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Posts Tagged ‘Thought Experiment’

Almost all of the messages we get about trafficking are slanted toward imaginary victims.  –  Sabra Boyd

Droit du Seigneur

Though pimps are not common, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:

Two [cops in Trinidad & Tobago] have been arrested in connection with trafficking in persons and other gang-related activities [after they were caught pimping]…a Venezuelan [refugee]

Thought Experiment

The hysteria has grown so bad, what was just a fantasy scenario in 2011 is now literal:

Two children were a[bducted from the parents]…by police…[because their parents were] working in barber-shops in London…100 [cops, spooks and bureaucrats raided the shops]…arrest[ing an unspecified number of people using the euphemism]…safeguarding…The [cops’] victims [will now be processed for possible deportation]…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

…that a brave hero cop tried to murder a man for seeking consensual sex:

A Spotsylvania [Virginia cop attempted to murder] a man…during a prostitution sting…[when a crowd of disguised thugs forced their way] into the room [behind him he tried to escape so one of them shot him]…he underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition.  The [thug] who [attempted to murder] the man…was [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

Usually, cops reserve their sick masturbatory fantasies about sex work for Asian women:

“[I like to fantasize about]h girls getting waterboarded, eating their own feces, being brutally raped,” [admits] Detective Dave Davies [of] the Durham [Ontario vice gang]…”The [b]est [fantasies] are [about]…the young ones that have never had sex before and they lose their virginity to some John, or they end up getting pregnant.  Those are real scenarios that [I masturbate to]”…

To Molest and Rape

If only there was a concise term for “used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex”:

The Oregon State Bar has rejected the application of a [typical and representative cop] to become a lawyer after its investigators found that he had used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex…The Board of Bar Examiners determined that Neil Halttunen had not shown that he “is currently of good character” and…Halttunen, [in a display of the typical cop sense of entitlement that drove his career as a serial rapist]…has appealed the decision to the Oregon Supreme Court…Halttunen [w]as a…[serial rapist] who…used his badge to [rape]…at least nine women…court filing include accounts from [his victims, whom] Halttunen met through routine police calls [and then stalked in order to rape them]…Halttunen…[raped so many women] he “has consistently claimed difficulty remembering all of [them]”…[but it was] in excess of 30…

Theatrics (#761)

This is at least the fifth iteration we’ve seen of this same inane stunt:

Covenant House today launched a new campaign called Shoppable Girls…with a goal to [profit from hysteria]…about sex trafficking…The hope is Ontarians will be encouraged to [send prohibitionists money] and ultimately [support more state violence against people who have consensual sex]…[blah blah Shahada, blah blah] signs of luring and grooming…[blah blah] billion-dollar industry…[blah blah] social media..[blah blah] 13…[blah blah] $280,000 per year…[per] victim…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to panic about things that don’t exist:

US [prohibitionists fantasize] that the availability of sex [dolls] with [voice chips] poses a growing psychological and moral threat to individuals and society.  They [claim that “moral threats” are somehow a subject]…scientists [can analyze]…Christine Hendren of Duke University [moaned that combination Baby Alive/Talky Tina dolls]…”create…rape”…[and vomited out violent authoritarian fantasies about how people troubled by paraphilias]…”should be treated by just stamping them out”…Dr Hendren was speaking…at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science…Kathleen Richardson…wants [sex doll] marketing outlawed…

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kathleen Richardson and her one-pearlclutcher “Campaign Against Toasters”, but she’s sti lurking around, desperately trying to get anyone – including anti-sex “science” conventions – to listen to her weird sexual fantasies.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

If a “study” sounds benign to you, click on the subtitle above:

[Politician] Josh Hawley announced…he has introduced a bill that would [supposedly] document human trafficking in the U.S.  The bill would reform the [TVPA]…reauthorization…of 2005…[to] mandate…a…[“study”] of…”commercial sex acts”…[which] Hawley [demonized as]…”an epidemic”…[his toady] Nanette Ward [then croaked the usual fantasies about]…”fastest growing and second largest criminal enterprise in the world…Victims…in every corner of our community…children…being sold by their parents…Everyone who is on social media [is at risk]“…

It may help you to see the big picture if I remind you that Hawley is one of the loudest proponents of government censorship and control of the internet, and of repealing Section 230.

Joey the Player

A rare case of “authorities” actually charging a serial rapist of sex workers:

A New Jersey man [named Jose Torres] who [for years] lured commercial sex workers to travel from out of state [so he could rape them was]…charged by complaint with two counts of coercion and enticement…From May 2015 to October 2019, Torres persuaded, induced and enticed commercial sex workers to travel from various out of state locations, including Canada and New York…with promises of large payments.  When the commercial sex workers a[rrived]…Torres [would] assault…and rap[e] them.  Torres never paid the sex workers.  The coercion and enticement charges each carries a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment and a potential $250,000 fine…

If you wish to add your testimony against this violent creep, please do not contact prosecutors directly; instead contact lead attorney for the complainants, Noam Biale, at (212-202-2600, direct 212-300-2445) or nbiale@shertremonte.com; he will be able to protect your identity from prosecutors.

Pyrrhic Victory (#992) 

Why I keep telling you local laws banning surveillance technology are feel-good bullshit:

California’s largest police departments have been collecting millions of images of drivers’ license plates and sharing them with entities around the country…in violation of state law…230 police and sheriff’s departments in the state currently use automated license plate readers…and…most of the data collected is on innocent people…The Los Angeles Police Department, for example, has collected more than 320 million images over the last several years.  Only 400,000 of those generated…matches to cars of interest, but the remaining 99.9 percent of the images, which can be used to track peoples’ movement across the city, stay stored in a department database for more than five years…The LAPD then adds other sensitive information to that database, sometimes tagging the photos with criminal records, names, addresses, and dates of birth

Watershed (#1011)

Headed toward the end of the hysteria, albeit 3 or 4 years late:

…For years…experts have pointed out that the reality of sex trafficking bears little resemblance to the sensationalized version depicted in public-awareness campaigns.  Shoppers are not being snatched from grocery store parking lots.  Victims…seldom exhibit any of the “warning signs” that would make their abuse visible to members of the public.  Despite the persistent myth that human trafficking “could happen to anyone,” most victims are undocumented, homeless, in foster care or otherwise marginalized…as warning posters have appeared in nearly every airport…the U.S. has [not] had a single confirmed case of a child being trafficked by strangers via airplane…Most minor kidnappings…are carried out by parents as part of custody disputes…[and] strangers are the perpetrator in only 10% of [child sexual abuse] cases…[NCMEC admits] that fewer than 1% of calls to…[its “hotline”] were reports of “stranger danger” abductions…“You can’t know the signs of trafficking by looking at someone you don’t know,” said a senior staff member at one of America’s major anti-trafficking organizations who asked…not to [be] name[d] out of fear of losing her job…[however] she [also] said the sensationalized messaging was necessary to [get people to support the police state]…

This is the sort of essay I originally envisioned we’d be seeing in 2016-17; unfortunately it took much longer because governments have been pushing it much harder than I anticipated to achieve their goals of internet censorship and migration control.  But prophecy is not an exact science, so I’m glad I wasn’t further off the mark.

To Molest and Rape (#1014)

Even rapist cops usually wait until their victims are thirteen or so:

[Typical and representative] Harris County [cop] Jack Hagee…[repeated]ly sexually abus[ed] a child for eight years…[starting when she] was 5-years-old…Hagee started [orally raping] the 5-year-old girl…in 1989 at their Harris County home…[and vaginaly raping] her about three times a week by the time she started kindergarten…he…stopped having sex with her at the age of 13, because…she began menstruating…the first person [s]he…[told] was her aunt who…[is mrried to] Hagee’s brother…[the] brother…[then] confronted Hagee over the phone and told him he was not welcome at their home…

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We are simply sisters, mothers, neighbors and friends. We shop where you shop, we vote where you vote and we pay taxes like the rest of you.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Cops and Condoms

…Bill Gates has…[offered] a $100,000 grant…to…develop “the next generation of condom”.  Though condoms are the most reliable…method to protect against pregnancy and STIs, it doesn’t take your ex-boyfriend to tell you how much they kind of suck (oh, and will he tell you).  So the foundation is requesting proposals for a…condom that “significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve…regular use”…

Advice for Clients

Amanda Brooks published her own set of tips for clients; I think it’s worthwhile for a gentleman to read as many of these as he comes across, because every woman is different and may include something others didn’t think important.

Lying Down With Dogs

Ask yourself once again:  Is this really the company you want the US to keep?

Egyptian prosecutors ordered the detention of 17 women and a Lebanese man…[for]…commercial phone sex…security forces raided [their] office…and confiscated phones and computer devices…Investigations showed “gang members” recruited female university students through job ads in newspapers and then agreed with them to perform acts “that run contrary to morality”…

Sales Pitch

Sweden says its “model” has reduced prostitution and deters clients:  “[A] newspaper…published an advert about a fictional 19-year-old [sex worker]…Over the weekend, the phone had 130 missed calls and seven texts.  After a week, the number had grown to 287 calls and 57 texts…[a] local police [spokesman claimed]…the callers were more curious than interested in buying sex…”  What a pathetic rationalization!  Here’s the real attitude of Swedes toward the law:

Down Under

Can you imagine American cops contradicting a prohibitionist politician’s lies?

Police say they’ve seen no evidence to back up [a New Zealand] MP’s claims that girls as young as 13 are working as prostitutes in south Auckland…Asenati Lole-Taylor says there is “growing prevalence” of underage girls selling sex…and she’s backing a bill to ban all street prostitution and confine sex work to brothels…[she also claims] she has witnessed police dealing with young prostitutes …That was news to police Area Commander…Chris de Wattignar.  “It’s not something that police have seen ourselves.  We also work with a number of agencies and community partners in the Otara town centre and that’s certainly not the information we have”…

Decentralization

The US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has [issued] regulations on…Bitcoin…there’s been zero regulation…[so far, because that] would essentially admit that it’s legitimate…The nature of Bitcoin makes it untraceable so unless firms are coaxed into cooperation, it’s hard to imagine the regulations being enforced.Anastasia Volochkova

Droit du Seigneur

A former Bolshoi ballet dancer has called the acclaimed company a ‘giant brothel’…Anastasia Volochkova claimed that female dancers were forced to sleep with wealthy patrons…

September Q & A

Though the main Wikipedia entry for “Prostitution” is an unusable (and uncorrectable) mess due to aggressive sabotage by neofeminists, there is a new article on “Migrant Sex Work”  which is comprehensive, fact-based and non-judgmental and includes citations from many good writers like Laura Agustín, Elizabeth Bernstein, Pardis Mahdavi, Nick Mai and Rhacel Parrenas.  Here’s hoping the author is able to keep control of it.

Thought Experiment

Charlotte Shane’s “’Getting Away’ With Hating It:  Consent in the Context of Sex Work” is a brilliant exploration of how the weakness of the concept of “enthusiastic consent” (now being pushed by the “rape culture” folks) is demonstrated by sex work.  This is definitely a must-read, especially for my male readers, as it looks at an area of female sexual psychology most men seem to have difficulty understanding.  Even the comment thread is worth your time, especially the reactions to a Good Men Project writer who apparently thinks it’s only OK to pay a whore if she doesn’t need the job and is only doing it as a hobby or something.

The More the Better

The Australian Woman’s Weekly published “When Sex is Your Day Job”, an interview with five sex workers (including Rachel Wotton) about prejudice, sex work myths, discrimination and sex as a human right.  What a difference from the United States!

Above the Law

…New Jersey [prison guard]… Juan R. Stevens, 50, was charged with…sexual assault and…criminal restraint…Stevens would call…escorts…[and tell them]  he was a police officer in order to intimidate them into having sex with him for free…

AminaA War for Peace (TW3 #11)

For once, I agree with a Femen leader’s analysis; too bad they don’t see it also applies to sex work:

A 19-year-old Tunisian activist who was threatened with death by stoning after posting topless pictures of herself online has reportedly been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.  The woman, known only as Amina, posted the photographs…to the Femen-Tunisian Facebook page…Amina’s aunt claimed…”She had decided to kill herself and so posted nude pictures of herself online.”  [Femen leader Inna] Shevchenko described the move as “a typical way of reacting to a woman’s demand to be free – they say she’s gone crazy or is being too emotional”…

Whorearchy

A…Mexican politician who…[appeared] in a…lingerie video is taking legal action against political rivals who claim she was [an] “escort girl.”  Giselle Arellano says the…accusations resulted in her failing to win the nomination of Mexico’s conservative National Action Party (PAN)…She wants the election annulled on the grounds that she was “slandered” by her rivals…Arellano…resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she has done stints as a model and also runs a small company that offers “concierge services” to visitors.  She was running for a seat in the Zacatecas State Legislature that is reserved for Mexicans who emigrate abroad…

Besides conventional services, Black Rose Services plans bachelor parties and group excursions to strip clubs and only takes clients by referral.

Bogeymen

Microsoft recently sponsored a “hackathon” based on the theme “combating human trafficking”, and a story on the ever-credulous NPR reports that one of the entries is a smartphone app that middle-class teenage girls who are suddenly “trafficked” by surprise (presumably by “pimps” leaping out at them from bushes) can use to surreptitiously “connect with resources, like a hotline number or a chat room where they can get help.  ‘One of the requirements of this project was to make it covert, so it’s not easily detectable…and [that] it’s for girls ages 11 to 21.’  So the app, which they call Blossom, is disguised to look like it’s just about fun for teens…”  Because captives would certainly be allowed to keep their phones, and university-age adult women are interested in the same sorts of games as 11-year-olds.

Bottleneck

“Authorities” not only refuse to recognize the damage licensing laws do, but often insist on congratulating themselves that they’re “helping” sex workers:

Saskatoon’s new adult services licensing bylaw…gives police new…powers to keep a closer watch on a large part of the sex industry…Anyone advertising sexual services…is now required to get a licence from the city…This is…taking part of the sex trade out of the shadows to protect vulnerable women, police and city officials say…”Prostitution is not against the law.  If a person is working at a hotel and communicating in a private place, then they are not committing a criminal offence”…

And that obviously wouldn’t do, so they had to find a way to make it into one.  For our own good, of course.

King of the Hill

North Carolina’s entry into the “trafficking hub” competition is especially hilarious for its claim that rural areas with low populations are “attractive” to those in the “sex trafficking trade”:

…On Eagles Wings Ministries plans to [build]…a haven for girls involved in the sex-trafficking trade…Gaston County provides a location that’s close enough to Charlotte to help girls there, but far enough away to keep traffickers at bay…North Carolina has become a hotspot for human trafficking…[due to] major highways and interstates, transient populations and large rural areas…

Book Reviews (October 2012)

Two of the authors of books from this column (Rob Arthur of You Will Die and Laura Agustín of Sex at the Margins) were interviewed on the subject of what inspired them to write those books; I think you’ll find their answers illuminating.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #50)Eden poster

It’s a very hopeful sign when a review of a movie based in “trafficking” myth can conclude with this passage:  “Eden…[is] not a documentary, it isn’t entertainment, and…[it] sure as heck isn’t art.  It’s just a message, screaming on and on at people who agreed with the point before they bought a ticket.”

The Public Eye (TW3 #131)

More on the escort from American Courtesans who was arrested after complaining to police about a stalker:

Last month Lora LePoudre, who goes by the escort pseudonym Hilary Holiday, was arrested by the Eden Prairie Police department in Minnesota following an anonymous tip off by a neighbor and a subsequent sting operation…Neighbors in her family-friendly condo complex [said] they were thankful police had arrested her…

As you may remember, there was no “complaint” except from Hilary herself; the reporter also cherry-picks neighbors, spews inanities like “family-friendly” and misquotes Kristen DiAngelo as saying escorts are “very different” from other sex workers, when actually she said there was a difference between free and coerced prostitution.

Skin To Skin

…The head of the Essonne department…Jerome Guedj…called for allowing sex surrogates…as part of regular social services…[noting] that [they]…are permitted in some other European countries…But…[removed] the term…just ahead of the vote…after coming under criticism for opening the door to legalized prostitution…a national ethics council…ruled that authorizing sex surrogates would essentially “merchandise the human body”…

But while France says it’s OK to neglect disabled folks in order to “send a message” to dirty whores, New Zealand sees stories like this one:

I hired a sex worker for my late 93-year-old father.  He had dementia and lived in a nursing home when he said to me, “You’ll need to find me a woman”…I took his request seriously [because]…I’m a disability support worker and I’ve seen how an individual’s sexuality needs to be considered…Touching Base put me in contact with…the person they thought most suitable:  ‘Emma’…After time with Emma, my father’s well-being and consequently his behaviour improved…He wasn’t as agitated.  He didn’t obsess over things like he used to.  He was serene, happy and relaxed…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (TW3 #139)

The Indian government has now completely reversed its sneaky criminalization attempt:  “Sex workers and women’s rights activists across India have welcomed the…move to drop the word ‘prostitution’…from the amended…Penal Code.  The new formulation targets sexual exploitation and not adult consensual sex work…

Dutch Threat

What could possibly go wrong?

There is considerable sympathy among Dutch MPs for moves to get tougher on people who visit prostitutes and don’t report suspected exploitation or abuse…The senate…is currently considering legislation that would force prostitutes to sign up to an official register.  Clients who fail to check if a girl is registered, could face prosecution…[some] want to go further and say clients should be prosecuted for failing to report to the authorities if they suspect a woman may be being abused or forced to work as a prostitute…

King of the Hill (TW3 #312)

Oregon is really ramping up the hysteria; between two different stories on the same legislative/cop antics we are told that “trafficking happens in small towns” to 9-year-olds, that “80 children are victims of sex trafficking each year”  in Portland, that prosecutors want to use “racketeering laws” to prosecute whoever a girl names as her “pimp” after being jailed indefinitely (for her own good, of course), and that “men looking to buy sex from minors describe the victims they want to order.” All this on the word of unnamed women who present no evidence; you know, kind of like witch trials.

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The dignity of man is in free choice.  –  Max Frisch

One of the most important negative effects of the popular concept that sex is somehow magically different from all other behaviors is the modern fixation on pimps.  The nightmares of neofeminists and the masturbatory fantasies of trafficking fetishists teem with brutal (and usually dark-skinned) men who force women into prostitution, despite the fact that (as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions) the abusive, controlling pimp of legend is so rare we can consider him an anomaly.  In fact, the fraction of prostitutes who have such an abusive pimp – roughly 1.5% – is so similar to the percentage of women who report that their husbands/boyfriends are either “extremely violent” (1.2%) or “extremely controlling” (2.3%) that it’s pointless to consider them a different phenomenon, especially when one considers that any non-client male found in the company of a whore will inevitably be labeled a “pimp” by cops or prohibitionists.  The notion that hookers only have relationships with a certain kind of man, who is labeled a “pimp” by outsiders, derives from the Victorian fallacy (alas, still alive today) that we are somehow innately “different” from other women, and therefore our men are different as well.  This is pure nonsense; the only consistent difference between the husbands of harlots and those of amateurs is that ours tend to be less hung up about sex.

Yet the myth, anchored as it is in prohibitionist mythology, male insecurity and Hollywood stereotypes, is a persistent and pernicious one, affecting even those who recognize that most prostitutes are in the trade voluntarily.  A great deal of the milder trafficking rhetoric revolves around locating and identifying “sex slaves” and penetrating their supposed “brainwashing”  in order to “rescue” them, and judges and prosecutors stumble all over themselves when endeavoring to come up with inane and tautological justifications for persecuting so-called “pimps” whom they concede were fair businessmen who worked to protect their girls.  Even among many independent internet-based escorts there’s a low-level hysteria about pimps (as though a man somehow has the power to reach through their cell phones and abduct them into a third-world brothel), and more than one reader has asked how he can avoid “pimped” girls.

I recently received another question of this type, but this time rather than feeding into the false dichotomy of “free” vs. “coerced”, I’ve decided to cut to the heart of the dilemma.  The reader asked, “Is there even a grain of truth in this trafficking stuff, some ‘dark side’ I haven’t really seen despite my extensive experience?  If this stuff DOES happen – how do guys who pay for sex make sure they’re not contributing to hurting a woman this way?

For the most part, so-called “trafficking” is just people crossing borders to work, sometimes without proper documentation but not always.  This doesn’t mean that every woman in every brothel is there because she wants to be and for no other reason, but does anyone believe that most women who work as hotel maids or Wal-Mart clerks are there out of free choice?  Of course not, but neither were they abducted from their homes, carried off into bondage, threatened and all that jazz.  Yes, there are a few examples of extreme  coercion which are repeated endlessly by the fanatics, often exaggerated or with details omitted, and sometimes even rephrased so as to look like new ones.  But in the overwhelming majority of cases, women do sex work for the same reason they do any other kind of work: because they need money.  The number of women who are “coerced” into sex work is no higher than the number “coerced” into any other kind of work.  If you’re at Wal-Mart, how do you know your cashier doesn’t have a lazy boyfriend at home who forces her to work and takes her money?  You don’t.  And are you somehow wrong or immoral for checking your purchases out in her line if she does?

Let’s imagine a barbershop which caters to a male clientele; they just do regular haircuts, nothing fancy, but all the barbers are female.  Guys come in, get their hair cut, talk to the barbers, perhaps know their names.  Maybe a guy even has a favorite girl who always cuts his hair; she does a good job, is friendly and she’s nice to look at, too.  But what does he really know about her?  Only what she cares to tell him, and nothing more.  He doesn’t know what financial pressures she’s under, how much high-interest debt she has, how psychologically stable she is, if she was sexually abused as a child, whether she’s in the country legally, whether her boss treats her fairly and what her boyfriend is like.  And you know what?  None of that is any of his business unless she volunteers it; it’s outside the bounds of polite business conversation.  If his barber is under financial or emotional duress, is he somehow responsible?  After all, men don’t need to cut their hair; their demand for haircuts has created a market in which poor women are exploited to do work they may hate and possibly don’t want to do.

What if his barber actually has a degree in philosophy from an expensive school which she incurred massive student-loan debt to obtain, and is under threat of arrest from the government if she defaults, but she can’t get a job in this economy so she’s struggling with a debt which at her current rate of repayment will literally never be discharged?  Is she in “debt bondage”, and is the federal government a “pimp” or “human trafficker” for telling her she needs to pay off her debt or else?  If her parents cosigned those loans, the federal “traffickers” even keep her in line with threats to harm her family.  And if a man gets a haircut from her, is he “enabling” that situation…or is he contributing toward her survival until she can find something which pays better?

Adult women are ADULTS.  It isn’t the job of strangers, nor that of “rescue” organizations or the government, to police their private lives.  The essence of freedom, of individuality, of adulthood, is self-determination, and to deny a person that is to infantilize her.  It’s unfortunate that some people get into bad situations, often through no fault of their own.  But unless the victim of such misfortune wants and asks for help, it is demeaning and abusive to force it upon her under the premise that her “rescuer” is better or smarter or wiser or more mature or saner than she is, and therefore more qualified to make decisions for her than she is for herself.  Furthermore, it’s both rude and arrogant for a stranger to presume he has the right to question her on her financial situation, reasons for working and conditions of her relationships with men.  Nobody would behave in such a way toward a barber…so why do people think it’s OK or even necessary to do it to a prostitute?

Ask yourself:  Is sex degrading or dehumanizing?  Is work?  Is being paid?  No?  Then how can sex work be?  Why doesn’t the U.S. government prosecute Nike for its sweatshops in Southeast Asia or Apple for its sweatshops in China, and why aren’t these countries placed on “watchlists” by the State Department for allowing them to exist?  Why don’t we see campaigns to “end demand” for sneakers or iPhones?  Because they don’t involve sex, and that is the only difference.

One Year Ago Today

Lack of Evidence” examines the wide variety of behaviors, circumstances and personal possessions that police represent as “evidence” of prostitution.

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