TIME society

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s History as a Champion of Gay Rights

Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at an annual Women's History Month reception in Washington on March 18, 2015.
Allison Shelley—Getty Images Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at an annual Women's History Month reception in Washington on March 18, 2015.

"I think that as more and more people came out and said that 'this is who I am,' the rest of us recognized that they are one of us"

It’s official: gay marriage is now a Constitutional right everywhere in America, thanks to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case on Friday. While there was a majority decision of 5-4, there is one justice who has stood out above the rest as a steadfast and fierce supporter of marriage equality, and you might know her as the Notorious RBG. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s support of gay marriage has been crucial, from her personal opinion of the American public’s shifting attitude to April’s oral arguments and, ultimately, the historical decision that says anyone in any state can marry the person they love. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan joined Ginsburg in agreeing that gay couples should be free to marry in all 50 states.

Even before the decisive oral arguments on April 28, Ginsburg was already very vocal about her take on gay marriage: America’s ready. In February, Ginsburg sat down with Bloomberg Business to discuss the high court’s impending gay marriage case. She told Bloomberg’s Greg Stohr and Matthew Winkler that it “would not take a large adjustment” for the American people to accept the Supreme Court’s decision to make gay marriage a Constitutional right.

The change in people’s attitudes on that issue has been enormous. In recent years, people have said, “This is the way I am.” And others looked around, and we discovered it’s our next-door neighbor — we’re very fond of them. Or it’s our child’s best friend, or even our child. I think that as more and more people came out and said that “this is who I am,” the rest of us recognized that they are one of us.

Then, during the hearing in April, Ginsburg used her famous sharp wit to shut down the opposing side’s arguments against gay marriage. For example, when tradition was brought up as an argument to maintain the marriage status quo, Ginsburg countered with the (extremely) antiquated Head and Master Law, which defined marriage as between a dominant male and a subordinate female. Clearly, that was a marriage tradition that desperately needed to be challenged, just like opponents’ idea of marriage as only between a man and a woman.

And when John Bursch, the lawyer representing the states who want to keep their gay marriage bans, argued that marriage was all about procreating, Ginsburg brought up this very astute point:

Suppose a couple, 70-year-old couple, comes in and they want to get married? You don’t have to ask them any questions. You know they are not going to have any children.

But perhaps the biggest nod she’s made was when she officiated a gay wedding earlier this month, which is already a clear-cut sign of her advocacy, and she dropped a sly hint to the SCOTUS’s decision. According to to New York Times writer Maureen Dowd, who was in attendance at the wedding of Shakespeare Theatre Company artistic director Michael Kahn and New York architect Charles Mitchem, when pronouncing the two men married,Ginsburg seemed to emphasize the word “constitution” when she said “by the powers vested in me by the Constitution of the United States.”

Though it’s nothing but mere speculation, it certainly wouldn’t be totally unlike the Notorious RBG to subtly wink at America in such a way. She didn’t earn her “notorious” title for nothing.

This article originally appeared on Bustle

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME

Cannes Film Festival Steps Into Controversy Over High Heels-Only Policy

Women are reportedly being turned away from screenings for wearing flat shoes

The Cannes Film Festival is facing backlash after several women reported that they were stopped from entering screenings for wearing the wrong shoes.

Screen Daily reports the women were turned away from a screening of Carol in their rhinestone flat shoes, even though some of the women reportedly suffered from unspecified medical conditions and couldn’t wear heels. According to the Guardian, festival-goers are to be “smartly dressed” at Cannes screenings—men are required to wear black tie and shoes, but the guidelines for women are murkier.

Amy director Asif Kapadia said his wife was even initially turned away from a screening for wearing flat shoes, though she was eventually let in.

Many are calling the alleged rule sexist. Actress Emily Blunt said in a press conference on Tuesday that all women should wear flats, adding that a heels-only dress code for women would be “very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality.” Benico del Toro and Josh Brolin also joked that they should wear heels in protest.

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux tweeted, however, that the heels-only rule was “unfounded,” despite the women’s reports.

TIME Parenting

New Parents Spend Less Time Looking After Kids Than They Think

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Miho Aikawa—Getty Images

And fathers overestimate how much housework they do

According to a new study, couples who have recently become parents believe they spend more hours in childcare than they actually do. And couples who intend to divide up childcare equally before their kid is born rarely achieve that balance once the baby arrives.

Researchers from Ohio State University interviewed 182 professional level couples before they had their kids and after. They also asked them to keep time diaries, which log how they spend their hours each day. The results might hold a clue as to why it’s harder for women to become business leaders, a subject that has been under much scrutiny in the last five years. But it also might provide ammunition in the so-called chore wars, because it suggests both men and women—but especially men—do less than they think do.

“Most modern couples want to share the duties and rewards of work and family equally,” says the study, which was prepared for an online symposium on housework, gender and parenthood (just in time for Mother’s Day!) hosted by the Council on Contemporary Families. And indeed before children enter the picture they divide up the labor pretty well. Men and women both report working about 45 hours a week and spending a further 15 hours a week each doing housework. This is borne out by their time-use diaries, which are a self-kept record of what activities took up their day. “Before the babies were born, most couples had achieved a balanced division of labor,” says the briefing paper.

When interviewed during their pregnancies, nearly all the couples had expected that balance to continue after their family grew by one member. “More than 95% of both men and women agreed that ‘men should share with child care such as bathing, feeding, and dressing the child’ and that ‘it is equally as important for a father to provide financial, physical, and emotional care to his children,’” the study says.

Nine months after the kids were born, which is about when schedules begin to settle in, the researchers interviewed the couples again, and each partner felt they had added about 50% to their overall work load. Instead of spending 60 hours a week on paid and unpaid labor, they reported spending about 90 hours a week. The moms estimated they were doing 27 hours of housework, 28 hours of child care, and 35 hours of paid work per week. The dads figured they were doing about 35 hours of housework, 15 hours of child care, and 41 hours of paid work per week.

So both men and women felt like they had reduced their time at the office. Dads felt as if they had picked up the slack around the house, more than doubling the time they spent doing chores, and then adding in 15 hours childcare as well. The women reported doing less housework than men, but a lot more childrearing.

Turns out, they were both wrong. According to the detailed time diaries that the participants kept, they women spent on average 12 hours less looking after the kids than they thought they did (15 hours). Even if playing and reading with baby—not strictly laborious—were included, women still spent six hours less with their kids than they had reported. Similarly, they were only doing about half as much housework as they guessed (13. 5 hours). Where did all the time go? The women spent 42 hours doing paid work— six hours more than they thought they spent in their jobs.

Dads’ estimates were even further off: they did about 10 hours of physical child care, about two thirds of what they had reported. They put in 46 hours of paid work —five hours more than they reported and more than they did before they had a child. But it was their estimate of housework that was the furthest off-base. “The time diaries revealed that on average the men did just nine hours of housework—only one-fourth as much as they thought they were doing,” says the report.

The authors, who were more interested in getting better access to reasonably priced and workable childcare than settling marital disputes about who’s not pulling their weight around the home, note that the eight extra hours a week could really add up. “Women’s total weekly workload increased from 56 to 77 hours across the transition to parenthood, while men’s increased from 59 to 69 hours,” says the study. “Thus, over the course of a year, our calculations indicate that parenthood increased women’s total workload by about 4 ½ weeks of 24-hour days, whereas parenthood increased men’s total workload by approximately 1 ½ weeks—a 3-week per year gender gap.”

The study is very small, and not nationally representative, but it does offer an intriguing perspective on the different impact being a parent has on men’s and women’s lives even in an era when equality is generally recognized as important. The danger is that if women feel overwhelmed they may decide to give up working outside the home.

Why is that a danger? “When a woman quits work, reduces hours, or takes a less-challenging job, she sacrifices earnings, raises, promotions, unemployment insurance, and pension accumulations, thereby undermining her future economic security,” writes Stephanie Coontz, Co-Chair and Director of Public Education at the CCF. “She is also less to likely to have the kind of work continuity that has been found to protect a woman’s mental and physical health better than part-time work, staying home, or experiencing frequent bouts of unemployment.”

Moreover, it further tips the balance of household labor away from the dads. Men feel even more pressure to work to make up for lost income, which leads to women taking over an increased share of the parenting and kids seeing less of their dads. Another paper prepared for the symposium shows that men’s contribution to the share of household work has increased markedly in every country studied, but clearly, the inequities remain.

Is there a solution? Perhaps, but it might involve some tense conversations. “We would argue that men and women should openly confront the workload inequities that develop in their child’s first nine months,” say the Ohio State authors, “because renegotiating the division of labor once routines are established is really difficult.” Alternatively, all new parents could keep a time-diary. Because they don’t have enough to do.

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TIME feminism

Meet 10 CEOs and University Leaders Working For Gender Equality

Marco Grob--Marco Grob Photography, Inc.

From Unilever to the University of Hong Kong, a wave of male executives join UNWomen's new 'HeForShe' initiative

Correction appended, May 6

Heads of state, CEOs and university presidents are all making public and concrete commitments to gender equality in the latest installment of UN Women’s ‘HeForShe’ initiative.

As part of HeForShe’s IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, 10 heads of state, 10 CEOs and 10 university presidents will publicly commit to taking tangible steps to achieve gender equality in their organizations. On Tuesday, the first five CEOs and five university presidents announced their commitments–the others will be released over the coming months.

Each company or university signed the UN’s Women Empowerment Principles, with a special emphasis on Principle #7: to measure and publicly report on efforts to achieve gender equality. Corporate participants detailed their plans to help close the pay gap, achieve parity in management, and expand opportunities for women throughout their supply chains.

“If we are to achieve gender equality in our lifetime, we need creative approaches that target the biggest barriers,” says Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, noting that this program “brings together the strength of partners across sectors to crack some of those barriers from within.”

Here’s who is committing to HeForShe in the corporate world:

Sebastien Bazin is CEO of Accor, a Paris-based hotel group that employs 180,000 people and runs 3,800 hotels in 92 countries, like Sofitel, Novotel, and MGallery. As the father of two “brilliant daughters,” Bazin says he believes women should be “given the same opportunities as their male peers,” yet acknowledges that women remain underrepresented in company management. That’s why Bazin is committing to closing the pay gap within Accor, doubling the share of women in COO roles by 2020, and tripling the share of women on the executive committee by 2018. He also pledged to get 50,000 male employees (60% of the company) to commit to be HeForShe champions for gender equality.

Paul Polman is CEO of Unilever, the world’s third-largest consumer goods company. Unilever owns brands like Axe, Dove, Lipton, Sunsilk, and Hellmans, and employs 172,000 people. Right now, only 43% of Unilever managers are female, but under the new initiative the company has pledged to achieve parity in management by 2020. They’ve also promised to expand safety programs in regions where the company operates, and provide skills training and other empowerment tools to 5 million women by 2020.

Mustafa V. Koç is head of the Koç Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in Turkey and one of the biggest companies in Europe. With 113 companies and almost 86,000 employees, Koç is the only Turkish company on the Fortune Global 500 list. But the company recognizes much of their work is in male-dominated industries, and that women’s advancement is difficult in Turkey and throughout the region. To that end, Koç is committing to mobilizing 4 million people across Turkey to speak up for gender equality, and providing gender sensitivity training to 100,000 people by 2020. And this year, the company will release its first-ever report on gender parity.

Dennis Nally is chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the professional services firm that is one of the largest campus recruiters in the US. Using their networks on college campuses, the company has pledged to develop a gender equality curriculum to reach 1 million male students by 2016. They’ve also pledged to evaluate how to get more women into leadership roles within the company, and promised that every senior partner will publicly commit as a HeForShe by the end of the year.

Rick Goings, CEO of Tupperware Brands, has pledged a full audit of the company, from senior executives down to factory workers, with an eye towards reaching 50/50 representation at every part of the supply chain. Tupperware has also promised to educate their entire sales force — 3 million people — about HeForShe.

And here are the universities committing to HeForShe:

The University of Hong Kong aims to triple the number of women in dean-level positions by 2020 (currently, only 7% of deans are women.) The University is also working on a gender bias curriculum that they hope will reach 50% of students by 2018.

The University of Leicester in the UK aims to bridge the gender gaps in key academic areas like psychology and engineering, and pledged to make their faculty 30% female by 2020. They’ve also created a prize for exceptional work in achieving gender equality.

Nagoya University in Japan has pledged to build the first-ever Center for Gender Equality in Japan by 2018, and will continue to establish women-only faculty positions in science subjects. They’ll also create dedicated programs for female PhD students and mentoring programs to help women occupy 20% of the faculty and university leadership positions by 2020 (a 25% increase).

University of Waterloo in Canada is committing to boosting female enrollment in STEM fields by two-thirds by 2020, so that woman make up 33% of math and science students. They’re also pledging to make the faculty 31% female and the administration and senior leadership 34% female by 2020.

University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg pledges to have women occupy 32% of the Heads of Schools roles by 2019, and to increase women in professor roles to 30%. They also plan to publish annual reports on campus violence, and work on non-traditional techniques to spread the message of gender equality, including “ambush lectures,” to reach students who are skeptical as well as those who are supportive.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly described the University of Waterloo’s goal for women enrolled in STEM fields. It is 33%.

 

 

 

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis Calls for Equal Pay for Women and Men

He says gender-based pay disparities are "pure scandal"

Pope Francis expressed support for equal pay for men and women on Wednesday, calling income disparities “pure scandal.”

Speaking during his weekly general audience, Francis asked that Christians “become more demanding” about achieving gender equality, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

“Why is it expected that women must earn less than men?” he asked the crowd at St. Peter’s Square. “No! They have the same rights. The disparity is a pure scandal.”

The Pope emphasized that concern for women’s equality isn’t at odds with concern for declining marriage rates around the world, a shift he said Christians needed to reflect on “with great seriousness.”

“Many consider that the change occurring in these last decades may have been set in motion by women’s emancipation,” he said. But Francis called that idea “an insult” and “a form of chauvinism that always wants to control the woman.”

[NCR]

TIME Television

The Daily Show Reminds Us That Flying Cars May Exist Before Women Get Equal Pay

Kristen Schaal explains it all in a depressingly funny report.

A recent study predicts American women won’t earn the same amount of money as men until the year 2058 (other studies say it will take until 2100). Senior Women’s Issues Correspondent Kristen Schaal appeared The Daily Show to talk about a few items that will likely be in existence way before paycheck equality, including flying cars and travel to Mars.

Host Jon Stewart then pointed out that, much like equal pay, people have been talking about flying cars for years without making much progress. He asked her to give him a more realistic example, which she does in the form of a news clip showing a scientist unveiling a 3-D printed functional human heart. “You’re telling me we’re going to print a human heart out of a Xerox machine before women get pay equality?” Stewart asked. “No,” Schaal said, “I’m telling you we’ll print hearts 30 years before women get pay equality.” She suggests that women might be better off 3D-printing a different body part entirely if they want the same pay rate as men.

TIME Education

Leading Women’s College Will Soon Accept Women Who Were Born as Men

Campus Building in Bryn Mawr College
Aimin Tang—Getty Images Campus Building in Bryn Mawr College

But Bryn Mawr College will not accept women who now identify as men

Women’s college Bryn Mawr College announced Monday the school will soon accept applications from transgender women and those who don’t identify as men.

On Monday, the college said it would accept applications from “transwomen and of intersex individuals who live and identify as women at the time of application.” According to a press release, the school will also allow “intersex individuals who do not identify as male” to apply, though those assigned female gender at birth who have taken “medical or legal steps” to identify as male are not eligible.

“Bryn Mawr continues its clear mission to educate women to be future leaders, but it also recognizes that conceptions of gender are changing and that the College must respond to these changes,”said Bryn Mawr College Board Chair Arlene Gibson in a statement.

The president and other members of the board faced pressure from former students of the school that started a petition last year to urge administrators to accept transgender women.

“The Bryn Mawr community deserves a clear, intentional, and well-articulated admissions policy protecting all prospective students, including trans, nonbinary, and intersex students, and especially trans women,” the Change.org petition reads. It was supported by 2,045 individuals.

TIME Know Right Now

Know Right Now: Gay Marriages Go Ahead in Alabama

Despite a judge's order in defiance of federal ruling to allow gay marriage in the state.

Marriages between same-sex couples in Alabama began on Monday, despite an order by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy S. Moore not to issue marriage licenses, in defiance of a federal judge’s ruling.

TIME golf

U.S. Golfer and Civil Rights Pioneer Charlie Sifford Dies at 92

Former PGA golfer Charlie Sifford sits in the dining room of his home in Brecksville, Ohio on Nov. 13, 2014
Mark Duncan—AP Former PGA golfer Charlie Sifford sits in the dining room of his home in Brecksville, Ohio on Nov. 13, 2014.

He forced the desegregation of professional golf

Dr. Charles L. “Charlie” Sifford, a man who achieved great success on the golf course but made a much larger impact off of it, passed away on Wednesday night at the age of 92, the PGA Tour of America confirmed.

Born in 1922, the Charlotte, N.C. native is often called golf’s Jackie Robinson. His challenge to the PGA’s “Caucasian-only” membership clause forced the desegregation of professional golf in 1961.

“By his courage, Dr. Sifford inspired others to follow their dreams. The PGA of America extends its thoughts and prayers to Dr. Sifford’s family. Golf was fortunate to have had this exceptional American in our midst,” said PGA of America President Derek Sprague.

On the Tour, Sifford won the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and the Los Angeles Open in 1969 and was champion of the Seniors Championship in 1975. He was also a six-time winner of what was known as the Negro Open.

Sifford once met Jackie Robinson — the first black player in Major League Baseball — and described their conversation in his autobiography Just Let Me Play.

He wrote, “[Robinson] asked me if I was a quitter, I told him no. He said, ‘If you’re not a quitter, you’re probably going to experience some things that will make you want to quit’.”

In 2014 Sifford became the third golfer (Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer being the other two) to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor an American civilian can receive. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.

TIME society

Let’s Give Thanks and Stop Whining This Holiday Season

world
Getty Images

Andrés Martinez is editorial director of Zócalo Public Square, for which he writes the Trade Winds column.

The world has never been better

In her classic reinterpretation of Western history, The Legacy of Conquest, Patricia Nelson Limerick writes of an entrepreneurial young man in St. Louis eager to get in on the 1849 Gold Rush. He hands over $200 to a fledgling new carrier called the Pioneer Line that promises comfortable and speedy (60 days, give or take) coach service to the coast, food and drinks included.

Things don’t go as smoothly as advertised. Passengers have to walk part of the way on account of the wagons being overloaded and the ponies being spent. Many travelers die on the voyage, some early on from cholera, others later from scurvy. Once in San Francisco, the young man finds he is too late to the party, struggling to make a living taking menial jobs and distraught that his letters back home take up to six or seven months to arrive.

I can relate. On a recent flight out West, for which I also plopped about $200, we were ordered off the plane after we’d already boarded on account of some mechanical issue, then were forced to wait while United reassigned another aircraft. We made it to Phoenix a full three hours late. I don’t think any of us picked up scurvy along the ways, but things were pretty rough: The onboard Wi-Fi wasn’t working, the flight attendants ran out of Diet Coke, and the guy in front of me reclined his seat so that it nearly touched my knees. Cross-country travel remains ghastly, even when you have a book as good as Limerick’s to entertain you.

You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? That’s right: Let’s stop whining already — at least for this holiday season. We’re so spoiled we can’t really relate to how bad previous generations had it.

The “good old days” are a figment of our imagination. Life — here, there, everywhere — has never been better than it is today. Our lives have certainly never been longer: Life expectancy in the U.S. is now 78.8 years, up from 47.3 years in 1900. We are also healthier by almost any imaginable measure, whether we mean that literally, by looking at health indices, or more expansively, by looking at a range of living- standard and social measures (teen pregnancy rates, smoking, air-conditioning penetration, water and air quality, take your pick).

And in the rest of the world, the news is even better. Despite all the horrors in the headlines, fewer people are dying these days in conflicts, or from natural disasters, than in the past. The world has its obvious geopolitical divides, but a nuclear Armageddon triggered by the reckless hostility of great powers doesn’t loom large as a threat, as it did not long ago. Most impressive of all, the number of people in the world living in dire poverty has been cut in half since 1990, fulfilling a key U.N. development goal that once struck many as unrealistic. With infant mortality rates plummeting and education levels rising all over, people are having fewer kids and taking better care of them. In most of the world, the new normal is to send girls to school along with their brothers, an accomplishment whose significance, development experts will tell you, cannot be overstated.

Even as Americans, we don’t have to compare ourselves to our 19th-century forefathers — or to the Pilgrims — to appreciate how life has become better. Things have improved drastically in our own lifetimes. Remember how unsafe cities were not long ago? How we used to smoke on airplanes? How our urban rivers used to catch fire? Reported violent crimes in the United States are down by half since 1993. And consider how much more humane our society has become. We still suffer from inherited racial, gender, and other biases in our society, but to a far lesser extent than in the past; the bigoted among us are finding less and less acceptance. We’ve adopted a default tolerance of others’ choices and values — think of the revolution in attitudes toward gays over the course of one generation. Americans’ ability to pursue happiness as we see fit has never been greater.

And when it comes to how we communicate, entertain, and learn from one another, we might as well live in an alternate universe to the one we inhabited as recently as the 1980s. Today more than 70 percent of homes have broadband connectivity, and more than 90 percent of American adults have a cellphone. (Remember rotary phones?) If you ever feel bored, your 1980s doppelganger should appear before you in the middle of the night—and just slap you.

And no, growing inequality is not the hallmark of our era. On the contrary, when you look at the human community as a whole, the present time will be remembered for the expansion of the global middle class, and the democratization of living and health standards that once were the privileged birthright in only the wealthiest societies. A few months back I sat through a riveting presentation by Steven Rattner on rising inequality in the U.S., but his most telling slide (arguably undercutting the rest of his talk) was his last, entitled “to end on an optimistic note,” that put the issue in a global context. It showed that most of the world’s workers (as opposed to the middle classes in the most developed countries) have seen their incomes rise in the last 30 years at a rapid clip, much like what’s happened to the super rich.

No one has done more to propagate the notion of a “great convergence” of living standards in the world than the charismatic Swedish development economist Hans Rosling. Go online this holiday season and check out his dynamic graphs that chart countries’ life expectancy and incomes over time since the Middle Ages. They will make you smile, and be thankful. His graphs make humanity look like a flock of birds taking flight, with the U.S. and Europe leading the way, but the others following, tentatively at first, then more assuredly.

So why, if life is better all around, do we whine and complain endlessly as if we live in the worst of times? The answer is: Our success allows us to constantly update our expectations. When my flight is three hours late and the Wi-Fi is busted, I couldn’t care less what it took to cross the country in previous centuries. We are all prima donnas that way. Even in China, young middle-class consumers whine as well, instead of counting their blessings that they didn’t suffer through Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

I’ll concede, very grudgingly, that all this whining can be a good thing. As Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, has written, we’re hard-wired to be disgruntled. It’s the only way we achieve progress. Evolution requires us to demand more and better, all the time.

Otherwise, we would have given each other high-fives when life expectancy reached 50 and a cross-country journey took just two months—and that would have been that. Still, suspend your whining for a moment this holiday season. Let’s appreciate how far we’ve come.

Andres Martinez is editorial director of Zocalo Public Square, for which he writes the Trade Winds column. He is a professor of journalism at Arizona State University.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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