Friday, November 7, 2008

Propositions 8 and K

by Jordan Bubin

I found some good news! Proposition 8, the Neanderthal California ballot initiative to amend California’s constitution to declare that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” may passed, 52.5% to 47.5%. Technically, it’s not passed yet, as there may be enough provisional ballots to overcome the discrepancy, but even No on 8 campaigners privately admit that the odds enough of the provisional and absentee ballots are voting “no” to make a difference is “highly improbable.” Happily, challenges have already been filed, claiming that the measure “is so far-reaching that it is not merely a constitutional amendment but a revision, which requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to reach the ballot.Good luck to them!

Not as fun news, too—apparently, Proposition K was defeated in San Francisco County. I can’t find anything on the news yet, but this blog at the San Francisco weekly is smarmily celebrating its defeat. Proposition K was a local initiative to defund all prostitution prosecutions.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The greatest day in American History

By Chris Moses

Just over two hundred years after the young states of America ratified a constitution that counted slaves as two-thirds of a person, on November 4th, 2008, the United States of America elected a Black man President. In a country defined by symbolism, by the satisfaction of beacon-shining hope, there is no sign clearer nor light brighter than the Presidency—the Commander in Chief—the leader of the free world.

The legacy of America's great founders—the office made by Washington and Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln—has passed from slave holders to a man whose color once marked the lowest of laborers, those un-free and without liberty. Great struggles and tremendous sacrifices proceeded this day, two centuries riven by bloody Civil War and bold campaigns for civil rights. Yet today like no other day all Americans can quote their future President and say 'yes we can': every parent can look their children in the eye and say with honesty and against all odds, 'work hard and you can do whatever you want.'

Barack Obama's victory has made history. So too has history made his victory—and this unyielding stream of time defines as much American accomplishment as it does the contradictions and enduring challenges that create the perennial opportunity for such triumph. One man has done the impossible and given tremendous hope to those burdened by despair. Still though a chorus wide and deep sings in low baritone, 'we shall overcome.' The millions in poverty; the young people who make their way, hungry, to unsafe schools; the parents and grandparents who have worked their entire lives and now suffer ill health without insurance or accessible, affordable care; these Americans woke up this morning no different than when they went to bed.

Such a dramatic instance of progress brings with it the renewed need for vigilance and the recognition that correcting for past wrongs may renew opportunity in the present but it does not ensure justice for the future. Nor can one vote for domestic tranquility ease the fear and suffering of those beyond America's borders who have been devastated by an arrogant, violent and misguided foreign policy. One or two terms in office does nothing for a generation given unending reason to hate America—families, homes, livelihoods destroyed.

The power of black and white united in a more equal America fulfills the wildest dreams of those who marched for freedom just one generation ago. It also stokes the wildest nightmares and unrepentant prejudice of those impoverished by fear and who still hate the idea that anything more than the color of their skin should count as credit for their worth as human beings.

Black and white balances a great deal of history though together they do not account for the truly stunning diversity of this country. Discrimination knows far more than two colors.

Rapid contempt for immigration and an opposition to living bilingually with Spanish—the language of those who first settled a great deal of what is now the United States—these intolerances counterweigh the greatest forces reshaping the nature of the American citizenry. Bigotry masked as conservatism seeks to wither on the vine of a never-real and profoundly false Eden of racial purity. A lack of education and the glorification of petty intolerance musters nothing more than illogical rhetoric and crass threats to counter the great possibilities brought by new thought, new talent, new ingenuity and inspiring ambition.

Color and class too balance a great deal of history though they do not account for the great inequities that remain between male and female nor can they efface the enduring scorn for any sexuality or gender that doesn't conform to the fantasy of some 1950s sitcom. Discrimination knows far more than two sexes.

Code words like marriage and family have been used to proffer a social order supposedly more perfect and permanent because of its connection to God and the American way. However hard history and the Bible may be scrutinized, nothing can be farther from the truth of America's ever-unfolding and ever-shifting homes and communities. Both in unwanted fragmentation and creative reassembly, the bonds of kinship have provided a wellspring of flexibility for connecting people and promoting the stability and prosperity that enriches the United States.

Real conservatism embraces change as a way to identify the best aspects of tradition and to leave the worst behind. What today stands for the far right is nothing more than self-loathing delusion absent any real hope of redemption however loudly the screams of Revelation may sound from such quarters. All the while the world truly does warm; trumpets sounds the effect of climate but fall on the deaf ears of religious fatalists terrified of science, unable to comprehend the power of human action.

Regardless of who is President these voices persevere and however much contempt they produce we can only answer them with overwhelming love and compassion—still with unflinching indictment and unremitting opposition—but all the while with the sort of complex and uneasy forgiveness that allows all of us to address the contradictions and imperfections that point the way towards a better tomorrow.

I've never felt like a harlot before

By Laura Pedersen

While I recognize that college is the time to test drive potential career paths, harlot is not one I will be considering.

I also recognize that college is the time to entertain new experiences. The blatant female objectification I felt during my first night on the street was certainly an experience. .

Not a half hour into the night, an upperclassman approached me, a younger man in tow. He clapped the tag-a-long on the shoulder, leaned in, and shouted at eating club pitch, “HEY, THIS GUY HERE IS ONE OF OUR BEST RECRUITS. WILL YOU PLEASE DANCE WITH HIM AND SHOW HIM A GOOD TIME SO THAT HE’LL COME TO PRINCETON?”

Oh, yeah. I’d give him an example of a Princeton woman.

I asked the young man his name, where he was from, what he had enjoyed best about Princeton, what activities the team had planned for him. I asked what he liked best about the campus.

And you know, the phrase “the chicks” appeared nowhere in his answer.

Princeton women, you are not a member of some eating club harem, to be selected for your various anatomical features to serve the pleasures of a recruit or student. Princeton women, Princeton men, challenge this notion wherever you confront it. Ask questions, make yourself more than an attractive body, demand respect.

Do not shy away from giving those who do otherwise a new experience.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Better than a boob job?

by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

Apparently, in the quest for body parts to Botox, women have turned to their vaginas. Procedures that, were they conducted in the Congo, would be decried as female genital mutilation, are available from plastic surgeons in the U.S., in a staggeringly wide array. Who would have thought there could be so many things wrong with a vagina? Visiting such a clinic, a woman can choose from such an assortment of procedures as “laser vaginal rejuvenation”, “designer vaginoplasty”, “g-spot amplification”, or my personal favorite, “revirgination” (apparently virginity CAN be reclaimed, with the simple reattachment of the hymen).

The surgeries are marketed in a variety of ways, each more disturbing than the last. “It's the ultimate gift for the man who has everything,” said a woman who paid $5000 to have her hymen reattached, giving her husband the “ultimate thrill of conquest.” A vaginoplasty may appeal to a woman who has recently had a child and has experienced an “enlargement of the vaginal opening” (a common – even, dare I say it, natural – result of childbirth). “An oversize labia minora may cause embarrassment with your partner because it doesn't look good,” advises another website. And clearly, a labiaplasty is the only solution.

But even more shocking than the expectation that a woman should need to have plastic surgery anywhere, especially on her vagina, are the associated medical risks. The New View Campaign, an organization which protests the medicalization of women’s sexuality, has called attention to the inherent dangers of these surgeries. Surgeons make unsubstantiated claims about their procedures. “Genital cosmetic surgery franchising spreads misinformation,” said group spokesperson Leonore Tiefer, Ph.D. a New York psychologist. “Professional organizations, the FTC and the FDA are failing to protect women from harm.”

The potential risks: possible scarring, chronic pain, obstetric risks, loss of genital sensation, reduced erotic pleasure, and post-operative anxieties. But according to The New York Times, even doctors who don't advertise say that they get inquiries from patients every month.

"Now women shave," said Dr. Gary J. Alter, a plastic surgeon and urologist who has come up with his own "labia contouring" technique. "Now they see porn. Now they're more aware of appearance."

How far can we really say we’ve come, when women are being convinced to physically recreate their virginity for their partners’ pleasure, or risking permanent damage to their bodies because of insecurity about the size of their labia? These sites are all over the Internet, but each one seems more absurd than the last. Apparently vaginal cosmetic surgery is advertised on billboards across the country, and these are expensive procedures, ranging from around $1500-$5000. Even though the procedures supposedly increase sexual pleasure (a medically questionable statement), it’s clear whose pleasure these surgeries are really for.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Relief! Relief!


South Dakota rejected the anti-abortion ban.

Thank goodness.  We're just waiting on Proposition 8 in California and a measure in Florida to ban gay adoption.

Link here.

Happy election night!

Reading Ghahramani in Tehran

By Eva Wash

Over the past few years, several controversial female authors have emerged from the Middle East—women such as Zarah Ghahramani, the author of My Life as a Traitor, who have profound stories to tell. Ghahramani’s book, published early in 2008, centers on her experience as a 20-year-old university student arrested and imprisoned for thirty days in the Evin Prison of Tehran, Iran.

Her story is obviously one of physical and mental torture and of maddening injustice. Yet, beyond evoking empathy for herself and expressing disgust for the Iranian government, Ghahramani eloquently draws out the nuances of her own path to political dissidence. Raised by a loving and open-minded family and encouraged to seek knowledge and fulfillment, Ghahramani does not seem so different from the average young Western woman, but the liberties that she was seeking as a woman are rights that we take for granted--to walk down the street with “the wind in her hair,” to even walk alone outside of her home. She clearly establishes that other Iranian women are equally, if not more, dissatisfied with their situations: she cites the story of her cousin, who tried to burn herself to death in order to escape her life.

Such cases of female suicide, especially self-immolation, are not unusual in Iran, and Ghahramani attempts to explain the motive behind these deaths as the “intolerable disappointment generated by growing up with heads full of dreams and desires that have so little chance of being fulfilled.”

While dreams of a loving and freely-chosen marriage seem so unattainable, many Iranian women continue to endure without abandoning their families, the country that they love, or their religion. This excerpt from Ghahramani is particularly potent with this idea of persistence:

“Western women think that the typical Iranian woman lives the life of a vassal, and I can understand why they think that way. I know many Iranian women—unmarried and married—whose lives are made miserable by the laws that regulate their days and nights. And nothing on Earth can be said in defense of laws that permit the males of a society to hold the spirits of women hostage. Such laws are evil, wherever they are enacted. But the life of an Iranian woman, under a saner interpretation of the Qur’an than applies in Iran now, has much more in common with the lives of women in the West, or with those of women anywhere, than might be supposed. My mother lives under laws that Western women would probably think insufferable, but she is as free in her heart and soul as anyone on Earth, male or female” (182).

Her mother finds freedom in loving action, not in words of protest or complaints. As Ghahramani comes to discover, her mother has been overcoming the oppressive political injustice “in a subtle, almost stealthy way.” Of course, I think that injustices cannot merely be ignored; people have to speak up. Yet, words are mere words, while, with each successive generation, determined action is what often makes a gradual and lasting difference. (Perhaps this is the message that President Tilghman was trying to underscore during a recent lecture when she encouraged female students to “ignore sexism.”)

I highly suggest reading Ghahramani’s My Life as a Traitor: it is a book rich in wisdom and revelation, especially for young women.

Fantasyland for me

By Christopher Moses

Somewhere between his adverbial absolutism (‘fundamentally,’ ‘undeniably,’ ‘necessarily,’ etc.) and the whiplash-inducing oscillation between ‘reality’ and ‘fantasyland’ I recognized the speciousness of Brandon McGinley’s argument about rape, risk and responsibility in ‘Don’t take your guns to town’ (Daily Princetonian, 23 October 2008).

Why is rape a risk?

This question can mean two things. First, circumstantially—why might rape be a risk in a given context, in this case the party situation portrayed by the public service advertisement. Second, it can ask—for what reason is rape a risk? Why is it that one must be concerned about rape happening, say, as opposed to being teleported to another planet. The latter is an impossibility, ergo no risk.

In her EqualWrites post Peale Iglehart (who McGinley fails to identify) analyses the advertisement in terms of the first meaning—finding it pedantic, misogynistic and so forth—as a way to highlight how it completely fails to address the second.

McGinley disagrees with Iglehart’s argument. But in his piece he conflates the two issues as a way of avoiding the second, more serious case and in turn tries to foist a broader agenda about responsibility (which for him involves sexual probity, limited or no alcohol consumption, something called duty—to whom or what is unclear—leading ultimately to liberation, the meaning or point of which still leaves me scratching my head).

This conflation allows him to sidestep a hard truth: rape exists as a risk for women because there are men who are rapists. That is the cause of rape—it has absolutely nothing to do with a woman’s actions in any case whatsoever. A woman cannot ask to be raped, cannot invite it, cannot, in fact, do anything whatsoever to effect a risk of being raped.

Rape doesn’t mean a laxity of sexual consent—as in, wow, I let me guard down as to whether or not I wanted to have sex with someone and, shucks, it happened. Rape obviates the entire notion of consent—rape isn’t a choice made well or poorly. Rape is a violent, criminal act—it is not sex, even if it involves sexual acts on the part of the perpetrator.

So this leads to another dangerous conflation in McGinley’s article: he moves from rape to a ‘highly sexually charged environment’ (two adverbs!) to, in his final paragraph, plain old ‘having sex.’

Number one has nothing to do with two or three. Rape can never, ever be an ‘activit[y] which can be quite safe and productive’ even if McGinley tries to lump it together with guns, alcohol and sex under cover of the phrase ‘fraught with physical and emotional risk.’

To the extent McGinley has a different interpretation of the commercial, he’s really talking about vulnerability and not risk—they’re different. Vulnerability is neither a precondition nor an excuse for rape. If anything it just makes the rapist that much more despicable.

That’s what makes the commercial disturbing in the ways Iglehart describes: because it reinforces the preconception that women are by their nature vulnerable, a from-behind promotion of men as having greater power then women—as rapists, or protectors. From this follows ‘traditional’ limitations placed upon the fairer sex—she can be curtailed but goodness knows about those rapists.

Quite the contrary, the sole issue is the rapist—why do some men manifest sexual acts as a violent weapon for assaulting women? Only through some perverse understanding of male sexual entitlement can vulnerability—or anything, for that matter—be construed as a cause for rape. She looked too good? It was just too easy? I couldn’t help myself? She really wanted me even if she didn’t know it? All of these excuses attempt to eclipse the difference between sex and rape in order to permit the slippery transition towards ‘risks’ about plain old ‘having sex.’

The key, as McGinley shows, is to characterize in one way or another a woman as having acted sexually—or somehow chosen to be in a sexualizing environment. But when are we not sexual? Are men less or differently sexual than women—men can do it without managing to get raped? Is that the conclusion to draw?

McGinley’s frightening analogy seems to suggest as much. At first weapons stand in for alcohol, but then, with Billy, it’s a matter of guns alone. Out west with the ‘dusty cowpoke’ the meaning becomes: if you stripped yourself of sexuality, then the ‘violent neighbor’ would keep it in his pants and avoid the ‘pressure’ and ‘expectations’ to draw his ‘manliness.’

By making this comparison, does McGinley take acting ‘how he thinks he is expected to’ and ‘pressured by the expectations of “manliness”’ as commensurate with rape? As a means to view a woman first and foremost as a sexual object? Any interpretation seems horrid. (I can only hope McGinley meant to draw on some sort of poor irony with all this talk of poking, pistols and firing guns—seriously, what sort of intention did he have?—because I would be aghast if it was truly an innocent comparison.)

One last point—because after McGinley’s screed about risk he invokes righteousness to link it with a notion of responsibility. Putting it another way makes this process of objectification clearer: what does it mean to be a woman responsibly? Responsible to whom, and for what?

If the answer involves men—so they can obfuscate the cause of rape or compare a vagina to toting a gun as target-to-be-shot—then McGinley can keep his liberation. I’ll take the risk of living in my fantasyland while challenging patriarchy and misogyny along the way.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ballot Watch 2008: South Dakota Abortion Ban

By Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

Tomorrow, the battle for the right to choose is not just in the presidential race (although please, if you're pro-choice, make sure you vote for Barack Obama!). The issue of abortion has surfaced several times in South Dakota. In 2006, South Dakotans voted 56 to 44 percent against a law which would have outlawed all abortion in the state. The fact that the law contained no exceptions for rape, incest or cases of the mother’s health kept a large faction of the pro-life vote from falling into line, so it’s actually distressing that it got even 44 percent. This year, there is a new and improved version of the law, watered down for those crazies who think that women shouldn’t be forced to carry a child that was the product of a violent rape. The new law, Initiated Measure 11, would still make most abortions illegal, with small exceptions for rape, incest, and cases where the pregnancy would seriously endanger the mother’s health.

If the ban passes, we’re going to see a serious challenge to Roe v. Wade. And with a Supreme Court that currently leans conservative, with an elderly liberal faction (I love John Paul Stevens, but he’s 88 years old), the situation is dangerous. In 1992, the Supreme Court struck down Pennsylvania’s attempt to put an “undue burden” on women’s access to abortion, in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but this was before the appointment of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, the latest anti-choice additions to the bench. It is already very difficult to obtain an abortion in South Dakota; there is only one abortion provider, and doctors have to be flown in from Minnesota to perform the process, because there is such a heavy stigma attached. With the very slight loosening of the law - and really, it’s not that different from the 2006 measure - it could easily pass. The polls are tied, and 12% of voters remain undecided.

The law is a direct effort to overturn Roe v. Wade. And although I’m pro-choice, I would love to see the numbers of abortions decrease; abortion is not something which should be taken lightly. But the way to ending abortion is not through criminalizing it, especially in a state like South Dakota. Just look at the 2007 South Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Although the state accepts a significant amount of money from the federal government for abstinence-only sex education, especially considering its small population, 46 percent of South Dakota high school students have had sex. 17 percent of high school age girls in the state have had four or more sexual partners, in comparison to the national average, which is 11.3 percent. We are not going to convince women to make informed decisions about sex by criminalizing abortion and making information about contraceptives unavailable to them; this is instead a move which will consign many women to poverty. And if John McCain is elected tomorrow, this measure could have a serious impact on the right to choose throughout the United States - this is not a law which will simply disadvantage the women of a small, remote state. Pro-choice men and women, this ban is about you.

"I just stand there"

By Chloe Angyal

On Saturday night, John McCain was a special guest on Saturday Night Live. The premise of the show’s cold open sketch was that McCain and Palin, unable to afford thirty-minute slots on network television like Barack Obama did this week, instead had secured time on QVC, the home shopping channel, and were hawking a line of political collectible goods. Cindy McCain made a cameo in the sketch, acting as the woman who elegantly sweeps her hand over the goods (in this case, the "McCain-Feingold" jewelery line), à la those models on The Price is Right. When asked backstage if she was nervous about her brief appearance on the show, Cindy McCain replied, “Oh, no, it’s what I do best. I just stand there. I’m a pro at that.”

Say what you will about McCain’s policies, but I really hope that our next First Lady, whether it’s Mrs. McCain or Mrs. Obama, isn’t going to “just stand there.” I really hope she works for women’s rights and for any number of other worthy causes. I really hope she serves as a role model to women here and abroad. And I really hope she uses her position of considerable influence to demonstrate that women can be more than just decoration on the home shopping channel.

That said, the sketch itself was hilarious.

Things to be grateful for: free speech

By Chloe Angyal

Tomorrow, we're all going to the polls to let our voices be heard. And it's a big day. But really, every day in this country should be appreciated in the same way, because every day in this country, on blogs and in newspapers and in casual conversation, our voices are heard. And we use them without fear of retribution, because the law of this country protects our right to do so.

Every day on Equal Writes, Amelia and I, and all the other writers, enjoy the right to publicly say what we think, and the only consequence we fear is a snarky comment being posted below it. I want to take a brief moment to be grateful for that, because many feminists (and many people, for that matter), don't enjoy that right. India's The National reports today:

"Taslima Nasreen, the Bangladeshi feminist author who was driven from her home country by Muslims angry with her “sacrilegious” writing, now fears she will have to leave India for the same reason...Taslima angered Bangladeshi Muslims with her novel Lajja (Shame), which described the rape of a Hindu girl by a Muslim man, and was accused of calling for changes to be made to the Quran to give women more rights. ...She received death threats from Muslim groups and fled Bangladesh in 1994. But after spending 11 years in Europe and the United States, she moved to India in 2005. When Taslima first arrived in Kolkata, she hoped that in Hindu-majority India she could live in peace. ...Last August a Muslim group attacked her with chairs and stones in the southern city of Hyderabad. Members of the group later said they wanted to kill her. A week later, a top Muslim cleric in Kolkata issued a “death warrant” against her, offering a reward of 100,000 rupees (Dh7,500)."

So let's just take a moment to be grateful for the free speech that we enjoy here, as feminists, and as Americans.
Happy Monday, and happy day-before-election-day, everybody!

Feminism gets funny

By Kelly Roache

Lately, Tina Fey is best known for her portrayal of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, but her current sitcom, 30 Rock (Thursdays at 9:30 on NBC), is even more deserving of our attention as feminists. In 2006, Fey left SNL to start her own show, where she writes and stars as Liz Lemon, a sketch comedy writer with a demanding job. Liz is responsible for holding everything together, from temperamental actors to a slacker staff to her macho boss’s ego. Like Fey herself, she is winsomely nerdy, chock full of Star Wars references and the occasional fashion faux pas; in fact, it is often difficult to separate the character from the writer/actress, whose birth name is even Elizabeth. Needless to say, I was overjoyed when the long summer hiatus ended this past Thursday.

The feminist issues tackled in the first two seasons of 30 Rock run the gamut. Fey digs at the pressure felt by women to be “pretty,” with Liz’s über-feminine actress best friend as her chief medium. Liz’s sensible wardrobe is frequently the butt of jokes; her boss sets her up on a blind date with another woman, assuming she is a lesbian because of her choice of shoes. Her “man shirts” stand in stark contrast to the skimpy attire of her chronically self-objectifying secretary. Liz protests her assignment to write a spin-off show for the winner of the fictitious MILF Island, which pairs “hot moms” with teenage boys in a Survivor-esque parody. Gender issues and politically incorrect humor are no longer strange bedfellows thanks to Fey’s penetrating comedy.

Liz’s relationships, difficult to maintain when competing with her work life, are a recurring theme. She sacrifices her romance with a modern day Prince Charming by deciding not to give up her job in New York to move with him to Cleveland. After an argument, she must decide between catching him at the airport to set things right or indulging in her greatest weakness, food – specifically famous sandwiches delivered to the studio from a secret location once annually. Torn between the more typical damsel in distress role and her “less feminine” lust for junk food, Liz stuffs the sandwich in her mouth in four bites (yes, Fey really did it in one shot), proclaiming, “I can have it all!” while chewing and running through security. This scenario, along with her love of “Sabor de Soledad” (“Taste of Loneliness” in Spanish) cheese curls may be ridiculous, but couched in such outrageous humor is a poignant commentary on finding a balance. 30 Rock even probes the inequity of older men dating younger women in contrast with the reverse.

In addition to the phenomenal cast behind her, Fey is often complemented by equally funny guest stars. Last season, Carrie Fisher played an aging radical hippie who was Liz’s childhood idol as the only female writer on a 1970’s sketch comedy show. Fisher’s over-the-top character “sat around while her junk went bad,” breaking barriers at the expense of having a family, treating Liz as her prodigy and surrogate daughter (much to Liz’s chagrin). Also, Amy Poehler, Fey’s former SNL and Baby Mama co-star, is a frequent guest on the show. For both Fey and Poehler, their feminist material is more than just acting; in their personal lives, they have actively pursued having it all. Fey has a young daughter and a successful, low-profile (an accomplishment in and of itself for a television celebrity these days) marriage, and Poehler just gave birth to her first child a little over a week ago. Like Fey, she recently left SNL to pioneer her own show.

Last Thursday, the third season of 30 Rock opened with Liz’s quest to adopt. Despite her round-the-clock work life, her desire to raise a child and be a “kickass single mom like Erin Brockovich” is frequently referenced. Liz’s evaluation goes off less than smoothly when an adoption official comes to visit her “non-traditional work environment” and chaos ensues. Yet when confronted by the official about her less than suitable circumstances, she refuses to sacrifice either her job or her maternal instinct. This storyline, hints at a potential romance with her boss, played by Alec Baldwin, and an upcoming guest appearance by Oprah should make the coming episodes even more interesting.

As feminists today, we face some serious issues, not to mention a Presidential election this Tuesday. But it’s important that we don’t take ourselves too seriously through all of it. For half an hour a week, 30 Rock is definitely worth catching up with for a chuckle at our culture’s expense.