Women’s Rights Under Assault in Afghanistan

imagePerhaps there is little room for leaders with principles in the new Afghanistan.Even so, I would expect more from Hamid Karzai’s government than to cave into Islamofascist fundamentalists on something so, well, fundamental as a woman’s right to control when she has sex.  Basic as they are, such expectations are apparently for naught in the country western blood built.

image Perhaps there is little room for leaders with principles in the new Afghanistan.  After all, Muslim extremists still control significant territory and threaten the would-be civilized regions.  But given everything that America and Britain have poured into the country since pushing the Islamofascist Taliban into the mountains, I would expect more from Hamid Karzai’s government than to cave into the fundamentalists on something so, well, fundamental as a woman’s right to control when she has sex.  Basic as they are, such expectations are apparently for naught in the country western blood built.

Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review.

“Tamkeen is the readiness of the wife to submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment, and her prohibition from going out of the house, except in extreme circumstances, without her husband’s permission. If any of the above provisions are not followed by the wife she is considered disobedient.”

Evidently in Afghanistan it takes a real man to starve a woman until she’s ready to fuck.  Very impressive.  Disgusting as that sickening provision is, the new “Men are Gods” law is even worse than that.

The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.

In other words, if the beatings and starvation doesn’t work the so-called husband can deny his wife all contact with her own children.  Just one more form of leverage meant to enforce the feeble illusion of virility in the region’s males.

Could this be one of the reasons that women were on the front line of the election protests in Iran?  I wouldn’t doubt it in the least.  The most oppressed value freedom more than anyone else.

Gunman Murders 4 at Health Club, Kills Self

image A man, so far unidentified, went into a dance class at an L.A. Fitness health club near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and opened fire on those working out, killing at least 4 people before committing suicide on the premises. Preliminary reports indicate that the man had gone there looking for his former girlfriend.

Given that’s true, this is another in a seemingly endless series of cases in which men who are unable to deal with adversity in their lives snap and go berserk, killing everything in their path.

Look, men, s**t happens in life and we don’t always get our own way. This incredibly mistaken idea that we are each somehow entitled to the life outcome of our choice is a fallacy. It has never been true and it never will be.

It’s way past time that we jettisoned this particular permissive fantasy and started deliberately training boys to become men of substance rather than neurotic, emotionally-stunted brutes.

One important step to take – just one of many – would be to balance the ration of male/female teachers in our public schools.

The Cad Who Got What He Deserved

image I don’t often disagree with Sister Toldjah – she’s one of my favorite conservative bloggers – but the case of the cheated-upon wife and the mistresses ganging up on the jerk who was having his way with all of them is one time when I don’t think she’s right.

Seems to me the cad got a taste of what he had coming and not the whole enchilada at that. As ST points out, society is indeed prejudiced against men when it comes to punishment for this sort of behavior. It’s undoubtedly true that men would have been sentenced much more harshly.

Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that the serial philanderer got off easy and the women really didn’t do anything particularly egregious to him. To riff of of ST, it’s not cute, it’s not funny, but it is just deserts. As far as crime and punishment goes, a little legal discretion should be the outcome of this case.

Birth Control Rules

Following on to yesterday’s piece about birth (and death) control, here’s more from ABC News:

The Department of Health and Human Services draft proposal, which began circulating around Capitol Hill last week, would require hospitals receiving federal funds to certify that, in their hiring, they do not discriminate against people who refuse to provide forms of contraception, such as birth control pills, due to personal religious beliefs.

Hillary Clinton started the revolt and now 104 members of the House have written a letter to President Bush, saying:

"The regulation’s definitions are so broad as to go far beyond abortion politics and threaten virtually any law or policy designed to protect women’s access to safe and effective birth control. The department does this primarily by defining ‘abortion’ in a way that could sweep in many common forms of birth control," the lawmakers write in the letter.

"It would allow any provider, who wants to deny a woman emergency contraception or even birth control pills, to claim protection based on a personal belief that such pills fit the regulatory definition."

This last bit is interesting.  From the vantage point the pols are taking, the rule may deny patients access to contraception.  As they say, this is neither right nor desirable.  Yet that is not the end of the discussion, for it’s also not right to force a doctor to provide a service he/she finds morally repugnant.

The obvious solution is for the patient to simply find a doctor whose moral values are harmonious.  That’s perfect!  Free choice and everyone is happy, right?  Or they would be, if patients had unrestricted access to medical providers.

Unfortunately this is not the case.  Low-income patients are often unable to choose physicians freely because of transportation and cost issues.  Even privately insured patients are often denied the ability to choose a compatible doctor due to insurance plan restrictions.  In other words, the problem is with the American health care system itself, not the rules that would guarantee physicians’ rights to practice medicine as their conscience guides them to.

Be that as it may it’s undoubtedly the administration’s attempt to enforce the law that will draw heat from the letter’s writers and their supporters while the defective system will muddle onward and downward, particularly if a Democratic universal coverage plan is enacted.  No point in dealing with the root of the problem, is there?

Meanwhile, the self-appointed advocates for female emancipation are out for blood.  Echidne says that, "The Best Contraceptive Pill…According to the abstinence folks is probably an aspirin firmly held between the woman’s knees."

Holding onto such a magic pill would certainly be good advice for teenage girls, particularly those in socio-economic brackets in which their rapacious beaus have an extraordinary propensity to fail to provide fatherhood to their unfortunate progeny.

Despite the many virtues of childhood chastity – teen pregnancy being only the most obvious – both Echidne and Digby have new posts up raking Christian purity balls over the coals. 

From Time’s level treatment of the father/daughter events:

GIRLS RECITING PLEDGE:…to remain sexually pure…until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. … I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me…and that he will reward me for my faithfulness.

Purity is certainly a loaded word–but is there anyone who thinks it’s a good idea for 12-year-olds to have sex? Or a bad idea for fathers to be engaged in the lives of their daughters and promise to practice what they preach? Parents won’t necessarily say this out loud, but isn’t it better to set the bar high and miss than not even try?

In response, Digby says:

Some of these little girls are only six years old. They don’t even know what their "purity" means until daddy tells them that it belongs to him, the "high priest" in his home. And no, it’s not a good idea for dads to be this involved in their daughter’s nascent sex lives. In fact, it’s completely inappropriate and weird for a daughter to pledge her virginity into her father’s keeping for him to "give" to her husband. Are we really going to pretend that the "memories" they are making with this sick shit is something to celebrate?

Whether Digby agrees or not, it’s certainly true that two of the best things young men and women can bring into a new marriage are a pure heart and a pure body.  It’s deceit of the highest order to pretend that promiscuity doesn’t hurt young people and girls more so than boys, whether the sex results in an unwanted pregnancy or not.  Couching the lie in the guise of women’s rights does not make it more true. 

That said, there is something in her post, despite its liberal use of repellent anti-Christian dogma, that strikes a chord with me.  Specifically, the near obsession that some men have with the romantic activities of their teenage daughters. 

The dictation of rules such as no boyfriends, no holding hands, no phone calls, etc., are common policies in the homes of some Christian families.  Not the majority, to be sure, but still common.  While usually well-intentioned, I don’t agree that "no tolerance" rules for boy-girl contact are best for a young lady’s emotional growth.

Perhaps this opinion stems from a bad relationship I had with a teenage girl’s father, but there’s something fundamentalist about fathers who exercise too much direct control over a girl’s body, something faintly disturbing, even if it never manifests itself in a Muslim-style honor killing, say.

Some parents disagree, saying that anything that keeps a girl from coming home from the high school dance knocked up is justifiable.  Parenting is, after all, a question of priorities and it’s up to individual families to set their own, with or without Digby’s approval.

I lead a Christian book study group and my back of the envelope numbers tell me that a vast majority of the people who have been through my class have had to carry the burden of a "pre-marriage" pregnancy.  Frankly, after what some of these guys (and gals) have been through because they made bad sexual choices when they were young, I find it hard to condemn any father or mother for clamping down on their daughters’ choices.  That’s true even though I don’t always agree with their approaches.

Digby is right that purity pledges should wait until a girl or boy understands the meaning of what they are promising.  It’s only then that a meaningful promise can be made.  There we part company because children would be both godly and wise to refrain from sexual activity at least until they are independent adults.  Why?  Because they are neither emotionally or fiscally capable of assuming the consequences of their actions.

If it takes a girl making a purity pledge to her father to reach that end, so be it.

Birth and Death Control

Hillary Clinton writes that the Bush Administration’s impending clampdown on access to birth control and "morning after" pills is outrageous interference in the lives of women.  She’s right, of course, although the decision also impacts men only a little less directly.

These rules pose a serious threat to providers and uninsured and low-income Americans seeking care. They could prevent providers of federally-funded family planning services, like Medicaid and Title X, from guaranteeing their patients access to the full range of comprehensive family planning services. They’ll also build significant barriers to counseling, education, contraception and preventive health services for those who need it most: low-income and uninsured women and men.

The regulations could even invalidate state laws that currently ensure access to contraception for many Americans.

It should be understood that contraception is not a right guaranteed by either the Constitution or any holy writ of which I am presently aware.  It is, however, a basic aspect of life that should fall under the control of citizens of a modern nation.  If the Bush administration persists in butting its peeping Tom head into the bedrooms of Americans it deserves a punch in the nose.

A significant majority of Americans say that morning after pills should be readily available and I agree with them.  Indeed, the people have spoken repeatedly on this issue.  President Bush’s steadfastness, so admirable when it comes to fighting terrorism abroad, is foolish and invasive as relates to personal birth control choices.  None of the mechanisms HRC describes could reasonably be categorized as abortions; the comparison is absurd, as is the notion that governments should be involved in the issue at all.

Government control is equally prevalent at the opposite end of life.  Because of ready access to certain deadly concoctions, Mexico is a favorite destination for the terminally ill – as well as friends/family of the same – who are ready for a peaceful end to life or simply want insurance against the pain of disease.

…aging and ailing people seeking a quick and painless way to end their lives say there is no easier place on earth than Mexico to obtain pentobarbital, a barbiturate commonly known as Nembutal.

Once widely available as a sleep aid, it is now used mostly to anesthetize animals during surgery and to euthanize them. Small bottles of its concentrated liquid form, enough to kill, can be found not on the shelves of the many discount pharmacies in Tijuana but in its pet shops, which sell a wide variety of animals, as well as medications and other supplies for them.

As the availability of such medicines has become more widely known, steps have been taken to keep the drugs from being sold and from being taken back to countries where they are sought after, Australia and the U.S., to name two.

The Catholic church calls suicide a mortal sin and many western governments have outlawed assisting a person in ending their life.  People on both sides of the debate have strong feelings.

“It’s awful to me,” Mr. Velazquez, the Tijuana veterinarian and pharmacy owner, said of euthanasia. “I think people should live as long as God decides.”

That’s a point of view that I’m sympathetic to.  However, ultimate responsibility for one’s conduct during life lies with the individual, not with the state.  State-mandated prosecution of individuals who help grant the wishes of terminally ill people who wish to end their lives is, on the face of it, just as foolish as attempting to dictate birth control methods.  It is certainly not the place of the state to judge God’s laws for Him.

It is true, I think, that condoning assisted suicide would lead to abuses of the practice.  That’s the sole redeeming aspect of the current ban – it’s unequivocal, even if it’s wrong.  Then again, the purpose of courts is to decide the legality of cases that fall into moral and ethical gray areas.  Must every aspect of life and death be scripted by the law?

Not in my opinion.  In its attempt to legislate and adjudicate perfect justice, western societies have entangled themselves in a mass of legalistic nonsense that is both ever-present and inescapable.  One can neither live nor die without getting permission, it seems, from the state, something that’s particularly troubling at a time when the American government is increasing its surveillance of our communications and monitoring of our travel.

Enough is enough.  Have we not even the right to manage our own bodies without Uncle Sam poking his head around the corner to say, "Don’t touch that!"?  The law should only be used to define basic morality.  The rest is between us and God.  Governments would do well to remember that.

Hillary’s Sexism Claims

Of late Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been crying foul over alleged sexism directed at the New York senator.  But is that really what’s broken the back of her once-promising campaign?  Andrew Stephen says it is and blames media bias for causing her defeat.  But is Hillary’s real problem simply that she’s a Clinton?  Or was she simply out-thought and out-fought by the Obama campaign?

Being Bill Clinton’s wife did not help Hillary during this year’s primaries.  How could it when the former president repeatedly made an arse of himself in print and in front of the cameras?  He didn’t have a big upside to begin with, even before he started talking.  The problems started when he reminded Americans that he’d be back in the White House if Hillary won the nomination and the general election.  This mistake resulted in the key phrase of the early primaries:  Clinton Fatigue.

Hillary’s effort was also hurt by the seemingly constant tinkering with her message and campaign staff.  It was clear early on that her campaign was not running smoothly simply.  There were too many changes and reverses of field, too many comings and goings.  It all smacked of desperation, even before things got desperate.

At my day job I work with a woman whose opinion I respect.  Her take on Hillary Clinton is that she’s a politician and not a leader.  And not a woman who is exceptional enough to lead a nation the way that Margaret Thatcher was.  The sexism argument doesn’t completely wash with her.  Too many people in the Democratic party despise the Clintons and were/are determined not to let them take control of the party again.  How could they stop that from happening?  By manufacturing a Clinton-killing candidate.

When Barack Obama was running for the U.S. Senate it was obvious that he was going to crush Alan Keyes like a bug.  Even though he’d never held any sort of national public office, people were already talking about him as a presidential candidate.  I ignored this because I knew that this Obama upstart, whoever he was, would have to pay his dues for years before that could ever happen.  Wrong, obviously.

My friend says that’s the explanation for Barack Obama’s meteoric rise to the top of the Democratic party.  He was sought after, found, recruited, and vaulted to prominence with one purpose in mind:  to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primaries. 

To which all I can say is, "Wow."  I can’t really believe that.  But if the goal of some Democrats was to defeat Hillary Clinton, they would need a special candidate.  Another woman, perhaps, though no other female Democrat compares well to Hillary.  If a male, the candidate would have to be a minority, hence Obama.  Her theory, while Machiavellian, makes a certain amount of sense.

My own two-fold theory is simpler.  First, being a Clinton is a double-edged sword and Hillary was cut down to size by the very thing that made her candidacy viable:  her name.  Clinton Fatigue is the disease that doomed her.  Second, Stephen is right, in part.  I offer as proof my wife, who says that she could never vote for a woman as president.  Too many hormones, too much power. 

On the contrary, I think that most Americans could accept a woman as president if she were right for the job.  But the fact is that too many people feel that Hillary is not that woman.  That’s not sexism, that’s reality.  That’s unfortunate too.  Despite her liabilities, Hillary Clinton would be a better president than Barack Obama.

Effects of Feminism

Rebecca Walker, daughter of feminism and author Alice Walker, who publicly called her own child a calamity in her life, has some interesting things to say about the movement.  Well worth reading.

the truth was I was very lonely and, with my mother’s knowledge, started having sex at 13. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body.

A good mother is attentive, sets boundaries and makes the world safe for her child. But my mother did none of those things.

Although I was on the Pill  -  something I had arranged at 13, visiting the doctor with my best friend  -  I fell pregnant at 14. I organised an abortion myself. Now I shudder at the memory. I was only a little girl. I don’t remember my mother being shocked or upset. She tried to be supportive, accompanying me with her boyfriend.

Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I’d never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.

As a child, I was terribly confused, because while I was being fed a strong feminist message, I actually yearned for a traditional mother.

I know many women are shocked by my views. They expect the daughter of Alice Walker to deliver a very different message. Yes, feminism has undoubtedly given women opportunities. It’s helped open the doors for us at schools, universities and in the workplace. But what about the problems it’s caused for my contemporaries?

Then there is the issue of not having children. Even now, I meet women in their 30s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: ‘I’d like a child. If it happens, it happens.’ I tell them: ‘Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.’ As I know only too well.

Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They’ve missed the opportunity and they’re bereft.

Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.

But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women’s movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them  -  as I have learned to my cost.

Walker’s views closely mirror those of Lori Gottlieb, who wrote this popular, much-debated article for Atlantic a few months ago.

There’s something to this, I think.  Even if it’s nothing more than the opportunity cost of a chance not taken, getting something always means giving up something else.

Has feminism been worth the cost to those who have been on its front lines?  And what about the families they left behind by not having them or not being there?

The questions applies to many men as well, of course, although it’s less interesting to me because our work/sport-centric lifestyles haven’t undergone the radical change that feminism demands of young women.

Having children does enslave women, in a certain sense of the word.  Many mothers give up a good portion of their lives for their children.  Of course, the same is true for men – at least the ones who don’t run away from their responsibilities.  Having children is the most demanding activity in a person’s life, man or woman.  It’s also the only thing worth doing on this planet.

Schlafly Honored, Hundreds Turn Away

The University of Washington honored one of its own when Phyllis Schlafly was presented with an honorary doctorate degree at today’s commencement.  Unfortunately, the ceremony was marred by students and faculty who turned their backs to her while the award was being presented.

Some applauded while Schlafly was hooded. But about a third of the graduating students draped in the school’s green and black robes turned their backs to her, along with some faculty members sitting on the stage behind her. Many family members in the audience also took part.

Three faculty members made the extra point of walking off the stage and then turning their backs from the audience.

Marshall Thompson, a Ph.D. graduate in political science, said he thought the white armbands should have sufficed for protesters to show their dissent. But he thought the turning of backs was "a bit overboard."

"It’s not the right way to voice your displeasure," he said

The protest was childish and about what I’d expect from a batch of undergrads who are still wet behind the ears.  If the students who disrespected Schlafly understood her writings and political activities, that would be one thing.  But lacking that, their protest is simply a knee-jerk reaction and of no value whatever.

It’s also petty, considering Ms. Schlafly’s age and the contributions she’s made to American society.  And it’s a familiar story in another respect:  protected students and faculty failing to respect the views and free speech rights of conservatives on campus.

Even so, I’m not sure I agree with Thompson.  The U.W. protest was calm, orderly, and non-violent – everything a public disagreement should be. 

I think the perpetrators were wrong, ethically, to deny Schlafly the respect she’s earned and wrong intellectually in regard to many of their disagreements with her.  But they conducted their protest in the finest tradition of civil disobedience, and that’s something for people on all sides of the debate to be proud of and learn from.

Sports Reality for Girls

Michael Sokolove has a great article at the NY Times Magazine about sports injuries and the seldom-discussed fact that teenage girls are much, much more likely to both sustain major knee and head injuries than boys of the same age.  Despite the unfortunate title of "Uneven Playing Field", this article is highly recommended reading for parents and coaches of teen athletes of the female persuasion.

A study last year by researchers at Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, reported that high-school girls who play basketball suffer concussions at three times the rate of boys, and that the rate for high-school girls who play soccer is about 1.5 times the rate for boys. According to the N.C.A.A. statistics, women who play soccer suffer concussions at nearly identical rates as male football players. (The research indicates that it takes less force to cause a concussion in girls and young women, perhaps because they have smaller heads and weaker necks.)

But among all the sports injuries that afflict girls and young women, A.C.L. tears, for understandable reasons, get the most attention. No other common orthopedic injury is as debilitating and disruptive in the short term — or as likely to involve serious long-term consequences. And no other injury strikes women at such markedly higher rates or terrifies them as much.

The N.C.A.A.’s Injury Surveillance System tracks injuries suffered by athletes at its member schools, calculating the frequency of certain injuries by the number of occurrences per 1,000 “athletic exposures” — practices and games. The rate for women’s soccer is 0.25 per 1,000, or 1 in 4,000, compared with 0.10 for male soccer players. The rate for women’s basketball is 0.24, more than three times the rate of 0.07 for the men.

So imagine a hypothetical high-school soccer team of 20 girls, a fairly typical roster size, and multiply it by the conservative estimate of 200 exposures a season. The result is 4,000 exposures. In a cohort of 20 soccer-playing girls, the statistics predict that 1 each year will experience an A.C.L. injury and go through reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation and the loss of a season — an eternity for a high schooler. Over the course of four years, 4 out of the 20 girls on that team will rupture an A.C.L.

None of this is to say that girls and women can’t be great athletes.  But there are fundamental differences in the way our bodies are put together that make parenting, mentoring, and coaching girls different than boys in purely physiological terms.

The good news?  New studies indicate that proper training helps a great deal.

[Director of research at the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Research Foundation Holly] Silvers, along with a Santa Monica orthopedic surgeon, Bert Mandelbaum, designed an A.C.L.-injury-prevention program that has been instituted and studied in the vast Coast Soccer League, a youth program in Southern California. Teams in a control group did their usual warm-ups before practices and games, usually light running and some stretching, if that. The others were enrolled in the foundation’s “PEP program,” a customized warm-up of stretching, strengthening and balancing exercises. An entire team can complete its 19 exercises — including side-to-side shuttle runs, backward runs and walking lunges — in 20 minutes. One goal is to strengthen abdominal muscles, which help set the whole body in protective athletic positions, and to improve balance through a series of plyometric exercises — forward, backward and lateral hops over a cone. Girls are instructed to “land softly,” or “like a spring.”

The Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Research Foundation published results of its trial in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The research was nonrandomized and therefore not the highest order of scientific research. (The coaches of teams doing the exercises made a choice to participate; the control group consisted of those who declined.) Nevertheless, the results were attention-grabbing.

The subjects were all between 14 and 18. In the 2000 soccer season, researchers calculated 37,476 athletic exposures for the PEP-trained players and 68,580 for the control group. Two girls in the trained group suffered A.C.L. ruptures that season, a rate of 0.05 per 1,000 exposures. Thirty-two girls in the control group suffered the injury — a rate of 0.47. (That was almost twice the rate for women playing N.C.A.A. soccer.) The foundation compiled numbers in the same league the following season and came up with similar results — a 74 percent reduction in A.C.L. tears among girls doing the PEP exercises.

Something to be aware of if any of the young ladies in your life are sports enthusiasts.

Clinton’s Effect on Women

Ellen R. Malcom on Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency:

This brilliant woman believes that she can compete for the most powerful office in the world. She believes that she can do a better job than any of the men running to lead our country through these challenging times. And millions of Americans, women and men, believe that she is correct.

Yet over and over again the media and her opponents have claimed that she is defeated — it’s over, she can’t win, she’s a loser.

Once again, the opponents and the media are calling for Hillary to quit. The first woman ever to win a presidential primary is supposed to stop competing, to curtsy and exit stage right.

Why on earth should one candidate quit before the contest is finished? Democrats need not be so fainthearted.

Hillary Clinton certainly has the right to compete till the end. But I believe Hillary also has a responsibility to play the game to its conclusion. For the women of my generation who learned to find and channel their competitiveness, for the working women who never falter in the face of pressure, for the younger women who still believe women can do anything, Hillary is a champion. She’s shown us over and over that winners never quit and that quitters never win.

That’s right.  Frankly, I believe that Democratic big-wigs have a responsibility to the nation to back off of their demands that Clinton resign from the race. 

I wouldn’t call Hillary Clinton brilliant, exactly.  But she’s a competent, capable candidate who has every right to continue her run for office until she is convinced that victory is impossible.  One one of the fundamental principles of this republic is that individuals should control the political process, not power brokers and political machines, Chicago – Barack Obama’s "hometown" – notwithstanding.

Howard Dean, the DNC, and the "super" delegates should sit down, shut up, and let the process come to its end as the originators of this country intended – in the polling places in Everytown, USA.