to grow.  It’s better than it was. But let no one think we live in “lamp beside the golden door” egalitarian society that the picture books talk about. In this country, some animals are definitely more equal than others.

Ever notice how the roaches scurry for cover when you flick the light on? That’s our strongest weapon. Shining the bright light of exposure into the dark corners of intolerance. Keep fighting the good fight, and our children and their children will have a better world than we do.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


[1] “Gay” in this context is a portmanteau for “not straight”. GLBTAlphabetSoup is just getting too complex for my poor brain.

[2] Give it a rest. They’re disabled, but not “less than.” I don’t put stock in political correctness for its own sake.