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Thread: Are Humans Hard Wired to Prefer Men as Leaders?

  1. Top | #131
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    A thing people we rarely talk about is the fact that mixed workplaces where men and women are equals was rare or special cases before the 1950'ies. Gender mixed workplaces is a recent and massive social experiment we're treating as if it should just work smoothly out of the box, and we're supposed to do soul searching whenever it fails. Instead of being amazed whenever it has worked at all.
    Let's give this a shot for comparison...

    A thing people we rarely talk about is the fact that mixed workplaces where blacks and whites are equals was rare or special cases before the 1960'ies. Racially mixed workplaces is a recent and massive social experiment we're treating as if it should just work smoothly out of the box, and we're supposed to do soul searching whenever it fails. Instead of being amazed whenever it has worked at all.

    Still make sense to you? Still sound reasonable?
    Ok, let's. Racism is a still a thing. Were you not aware of this? It is something we acknowledge and talk about. Ending slavery didn't magically over-night create racial equality. It's been quite a journey. It still is. Which is why BLM is a thing. It's why NAACP still is a thing. The reasons for racial inequality still existing is acknowledged and explored. Which I'd argue is a good thing. Don't you?

    I know you are not arguing that racism doesn't exist and that racial equality is already achieved. So I don't understand why you made the comparison? Ignoring a problem and pretending a real difference doesn't exist doesn't fix the problem. You're like white people emphatically claiming they don't see colour. Of course they do. How could they not? Sweeping this under the rug won't magically create gender equality nor fix racism. And shaming people for not living up to a fully rational ideal version of a human being is hardly going to make the world a better place, nor fix gender inequality.

    I think mainstream feminism is being willfully ignorant, refusing to open the door to exploring innate gender differences, because it doesn't fit their narrative.

    But it's far from all feminists. Janet Radcliffe Richards is awesome for instance. She's very much a feminist. But also a biologist by training. These feminists do exist.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Radcliffe_Richards

  2. Top | #132
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    "Hard-wired" is a strong claim. No one in this thread has denied that patriarchy is common; it's the claim that it is absolute and "natural" that we find very dubious. No, if there multiple exceptions to the rule, it's not "hard-wired" in, even if those exceptions don't make up a global majority at the moment. There are other cultural near-universals, and that isn't surprising given that humans talk to each other and spread ideas around.
    Is it really a strong claim? It's not controversial that we're partly ruled by instinct. We're also hard-wired to prefer fatty and sugary things. Which is why so many people are obese. We're hard wired to want to feel happy feelings. Which is why addiction is a thing. How aren't you saying that all fat people are fat by choice and all addicts want to be addicts? Clearly some things are hard-wired and natural.

    Something being hard-wired or instinct, just means that we are systematically nudged in a direction. Anybody can avoid eating cake if they put their minds to it. But over time, fat people are more likely to fail at resisting. That's what something being innate or natural means.

    Nobody in this thread has claimed that this effect is absolute. You just made that up. There are plenty of female leaders in the world, and they have done a stellar job. Nobody in this thread has challenged this. So in what way is anybody in this thread claiming that the preference for male leaders is absolute?

    I think you are making the black and white fallacy in this thread. I think you are interpreting the statements you don't agree with as being much stronger than they are, in such a way that they are easy to refute. Without actually replying to what is being said.

    All kinds of nonsense ideas get spread. But they are constantly tried and tested all the time. Ideas that don't solve problems, or are perceived to solve problems won't be retained in a population. What's in it for the ladies with patriarchy? Why would 51% of the population, up until the modern age, put up with being reduced to property? If you claim that all it took was a conspiracy of men, I'd say you don't have enough respect for the intelligence and abilities of women. Also you'll need some way to explain why enough men would go along with the patriarchal conspiracy to maintain control? I find it hard to believe that even a majority would do it, unless it's nudged in this direction by something innate and hard-wired.

    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    And I note that you didn't think it was a red herring until you were educated against your will about the nature of Mosuo society. Funny how irrelevant a data point becomes when you realize it doesn't support your ideological projects.
    I still have read very little about Mosuo culture. Not enough to judge whether or not you are correct. Either way, it's a statistical population of one. And since they seemed to have male chieftains up until the communist takeover, it makes me suspect that this matriarchy was engineered by the communist party. It brings to mind how the British government broke the Scottish clans during the high middle ages. They gave them enough money to not have to do anything all day, and gave them enough free beer to ensure they were all drunkards. They did this until the clan system had fallen apart and was beyond repair. Without factoring in the "intervention" of the British crown your conclusions of the nature of the clan culture from this period, will be wrong.

    A society where men do nothing but lie about all day doing nothing, is not a sustainable society. It's questionable whether this Mosuo culture is a genuine product of real demands of Himalayan mountain life, or engineered by the communist party, and a result of that intervention.

    Other Asian hill tribe peoples I know more about is the Zao and the Hmong in Vietnam. I was there in 1996 when most Westerners weren't allowed in. I was one of the first outsiders who had been there since the wars of independence in the 1950'ies. To say that they had been royally fucked over by the communist government is to put it mildly. The Hmong were all drunks. By central government design. The Zao and Hmong were in perpetual conflict, also thanks to central government design. All designed to make the hill tribes less of a problem for the central government. Back then if they ever built a large building the central government wouldn't inspect it. They just sent war planes that bombed it to bits. Which put a lid on attempts to effectivise farming to make some money, and lift themselves out of poverty. That's the degree these hill tribes in communist countries have been treated. It's pretty extreme.
    So you're just... making up bullshit to defend your point, now? Fine. But I do hope it is now clear to all who are reading this that what you're doing has no relationship of any kind to anthropology.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  3. Top | #133
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Is it really a strong claim? It's not controversial that we're partly ruled by instinct. We're also hard-wired to prefer fatty and sugary things. Which is why so many people are obese. We're hard wired to want to feel happy feelings. Which is why addiction is a thing. How aren't you saying that all fat people are fat by choice and all addicts want to be addicts? Clearly some things are hard-wired and natural.

    Something being hard-wired or instinct, just means that we are systematically nudged in a direction. Anybody can avoid eating cake if they put their minds to it. But over time, fat people are more likely to fail at resisting. That's what something being innate or natural means.

    Nobody in this thread has claimed that this effect is absolute. You just made that up. There are plenty of female leaders in the world, and they have done a stellar job. Nobody in this thread has challenged this. So in what way is anybody in this thread claiming that the preference for male leaders is absolute?

    I think you are making the black and white fallacy in this thread. I think you are interpreting the statements you don't agree with as being much stronger than they are, in such a way that they are easy to refute. Without actually replying to what is being said.

    All kinds of nonsense ideas get spread. But they are constantly tried and tested all the time. Ideas that don't solve problems, or are perceived to solve problems won't be retained in a population. What's in it for the ladies with patriarchy? Why would 51% of the population, up until the modern age, put up with being reduced to property? If you claim that all it took was a conspiracy of men, I'd say you don't have enough respect for the intelligence and abilities of women. Also you'll need some way to explain why enough men would go along with the patriarchal conspiracy to maintain control? I find it hard to believe that even a majority would do it, unless it's nudged in this direction by something innate and hard-wired.



    I still have read very little about Mosuo culture. Not enough to judge whether or not you are correct. Either way, it's a statistical population of one. And since they seemed to have male chieftains up until the communist takeover, it makes me suspect that this matriarchy was engineered by the communist party. It brings to mind how the British government broke the Scottish clans during the high middle ages. They gave them enough money to not have to do anything all day, and gave them enough free beer to ensure they were all drunkards. They did this until the clan system had fallen apart and was beyond repair. Without factoring in the "intervention" of the British crown your conclusions of the nature of the clan culture from this period, will be wrong.

    A society where men do nothing but lie about all day doing nothing, is not a sustainable society. It's questionable whether this Mosuo culture is a genuine product of real demands of Himalayan mountain life, or engineered by the communist party, and a result of that intervention.

    Other Asian hill tribe peoples I know more about is the Zao and the Hmong in Vietnam. I was there in 1996 when most Westerners weren't allowed in. I was one of the first outsiders who had been there since the wars of independence in the 1950'ies. To say that they had been royally fucked over by the communist government is to put it mildly. The Hmong were all drunks. By central government design. The Zao and Hmong were in perpetual conflict, also thanks to central government design. All designed to make the hill tribes less of a problem for the central government. Back then if they ever built a large building the central government wouldn't inspect it. They just sent war planes that bombed it to bits. Which put a lid on attempts to effectivise farming to make some money, and lift themselves out of poverty. That's the degree these hill tribes in communist countries have been treated. It's pretty extreme.
    So you're just... making up bullshit to defend your point, now? Fine. But I do hope it is now clear to all who are reading this that what you're doing has no relationship of any kind to anthropology.
    So instead of trying to reply to my claims you are now pretending that I've claimed to be an anthropologist. If that's how you want to play it.

  4. Top | #134
    Might be a replicant Emily Lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I'd start off by mentioning that you're making a pretty broad generalization about women's oppression. It's easy to paint a picture of women being universally oppressed, but I'm sure that's not actually the picture we're looking at. Women have never been happy, ever, in history?

    I'll grant your point that women can have less agency, but I believe you've misconstrued my point about their power. The point was that their 'role' gave them a lot of power to survive - their partners, men, needed to extract resources from the environment which flowed to them. No things haven't always been perfect, but that's the world we live in.

    A lot of the arguments we're seeing in this thread now display a short-sighted view of history. Up until the end of the 19th century women's role in the family unit was absolutely essential for survival in most of the world. It's only been in the twentieth century that women have been needed to work outside the home, and guess what? Gender roles changed pretty rapidly to reflect that.
    I'd like you to take a bit and consider that the only reason we have the agency to work outside the home is because we fought for it. We protested and we argued, and we made a stink about it... and we were only grudgingly given access to be financially independent. And at that, it's not even universal. Much of the planet, even in areas with plenty of wealth and reasonable development, women *still* don't have agency and freedom.
    Is that true? The only reason you have agency to work outside the home is because you fought for it? It has nothing to do with industrialization and the fact that men's labor is no longer productive enough to support a family?
    I honestly don't know where to start with this. Go learn about Women's Suffrage. At a bear minimum, please stop making up what you think is a reasonable thing to have happened, and then assuming that your imagined history is true.

  5. Top | #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    Is that true? The only reason you have agency to work outside the home is because you fought for it? It has nothing to do with industrialization and the fact that men's labor is no longer productive enough to support a family?
    I honestly don't know where to start with this. Go learn about Women's Suffrage. At a bear minimum, please stop making up what you think is a reasonable thing to have happened, and then assuming that your imagined history is true.
    Yes, it seems like you're not grokking many of my arguments. No fault of your own, they're unusual arguments. My point was that up until the twentieth century there literally was no avenue for woman's suffrage, human survival depended on a specific kind of family unit where women were in the home. Women's Suffrage was made possible because industrialization and technology made our species, as a whole, emancipated from harsh realities of the world. Yes I'll grant you that culturally there were issues with ideas over the role of women, but you glazed over the point that as soon as women were needed outside the home gender roles changed within about 100 years.

    Basically, those who have an odd hang-up over the idea that instincts exist are projecting their values from a 2020 world on our past, which really isn't an appropriate interpretation. More than that, you've been trying to paint a picture that there's been ever-present war between genders, which I'm sure is a bit of a broad brush.

  6. Top | #136
    Might be a replicant Emily Lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Emily Lake View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    Is that true? The only reason you have agency to work outside the home is because you fought for it? It has nothing to do with industrialization and the fact that men's labor is no longer productive enough to support a family?
    I honestly don't know where to start with this. Go learn about Women's Suffrage. At a bear minimum, please stop making up what you think is a reasonable thing to have happened, and then assuming that your imagined history is true.
    Yes, it seems like you're not grokking many of my arguments. No fault of your own, they're unusual arguments. My point was that up until the twentieth century there literally was no avenue for woman's suffrage, human survival depended on a specific kind of family unit where women were in the home. Women's Suffrage was made possible because industrialization and technology made our species, as a whole, emancipated from harsh realities of the world. Yes I'll grant you that culturally there were issues with ideas over the role of women, but you glazed over the point that as soon as women were needed outside the home gender roles changed within about 100 years.

    Basically, those who have an odd hang-up over the idea that instincts exist are projecting their values from a 2020 world on our past, which really isn't an appropriate interpretation. More than that, you've been trying to paint a picture that there's been ever-present war between genders, which I'm sure is a bit of a broad brush.
    16th or 17th century. Not exactly certain when mercantilism began. That's the stage at which women really weren't *required* to stay home so the family could survive. The last stages of pregnancy, and a fair bit after that, sure. But wet-nurses and governesses have existed for a really long time. And realistically, there's absolutely no reason at all that a man couldn't take care of a kid from about a year and up, depending on when the kid was weaned.

  7. Top | #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Yes, it seems like you're not grokking many of my arguments. No fault of your own, they're unusual arguments. My point was that up until the twentieth century there literally was no avenue for woman's suffrage, human survival depended on a specific kind of family unit where women were in the home.
    Really? Women had to stay home? Mothers (and fathers) never used caretakers to take care of children? Women never worked, they were just domestic housewives?

    Let's look at a broader picture, here. Some animals have both parents or either parent take care of children. Some animals don't have children and males and females engage in getting food. Some social animals have different ways of tribal members who are not the parents taking care of tribe children.

    You are arguing that technology has made such things feasible so that mothers don't have to take care of children as much and also both parents have to work, but you are failing to notice that technology is a separate dimension. There's always been daycare of a sort and both parents have always worked in one way or another, whether for the tribe, for the home, for the farm, for a factory, for a community, or for the self. Given that both parents have worked, it follows that either and both parents had the same theoretical opportunity time-wise to vote.

    The historical problem of opportunity was not that women were busy working in the home as elaborated above, but instead that men specifically blocked women from voting. You seem to be pretending that patriarchy is not a thing historically or at present. Patriarchy isn't a thing that is different than either religion or the Republican Party. It consists of an elite class which tricks followers into thinking they're better off following the ideology and practice. The most elite men gain a big relative benefit and promise benefit to an underclass of men who have a relative benefit over women.

    Just the other day a father cut off his daughter's head in India. He did this because he is stuck in a hierarchical system where children are forced to marry whom they are told and daughters especially lack freedom to make choices with their own bodies because they are the lowest sexual class. The father has relative benefit and status over others but would be better off in a different system entirely but the hierarchical system has a sort of stability that is hard to move into a different system, even over thousands of years.

    There is an avenue for such young women voting or being political leaders but the very elite do not want to give up their benefits and the men under them do not want to risk their own statuses, even if it means murdering their own family members.

  8. Top | #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don2 (Don1 Revised) View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Yes, it seems like you're not grokking many of my arguments. No fault of your own, they're unusual arguments. My point was that up until the twentieth century there literally was no avenue for woman's suffrage, human survival depended on a specific kind of family unit where women were in the home.
    Really? Women had to stay home? Mothers (and fathers) never used caretakers to take care of children? Women never worked, they were just domestic housewives?

    Let's look at a broader picture, here. Some animals have both parents or either parent take care of children. Some animals don't have children and males and females engage in getting food. Some social animals have different ways of tribal members who are not the parents taking care of tribe children.

    You are arguing that technology has made such things feasible so that mothers don't have to take care of children as much and also both parents have to work, but you are failing to notice that technology is a separate dimension. There's always been daycare of a sort and both parents have always worked in one way or another, whether for the tribe, for the home, for the farm, for a factory, for a community, or for the self. Given that both parents have worked, it follows that either and both parents had the same theoretical opportunity time-wise to vote.

    The historical problem of opportunity was not that women were busy working in the home as elaborated above, but instead that men specifically blocked women from voting. You seem to be pretending that patriarchy is not a thing historically or at present. Patriarchy isn't a thing that is different than either religion or the Republican Party. It consists of an elite class which tricks followers into thinking they're better off following the ideology and practice. The most elite men gain a big relative benefit and promise benefit to an underclass of men who have a relative benefit over women.

    Just the other day a father cut off his daughter's head in India. He did this because he is stuck in a hierarchical system where children are forced to marry whom they are told and daughters especially lack freedom to make choices with their own bodies because they are the lowest sexual class. The father has relative benefit and status over others but would be better off in a different system entirely but the hierarchical system has a sort of stability that is hard to move into a different system, even over thousands of years.

    There is an avenue for such young women voting or being political leaders but the very elite do not want to give up their benefits and the men under them do not want to risk their own statuses, even if it means murdering their own family members.
    I'm not arguing that children are the sole reason women were in the home, but rather that children are the reason they have that role and not men. I'd have to find statistics but IIRC up until the 20th century almost the entire world was still agrarian, which still necessitated women taking the homemaker role. Yes this is a generalization and there has been a transition period which is still underway.

    Culturally I'm pretty much on board with you but again we forget that these cultural ideas existed for a reason. People believed women should be in the home because that is literally where they were needed.

    Similarly, Christian ideas of abstinence look pretty backward when you have birth control, but at the time these norms served a real function.

    Perhaps women could have voted once parliamentary democracy was a thing but these norms take time to change. We can't expect monarchy to be overthrown in one breath and have universal human rights overnight.

    Yes violence against women was and is still a problem. But like I mentioned to others this doesn't paint a full picture of the life of women throughout history. Many women were very likely in love with their partners, many women enjoyed child rearing, many women were fine with the situation as it existed.

    It's fine to push for their rights but it's similarly easy to get the false notion that women were universally oppressed and universally didn't enjoy their lives. By not granting these women validity you take away their agency.

    And this goes back to my original point: the interpretation that women were just helpless and powerless throughout history is an invalid interpretation of what history actually looked like. Yes to some degree men had more financial power but the reality is much more complicated.

  9. Top | #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Don2 (Don1 Revised) View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Yes, it seems like you're not grokking many of my arguments. No fault of your own, they're unusual arguments. My point was that up until the twentieth century there literally was no avenue for woman's suffrage, human survival depended on a specific kind of family unit where women were in the home.
    Really? Women had to stay home? Mothers (and fathers) never used caretakers to take care of children? Women never worked, they were just domestic housewives?

    Let's look at a broader picture, here. Some animals have both parents or either parent take care of children. Some animals don't have children and males and females engage in getting food. Some social animals have different ways of tribal members who are not the parents taking care of tribe children.

    You are arguing that technology has made such things feasible so that mothers don't have to take care of children as much and also both parents have to work, but you are failing to notice that technology is a separate dimension. There's always been daycare of a sort and both parents have always worked in one way or another, whether for the tribe, for the home, for the farm, for a factory, for a community, or for the self. Given that both parents have worked, it follows that either and both parents had the same theoretical opportunity time-wise to vote.

    The historical problem of opportunity was not that women were busy working in the home as elaborated above, but instead that men specifically blocked women from voting. You seem to be pretending that patriarchy is not a thing historically or at present. Patriarchy isn't a thing that is different than either religion or the Republican Party. It consists of an elite class which tricks followers into thinking they're better off following the ideology and practice. The most elite men gain a big relative benefit and promise benefit to an underclass of men who have a relative benefit over women.

    Just the other day a father cut off his daughter's head in India. He did this because he is stuck in a hierarchical system where children are forced to marry whom they are told and daughters especially lack freedom to make choices with their own bodies because they are the lowest sexual class. The father has relative benefit and status over others but would be better off in a different system entirely but the hierarchical system has a sort of stability that is hard to move into a different system, even over thousands of years.

    There is an avenue for such young women voting or being political leaders but the very elite do not want to give up their benefits and the men under them do not want to risk their own statuses, even if it means murdering their own family members.
    I'm not arguing that children are the sole reason women were in the home, but rather that children are the reason they have that role and not men. I'd have to find statistics but IIRC up until the 20th century almost the entire world was still agrarian, which still necessitated women taking the homemaker role. Yes this is a generalization and there has been a transition period which is still underway.
    As I already argued, none of that necessitated women taking the homemaker role since in a tribe, groups can function across family units, but moreover, even IF IT DID necessitate a homemaker role, that is not mutually exclusive to suffrage. Therefore, your argument was and still is illogical.

    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    Culturally I'm pretty much on board with you but again we forget that these cultural ideas existed for a reason. People believed women should be in the home because that is literally where they were needed.
    Except that they were not needed to be sheltered inside a home, nor did the idea of women being less than men originate from agrarian societies--your unsubstantiated hypothesis. The idea was also present in nomadic and hunter gatherer cultures.

    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    Similarly, Christian ideas of abstinence look pretty backward when you have birth control, but at the time these norms served a real function.
    Except it is not about abstinence but instead using females as a way to ensure family status by selling them off. Abstinence is only a by-product, since men did not want a woman who already had sex/had diseases from other men/might be carrying another man's child.

    Let's be real here and not make excuses. People would watch the bride and groom copulate to ensure the father was actually the father. Abstinence as an explanatory value is very lacking in explaining all these features of history.

    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    Perhaps women could have voted once parliamentary democracy was a thing but these norms take time to change. We can't expect monarchy to be overthrown in one breath and have universal human rights overnight.
    Monarchy has already been overthrown, but men are still demanding women be subservient. It's still happening. There are still groups in democracies trying to bring it backward. These are not people doing it for agrarian reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    Yes violence against women was and is still a problem. But like I mentioned to others this doesn't paint a full picture of the life of women throughout history. Many women were very likely in love with their partners, many women enjoyed child rearing, many women were fine with the situation as it existed.
    My grandmother always spoke highly of working on the farm and of the cows. She was dropped off there on the farm when she was 3 to begin training as a worker. Her parents did not need to take care of her and probably couldn't. All of them were capable of voting upon adulthood. Just because my grandmother was happy at times doesn't mean there couldn't have been a better life for her or that there were not people who forced her into the life she endured. And those people had other choices they could have made.

    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    It's fine to push for their rights but it's similarly easy to get the false notion that women were universally oppressed and universally didn't enjoy their lives. By not granting these women validity you take away their agency.

    And this goes back to my original point: the interpretation that women were just helpless and powerless throughout history is an invalid interpretation of what history actually looked like. Yes to some degree men had more financial power but the reality is much more complicated.
    You are exaggerating a position I did not take. Power is a continuum. No one claimed women were "powerless." They had power, just on average--less--on average. There historically have been many exceptions, such as female warrior leaders, political leaders, pirates, wealthy, educated, etc. You are the one in denial here of history--there was and is an actual physical, brutal, violent blocking of women's equality. Saying that truth is not some weird claim that women have no agency. It's just stating a fact.

  10. Top | #140
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