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linguoboy
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Re: Homophobia

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-20, 17:05

hreru wrote:Linguoboy, come on, comparing sexuality and ethnicity, I wouldn't have expected that from you.
Sorry, I'm not sure I understand the analogy. These are both examples of identities which are socially constructed and which the subject has some control over the expression of but which are widely held to be innate.

hreru wrote:But as for your question, are they any people who think it's not natural/normal to be Jewish? I've heard Jews to be inferior, evil, secret rulers of the world and so on, but never unnatural or abnormal.
So being evil is "normal", is it? Anti-Semitic literature consistently describes Jews as abnormal in their lusts--except that what they supposedly lust after unnaturally is wealth rather than people of the same sex, as it is in homophobic literature.
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Re: Homophobia

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-03-20, 17:11

hreru wrote:I've read only the article in The Independent so I don't know if there's something more in it but from what I grasped he thinks homosexuality is weird but he doesn't have any issues with it. I call such an approach tolerance.

Yeah, like if I said that black men are intellectually inferior to white men or that women shouldn't work because their place in nature is to look after children, but I don't have an issue with it, I'm sure everybody would call me tolerant instead of a racist and a misogynist, and nobody would ask me to apologize...

It's not that natural/normal equals good and the opposite wrong.

Oh c'mon let's be honest here, for most people it's exactly like that. When someone says that homosexuality is not natural or normal, what they really mean is that homosexuality is wrong.

Why don't you take into account his remark that there isn't anything wrong with it at all,

Well, the way I see it, he realized what kinds of reactions his words could provoke and hence he tried to save himself in extremis by adding that remark. So I can't really take those words for sincere.

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Re: Homophobia

Postby hreru » 2015-03-22, 13:51

linguoboy wrote:Sorry, I'm not sure I understand the analogy. These are both examples of identities which are socially constructed and which the subject has some control over the expression of but which are widely held to be innate.

I see, it might be taken this way. I meant it as an individual‘s behaviour/preferences versus accidental group membership. Gays are hated for what they do, Jews just for being born as Jews regardless of their deeds.

I’ll say it once again in a different way. You seem to be forgetting gays and lesbians are a minority. It’s majority who sets what’s "normal". I think there are many people who think of this along the lines "it’s not really how it should be, not really right, but they are happy this way and it’s not harmful to anyone, so it’s their own business". They don’t add "they should be ashamed, afraid and in hiding, cured, beaten, put in prison or asylum, killed". The first is tolerance, the latter homophobia.

I’m not going to defend the guy, I don’t know how he meant it. But the little I read I understood as this is not part of his world, he doesn’t understand it and perhaps doesn’t like it but still respects the difference nevertheless. I might be wrong, sure. So might be you. I definitely belong to those who don’t think normal and natural means the same as the only right possibility. IpseDixit, you say for most people it’s exactly like that … well I’m in minority here. :P This guy might see it the same way.

Once again the majority thing, if you’re in a society where it's standard that women look after the children and you say to your wife you really think that’s where her place is but you don’t have issues with her going to work when she thinks she should it is tolerance.

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Re: Homophobia

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-22, 14:21

hreru wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Sorry, I'm not sure I understand the analogy. These are both examples of identities which are socially constructed and which the subject has some control over the expression of but which are widely held to be innate.
I see, it might be taken this way. I meant it as an individual‘s behaviour/preferences versus accidental group membership. Gays are hated for what they do, Jews just for being born as Jews regardless of their deeds.
I don't think that's true at all. It's not like homophobes hate celibate gays any less than sexually- or romantically-active ones.

hreru wrote:I’ll say it once again in a different way. You seem to be forgetting gays and lesbians are a minority. It’s majority who sets what’s "normal".
It's exactly that sort of flawed thinking which is so dangerous. Normal is a not a narrow band; normal is a wide range. It embraces both minority and majority features and behaviours. Green eyes aren't "abnormal" just because the vast majority of people in the world have brown eyes; they're just uncommon. Homosexuality is well within the normal observed range of sexual behaviour, not just for humans but for all animals. Suggesting otherwise isn't the same as justifying discrimination against LGBTQ folk, but it is the necessary first step.

I don't have a problem with him acknowledging that it's not a part of his personal experience. But equating one's own personal experience with "normality"--particularly when one is part of a peculiarly privileged (not to mention WEIRD) segment of the population--is the source of all systematic discrimination in society. I'm not willing to settle for "tolerance". Tolerance is conditional; tolerance can be withdrawn by the majority on a whim. The only standard which guarantees me and others like me long-term survival is full acceptance.
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Re: Homophobia

Postby hreru » 2015-03-22, 15:32

linguoboy wrote:I don't think that's true at all. It's not like homophobes hate celibate gays any less than sexually- or romantically-active ones.
How do they know they’re gays when these don’t show it? :hmm:

Normal is a not a narrow band; normal is a wide range. It embraces both minority and majority features and behaviours. Green eyes aren't "abnormal" just because the vast majority of people in the world have brown eyes; they're just uncommon. Homosexuality is well within the normal observed range of sexual behaviour, not just for humans but for all animals.

I agree with this (except all animals?, that’s somewhat exaggerated, isn’t it?) – that’s one meaning of the word, but not the only one. Especially for behaviour it’s normal (sorry :mrgreen: ) to use it to mean prevailing.

Tolerance is conditional; tolerance can be withdrawn by the majority on a whim. The only standard which guarantees me and others like me long-term survival is full acceptance.

Tolerance can vanish, but so can full acceptance. Not so easily, true; but do you think it’s a right way to achieve the goal of total acceptance by picking those who "only" tolerate you and demanding more? Wouldn’t it be counter-productive? I’m asking because to me it sometimes looks as if all who don’t accept gays fully are considered homophobes, and now I think this is a dangerous thinking.

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Re: Homophobia

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-22, 15:41

hreru wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I don't think that's true at all. It's not like homophobes hate celibate gays any less than sexually- or romantically-active ones.
How do they know they’re gays when these don’t show it?
How do people know someone's Jewish when they "don't show it"?

hreru wrote:I agree with this (except all animals?, that’s somewhat exaggerated, isn’t it?) – that’s one meaning of the word, but not the only one. Especially for behaviour it’s normal (sorry :mrgreen: ) to use it to mean prevailing.
Citations, please.

hreru wrote:
Tolerance is conditional; tolerance can be withdrawn by the majority on a whim. The only standard which guarantees me and others like me long-term survival is full acceptance.

Tolerance can vanish, but so can full acceptance. Not so easily, true; but do you think it’s a right way to achieve the goal of total acceptance by picking those who "only" tolerate you and demanding more? Wouldn’t it be counter-productive?
How is it "picking on someone" to voice the opinion that their views are discriminatory and should be deemed unacceptable by mainstream society? Zelmerlöw's a big boy, the criticism doesn't seem to have hurt his career at all. (In fact, it only came up again now because he's competing in Eurovision.)

hreru wrote:I’m asking because to me it sometimes looks as if all who don’t accept gays fully are considered homophobes, and now I think this is a dangerous thinking.
So what are some entirely non-homophobic reasons for rejecting gays?
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Re: Homophobia

Postby hreru » 2015-03-22, 17:00

linguoboy wrote:
hreru wrote:How do they know they’re gays when these don’t show it?
How do people know someone's Jewish when they "don't show it"?
I meant the question, I can't imagine. I'd like it to be answered first.

You mean it with citations? :shock: This is a language forum. I bet you'll find some "common", "standard", or "typical" in any dictionary. Well I want citations for the "all animals" then. :P

As for discriminatory views and rejecting gays, I suppose we still talk about the Zelmerlöw's case, and then we can't agree upon it in any way, because I just can't see anything discriminatory and rejecting in what he said, based on my understanding of the words normal and natural. I don't know the guy, I don't care about his career. When I said counter-productive I meant for gays and public view of them.

Shall I understand it that you do consider the people I described as tolerating homophobes? Is it practically the same if someone considers you strange but thinks live and let live, and if someone wants you down on your knees? Full acceptance only? (Now I mean it generally, not this very case.) :hmm:

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Re: Homophobia

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-22, 20:35

hreru wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
hreru wrote:How do they know they’re gays when these don’t show it?
How do people know someone's Jewish when they "don't show it"?
I meant the question, I can't imagine. I'd like it to be answered first.
You can't imagine? Really, you can't imagine? You can't understand how one being possessed of speech could communicate information to another being possessed of speech without the need for visual confirmation? Let me ask you something: how do you know that I'm gay?

hreru wrote:You mean it with citations?
Yes, I do. If it is, in fact, "normal...to use it to mean prevailing", then this is something which one would fully expect to be reflected in vetted reference sources. There are twenty-one definitions for "normal" on this page. "Prevailing" is not one of them. I also didn't find that definition in the American Heritage or the OED. Where did you find it?

hreru wrote:When I said counter-productive I meant for gays and public view of them.
I know you did. I was addressing the argument that it was "bullying" to criticise views he voiced publicly. Generally when someone is "bullied", there is some demonstrable harm done to them. What was that, according to you, in this instance?

hreru wrote:Shall I understand it that you do consider the people I described as tolerating homophobes? Is it practically the same if someone considers you strange but thinks live and let live, and if someone wants you down on your knees?
Did I say it was? Still, I have to question someone's commitment to letting me live my life when they go and make public statements about how "abnormal" it is. How comfortable do you think he'd be with the idea of countless strangers telling him that it was "abnormal" for a man to make a living by singing?
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Re: Homophobia

Postby hreru » 2015-03-23, 11:09

First, it was not my goal to make you angry.

Then, I'm neither a scientist nor is my English perfect, I might not express myself precisely enough for your standards but I think it's sufficient for you to get the gist if you didn't focus on individual words. Does the verb to show exclude verbal communication? Prevailing is stronger than common or typical, I admit, replace the first with the latter ones please. My dictionary doesn't say to pick on means only to bully.

linguoboy wrote:
hreru wrote:Shall I understand it that you do consider the people I described as tolerating homophobes? Is it practically the same if someone considers you strange but thinks live and let live, and if someone wants you down on your knees?
Did I say it was?

You didn't say that explicitly, it’s my impression from your words that you don't distinguish too much here – meaning both the approaches are (equally?) bad for you. I asked to have this confirmed or disproved. I'm still not sure.

Still, I have to question someone's commitment to letting me live my life when they go and make public statements about how "abnormal" it is.

I suppose he answered a question about what his views on gay community are, and he answered what he thought. It would have been different if he came up all of a sudden with "I want everyone to know gays are an abnormality".

How comfortable do you think he'd be with the idea of countless strangers telling him that it was "abnormal" for a man to make a living by singing?

Uncomfortable, I don't know how much. It depends on how sensitive he is to these things and on whether it would be "it's abnormal but not wrong" or "it's abnormal, quit it right now".

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Re: Homophobia

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-23, 15:23

hreru wrote:First, it was not my goal to make you angry.
And you didn't. Being exasperated is not the same thing as being angry. It's a fair point about you not being 100% fluent, and I will try to keep that in mind. (Actually, it's a compliment to your linguistic expertise that I find this so easy to forget.)

hreru wrote:Does the verb to show exclude verbal communication?
In common usage, yes. See: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/show#Verb. Also, consider the common piece of advice given to aspiring writers, "Show, don't tell", which explicitly contrasts "showing" something with communicating it verbally.

hreru wrote:Prevailing is stronger than common or typical, I admit, replace the first with the latter ones please.
In which case, I'm going to need citations equating "normal" to "common" or "typical". Again, my dictionaries don't do this.

hreru wrote:My dictionary doesn't say to pick on means only to bully.
Regardless, the point stands: What harm has Zelmerlöw suffered? He's had his public statements criticised. Every public figure has their public statements criticised (and sometimes their private ones as well). Why refer to this as being "picked on" if you're not suggesting that some sort of bullying is taking place?

hreru wrote:I suppose he answered a question about what his views on gay community are, and he answered what he thought. It would have been different if he came up all of a sudden with "I want everyone to know gays are an abnormality".
Why would that have made a difference? He was under no obligation to say anything.

hreru wrote:
How comfortable do you think he'd be with the idea of countless strangers telling him that it was "abnormal" for a man to make a living by singing?
Uncomfortable, I don't know how much. It depends on how sensitive he is to these things and on whether it would be "it's abnormal but not wrong" or "it's abnormal, quit it right now".
This seems to me a distinction without a difference, something which I believe is confirmed by microaggression theory.

Let me give you an example from my own life: My husband was recently hospitalised and I was there with him every day speaking to various caregivers and administrators. Before going in, I had had no strong feelings about how people acknowledged our relationship, whether they called us "partners" or "boyfriends" or "longtime companions" or what have you. In most situations, the varying implications of these terms simply doesn't matter.

But a hospital is different. Communications regarding an individual's medical treatment are governed by an act of Congress called HIPPA, which places strict limits on who can be told what. In addition, legal spouses have the authority to make medical decisions for a person unless that authority has been explicitly transferred to someone else. Partners who are not legal spouses do not have this authority unless it has been explicitly granted them by means of legal instrument such as Medical Power of Attorney. These factors figured prominently in our decision to become legally married last year. Even though I already had MPA for him, I wanted to eliminate the possibility of someone having to consult a document in order to establish my legal rights.

Because I was monitoring his daily care, it was essential to me that everyone I spoke with knew that I was his legal spouse, with full access to his medical records and full authority to make medical decisions in case he was incapacitated. This is not something you want to have to go through the trouble of clarifying when, for instance, someone is in cardiac arrest. So I made a point of introducing myself to everyone I spoke to as his "husband" and correcting them if they said "partner". I even went so far as to acknowledge that if they had issues with same-sex marriage, they could substitute the legal term "spouse" for "husband". (How's that for "tolerance"?)

A day didn't go by that I didn't have to give this explanation or correct someone's assumption or usage. In phone conversations, several people ignored my use of masculine pronouns to refer to him and substituted female ones. In the course of a fortnight, at least four different people referred to him as my father. (There is a substantial difference in our ages.) One of these was a physician who had spoken to me four times at that point. When I corrected him saying, "You mean my husband?" he said, "Right, I keep forgetting." He never actually said the words, "That is abnormal." But what do you think the lack of effort he put into noting that fact conveyed?

The end result of this constant stream of microaggressions was that, by the time he was released, I was touchy about what people said. It ultimately didn't--and doesn't--matter to me whether the mistakes they made were out of ignorance, carelessness, or malice. Whatever the reason, the result was the same. I was made insecure about the status of my relationship and uncertain whether, in a crisis situation, it would be recognised. Why should I be put through that? It wouldn't happen to an opposite sex couple.

That's why I say "tolerance" isn't enough. Same-sex marriage is "normal" in the core meaning of the term (i.e. "according to norms or rules"; it is, quite literally, the law of the land now). It is because homosexuality is "normal". Not everyone has to like that, but they do have to accept it--and that means altering their assumptions instead of treating the examples they come across as bizarre aberrations.
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Re: Homophobia

Postby Johanna » 2015-03-23, 17:01

Speaking of language barriers, what Måns Zelmerlöw said was that homosexuality is "en avvikelse", which doesn't have the exact same connotations as "abnormality" has in English. Sure, I get why people got upset over it, but it's not as bad as many have made it sound, it actually is used a lot more about statistical abnormalities and outliers than seeing something as not normal.
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Re: Homophobia

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-23, 17:07

Johanna wrote:Speaking of language barriers, what Måns Zelmerlöw said was that homosexuality is "en avvikelse", which doesn't have the exact same connotations as "abnormality" has in English.
I may have been misled somewhat by the German cognate, since Abweichung has more the sense of "aberration", "deviation", or even (in earlier usage) "mutation" than simply "statistical outlier". It is explicitly contrasted to Norm and Normalität.
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Re: Homophobia

Postby Unknown » 2015-03-23, 17:15

Well to me the tone already seems quite straightforward in this case, since "avvikelse" does indeed mean "deviation" (though I'd imagine people getting just as pissed if he used "styggelse" - abomination lol)

In any case, from what I have seen, a lot of people would get pissed right away once they hear and/or see someone claiming that homosexuality is a deviation and an "abomination to the Lord".

Personally I just take shit like that with a grain of salt. Do I think it is offensive? Yes, but do I dwell on it like it's a world crisis? Hell no! I have better things to do! lol

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Re: Homophobia

Postby Johanna » 2015-03-23, 18:13

linguoboy wrote:
Johanna wrote:Speaking of language barriers, what Måns Zelmerlöw said was that homosexuality is "en avvikelse", which doesn't have the exact same connotations as "abnormality" has in English.

I may have been misled somewhat by the German cognate, since Abweichung has more the sense of "aberration", "deviation", or even (in earlier usage) "mutation" than simply "statistical outlier". It is explicitly contrasted to Norm and Normalität.

On the surface it looks like it's very similar, except that "avvikelse" never means "mutation", but I don't know the finer nuances of the German word. But yeah, "avvikelse" isn't the best choice if you simply want to say that something is different or less common, it's not completely neutral. Still, it's a lot more so than "onormal" or similar.

I definitely understand why people were upset, at the very least it did come out as very heteronormative that he even mentioned it, and he talked about homosexuality not making much sense from a biological point of view (which shows how little he knows about biology), but from my understanding he never said homosexuality isn't completely acceptable.

Anyway, I think the discussion has become a bit skewed, it shouldn't be so much about what he said, he's already apologised and hopefully learnt something along the way, but more about what he said and how that's a symptom of a heteronormativity that runs very deep in our society, even among people who really, really should know better.
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Re: Homophobia

Postby Vlürch » 2015-03-24, 2:47

This is gonna be a bit rambly, and might offend you if you can't tolerate more inclusive views than your own.

I agree with hreru on literally every point he made. Intent makes a huge difference in some situations, whereas in others it doesn't make any difference; this is one of those where it does matter. And you can't teach hateful people to not be offensive; it's part of who they are to be hateful just as much as your identity is part of who you are. That's what SJWs fail to realise; their "enemies" are people, too.

All those "safe spaces" that feminists and LGBT activists keep going on about make me feel kinda annoyed. It's not because I'd think they don't deserve to feel safe, since of course they do, but so do those who disagree with them. We're all equal. Freedom of speech and individual rights come first, and yes, that includes hate speech and the freedom to isolate oneself from it regardless of whether a real threat exists in the situation or not.

I don't support discrimination against any group, and that includes groups that are generally considered ok to hate on a societal scale (for example pedophiles, rapists, even child molesters, murderers and terrorists) but that doesn't mean I wouldn't also be biased against them, some more than others. Society as a whole should work against its own biases and overcome them. There's no point in pointing at others, differentiating them from yourself. If you do that, you'll only throw fuel into the fire.

I mean, I absolutely do not support ISIS, but I don't feel ashamed to be Finnish just because lots of Finns are on ISIS' side. Nationalism is three quarters of the evil that national socialism is. Of course there are things that I could say figuratively make me proud to be Finnish, but none of those things matter when compared to peace. I guess I could technically be arrested for saying that and held indefinitely without trial (or so I've heard; not sure if it's actually true) since it's "anti-nationalistic" and "encourages anarchy", which is pretty ridiculous if it's true. And even if it isn't, it's strange how a rumour like that exists. The point is that nationalism, ethnicism, etc. are some of the main driving forces for war in human history, in addition to resources and in some cases simply wanting to expand territory (maybe to compensate for *cough* broken swords *cough*).

We really can't have peace for as long as we don't accept the fact that there will always be bad eggs, but that they're a minority no matter how prominent positions they may have in governments. People everywhere are much more free now than ever before in the past, yet they're complaining more and more about smaller and smaller things.

Of course, not everyone in "Democratic" Congo, South Africa or Ethiopia is homophobic or racist or rapists or whatever, but... you know. Gays face a lot more problems in some countries than others. Should homosexuality be forced down their throats? I mean, personally, I don't think so; if they want to hate gays, and are willing to start wars over it, leave them alone and offer refuge for the homosexuals of those countries, same goes for women, children and even men (and not just the gay ones).

The only reason why this doesn't work, and why a true investment for global peace hasn't already been started as an international effort, is that people are too nationalistic and ethnicist, against multiculturalism. It's sad, but I don't imagine there being a change anytime soon, since the Western world will collapse in on itself and probably disappear from existence in the next thousand years.

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Re: Homophobia

Postby md0 » 2015-03-24, 9:47

I will just go ahead and change the topic.
I think that the term 'homophobia' is not a good term because it stigmatises those being discriminated against. I have been using 'heterosexism' for a while now.
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Re: Homophobia

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-24, 14:44

meidei wrote:I think that the term 'homophobia' is not a good term because it stigmatises those being discriminated against. I have been using 'heterosexism' for a while now.

I also like the term "heteronormativity" because it highlights the way "inoffensive" comments like Zelmerlöw's--regardless of his own personal intent--ultimately contribute to establishing heterosexuality as a societal norm against which all other forms of sexual behaviour are judged deviations.

It might also be useful to have a word which spotlights the use of heteronormative discourse to maintain an unequal power structure. Something akin to "White supremacy" in discussions of race. "Straight supremacy", anyone?
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Re: Homophobia

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-03-24, 17:09

meidei wrote:I will just go ahead and change the topic.
I think that the term 'homophobia' is not a good term because it stigmatises those being discriminated against.

Really? How so? (Not trying to criticize or argue with you, just curious).
I have been using 'heterosexism' for a while now.

Is that what you think the title should be changed to? Because if it is, by all means, go ahead and change the title! I'll change the title of the first post, too, if you like. :)
linguoboy wrote:It might also be useful to have a word which spotlights the use of heteronormative discourse to maintain an unequal power structure. Something akin to "White supremacy" in discussions of race. "Straight supremacy", anyone?

Sure, why not?

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linguoboy
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Re: Homophobia

Postby linguoboy » 2015-03-24, 19:29

Vlürch wrote:So, you can call me an anti-feminist because I'm against the idea that feminism is still needed in first world countries (as a legal thing, I mean), and same for LGBT rights activism (except where equal rights don't yet exist, obviously)[.]

So, to recap, LGBT activism isn't necessary any more anywhere in the first world except when and where it is necessary. Thanks so much for clarifying that.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Homophobia

Postby Johanna » 2015-03-24, 21:55

admin

I've moved the part of the discussion that was about feminism and sexism here.

I might have screwed a few things up however, so if one of your posts is missing and you wonder where it went, that's on me :oops:
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