Defenders (Part 1)

Defenders (Part 1)

Defenders (Part 1)
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Kanye West’s Brilliance

Your conscience should allow a physical manifestation of your subconscious but right now most peoples conscious is too affected by other people’s thoughts and it creates a disconnect from you doing what you actually feel now” -kaynewest

Instead of doing what you feel you just do what other people think you should do.” -@kanyewest

The idea that not only should one NOT think for themselves, but if you do, then you’re rejected; that’s is just wrong (i.e. starting dance classes at eighteen years old, to then train and become a professional dancer… it’s all laughed at and told to get a real major/job).

His point supersedes any ethnic/gender group… being a free thinker is dangerous! Just started Orwell’s “1984“, and there are a lot of parallels NOW that are present in a book from seventy years ago!

What does that say about our current society and what Orwell saw then, that is present now? Why is it okay for someone who doesn’t agree with the LGBTPQ to be ostracized? Why is it okay for a Christian to be silenced? Why is it a problem for a woman to wear a burka? When did we become a society, that didn’t agree to disagree?!

Some might say, “Well what about slavery? What about Jim Crow?”, there is a difference between human rights and human decency, than someone disagreeing with something someone decides for themselves.

To also set a baseline, someones sexual preference is not what defines them! The issue I see with the LGBTPQ community is that their identity is wrapped up in their sexuality. I could be wrong, but every time I try to understand better, I am attacked and never get any straight answers (how’s that for open dialogue). So, it makes sense if someone disagrees with your sexual preference, you would feel personally attacked.

Your sexual orientation is NOT your identity!!

What makes up a persons identity their ethnic makeup, regional location, sex, gender, hair color, religious beliefs, family, being apart of a club/group, or is it something we arbitrarily pick/makeup?

At the end of the day, what differentiates all of us are genetics, literally our DNA.

Has anyone ever looked up at the stars and wondered? Have you seen the edge of our galaxy, The Milky Way? There is more to this planet then Democrats or Republicans, North Korea, or Putin.

I’m going to change gears now and lead into my next topic, whether black/brown people are victims or victors? Until next time… leave comments below.


you did shit that pissed me off all the time. why did you never apologize? did no one apologize to you? why did you seem to allow things to happen to you? did you feel like a victim? did no one tell you to fight back? are times so different; should I not fight back? mrs jones used to tell me about the true definition of what standing up would mean. i miss her, you taught me your fears, your lies, your hurt, your shame… why?

why were you afraid of me, jealous of me? why didn’t you just say… ”im weak’ in this area’? was being right worth losing me?

you projected so much of you to me and me you? who is Janell?

you both are dead now and im having a choice to make, except or create. i am not your fear. the strong ask for help…



You know there are only two times in life where the reality of situations come to fruition – death and in college. College students will let you know “I worked hard for that D+” or “Credit/No Credit and passing is all that matters”. When in Death, we only look at what a person did for us and how they made us feel, what their contribution to society was.

These are the two points in life where what matters most comes to a head… does the rest of this dung matter? Do the things we micro manage really matter in the long run? Take care of responsibilities, but death and taxes will always be.

Taking care of yourself allows you to help others, taking care of yourself will give you the tools you need to be successful. Success isn’t based on the end game, but the steps along the way. It’s the little things that makeup the big. Never discount someones struggle and their success you see. We place judgments on others to understand/analyze/interpret the information we see — discernment, is understanding how to understand/analyze/interpret without fault/judgment. Discernment, is understanding what He has in store of us; knowing we all have a purpose and plan. A waste isn’t a person who is strung out or still at a level “society” feels they shouldn’t be at; a waste is a person who doesn’t fulfill the purpose He has destined for them.

Love isn’t always nice/pretty/easy/fun/warm; love is…

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

…a verb. Love is actions… someones lip service isn’t love, it’s their actions.

Everything starts from within, you can’t give something you don’t have… even love.

Harvey Weinstein and The Economics of Consent: The blunt power of the gatekeeper is the ability to enforce not just artistic, but also financial, exile.

Brit Marling12:15 PM ET

When the Harvey Weinstein story broke, I thought of something my mother told me when I was a little girl. She said: To be a free woman, you have to be a financially independent woman. She wasn’t wrong. I studied economics in college and went to New York to become an investment banker. To be blunt, I wanted the freedom money can buy.

I had a sudden change of heart while working at Goldman Sachs as a summer analyst. I decided that if the world required me to sell the hours of my life in exchange for access to what had long ago been free—food, water, shelter—I wanted to at least be doing something that stirred my soul. This is, granted, a privileged position. But as a young woman that was the conclusion I came to.

I had discovered acting and filmmaking in college, and the more time I spent immersed in it, the more I liked the person I became. I listened more acutely. I was more empathic and imaginative. These are qualities that seemed to me to be culturally on the decline; our culture likes forward-thinking talkers who can turn a profit without feeling too much about who may suffer the consequences—usually poor people, people of color, and women. Acting felt like a noble pursuit and maybe even a small act of resistance.

Hollywood was, of course, a rude awakening to that kind of idealism. I quickly realized that a large portion of the town functioned inside a soft and sometimes literal trafficking or prostitution of young women (a commodity with an endless supply and an endless demand). The storytellers—the people with economic and artistic power—are, by and large, straight, white men. As of 2017, women make up only 23 percent of the Directors Guild of America and only 11 percent are people of color.

Straight, white men tend to tell stories from their perspective, as one naturally does, which means the women are generally underwritten. They don’t necessarily even need names; “Bikini Babe 2” and “Blonde 4” are parts I auditioned for. If the female characters are lucky enough to have names, they are usually designed only to ask the questions that prompt the lead male monologue, or they are quickly killed in service to advancing the plot.

Once, when I was standing in line for some open-call audition for a horror film, I remember catching my reflection in the mirror and realizing that I was dressed like a sex object. Every woman in line to audition for “Nurse” was, it seemed. We had all internalized on some level the idea that if we were going to be cast we’d better sell what was desired—not our artistry, not our imaginations—but our bodies.

It was around this time that I remember sitting in a casual gathering where a straight, white male activist said, “Our gender and race has all the power. So when you want to have sex with a woman you have to ask and get her verbal consent.” He continued, “If that woman is a person of color, she is oppressed by both her gender and her race and then you should really ask twice.” The literalism of his ratio was ridiculously reductive, and his declarative tone off-putting, but I appreciated that he was trying to articulate how complicated it is to negotiate the invisible forces of privilege and power inside sexual encounters. He was trying to help other young men understand why it can sometimes be hard for any woman to find and voice “no” within a culture that has taught her to mistrust herself, or to value herself through male approval.  

I emerged from this period thinking about the power dynamics inside Hollywood. If auditioning for parts was largely about seeking male approval, and the stories themselves were narratives I didn’t always politically or morally agree with, then the only way for me to navigate Hollywood with more agency was to become a storyteller myself. That is an easy thing to say and a very hard thing to do. I stopped auditioning. I worked a day job and spent nights and weekends at the public library downtown reading screenwriting books. I did this for years. Eventually, I co-wrote and starred in two films and was very fortunate when they were programmed at Sundance in 2011.

I’m taking you through this brief history because I think it’s important to understanding that when Harvey Weinstein requested a meeting with me in 2014—when the industry had deemed I was legitimate fresh meat—I was, in some ways, in a slightly different position from many who had walked this gauntlet before me.

I, too, went to the meeting thinking that perhaps my entire life was about to change for the better. I, too, was asked to meet him in a hotel bar. I, too, met a young, female assistant there who said the meeting had been moved upstairs to his suite because he was a very busy man. I, too, felt my guard go up but was calmed by the presence of another woman my age beside me. I, too, felt terror in the pit of my stomach when that young woman left the room and I was suddenly alone with him. I, too, was asked if I wanted a massage, champagne, strawberries. I, too, sat in that chair paralyzed by mounting fear when he suggested we shower together. What could I do? How not to offend this man, this gatekeeper, who could anoint or destroy me?

It was clear that there was only one direction he wanted this encounter to go in, and that was sex or some version of an erotic exchange. I was able to gather myself together—a bundle of firing nerves, hands trembling, voice lost in my throat—and leave the room.  

I later sat in my hotel room alone and wept. I wept because I had gone up the elevator when I knew better. I wept because I had let him touch my shoulders. I wept because at other times in my life, under other circumstances, I had not been able to leave.    

At this point many women have come forward to tell their stories about being harassed or abused by Weinstein. All of them are courageous, including the women who could not find a way out. I think for me, I was able to leave Weinstein’s hotel room that day because I had entered as an actor but also as a writer/creator. Of those dual personas in me—actor and writer—it was the writer who stood up and walked out. Because the writer knew that even if this very powerful man never gave her a job in any of his films, even if he blacklisted her from other films, she could make her own work on her own terms and thus keep a roof over her head.

I’m telling this story because in the heat surrounding these brave admissions, it’s important to think about the economics of consent. Weinstein was a gatekeeper who could give actresses a career that would sustain their lives and the livelihood of their families. He could also give them fame, which is one of few ways for women to gain some semblance of power and voice inside a patriarchal world. They knew it. He knew it. Weinstein could also ensure that these women would never work again if they humiliated him. That’s not just artistic or emotional exile—that’s also economic exile.

It’s important, too, to keep in mind where this power imbalance comes from. In the U.S., women were only allowed to have credit cards in their own names as of 43 years ago. Men had a two-decade head start (the credit card was invented in 1950). In the 1960s a woman needed to bring a man along to cosign any credit application. It’s stunning how recently women were afforded no financial autonomy. This is, of course, connected to the fact that women didn’t have bodily autonomy either. A woman’s husband could beat her or have sex with her without her consent in this country with no real legal recourse until the 1970s.

For me, this all distills down to the following: The things that happen in hotel rooms and board rooms all over the world (and in every industry) between women seeking employment or trying to keep employment and men holding the power to grant it or take it away exist in a gray zone where words like “consent” cannot fully capture the complexity of the encounter. Because consent is a function of power. You have to have a modicum of power to give it. In many cases women do not have that power because their livelihood is in jeopardy and because they are the gender that is oppressed by a daily, invisible war waged against all that is feminine—women and humans who behave or dress or think or feel or look feminine.

It’s a powerful moment when courageous people begin speaking about how they have been harmed, which is a deeply difficult thing to do because it means wading through a swamp of shame you’ve been made to feel. I am inspired by them all. We should let their strength guide our way forward, which means beginning a much larger conversation about the role economic inequality often plays in rape culture.

Men hold most of the world’s wealth. In fact, just eight men own the same wealth as 3.6 billion people who make up the poorer half of humanity, the majority of whom, according to Oxfam, are women. As a gender whole, women are poor. This means that, in part, stopping sexual harassment and abuse will involve fighting for wage parity. This also means women and men in power need to turn around and hire more women, especially women of color, especially women who have not grown up with economic privilege.

Another important step forward would be for all of us to start telling and consuming different stories. If you don’t want to be a part of a culture in which sexual abuse and harassment are rampant, don’t buy a ticket to a film that promotes it. I am as guilty of this as anybody else; sometimes it’s nice to zone out to a film that’s a distraction of epic spectacle. But maybe it’s time to imagine more films that don’t use exploitation of female bodies or violence against female bodies as their selling points. Films with a gender balance and racial balance that better reflect the world we all actually live in. These are challenges I myself am trying to meet, as a series creator, and I have by no means closed the gap between what I aspire to and what I have achieved.  

Part of what keeps you sitting in that chair in that room enduring harassment or abuse from a man in power is that, as a woman, you have rarely seen another end for yourself. In the novels you’ve read, in the films you’ve seen, in the stories you’ve been told since birth, the women so frequently meet disastrous ends. The real danger inside the present moment, then, would be for us all to separate the alleged deeds of Cosby, Ailes, O’Reilly, or Weinstein from a culture that continues to allow for dramatic imbalances of power. It’s not these bad men. Or that dirty industry. It’s this inhumane economic system of which we are all a part. As producers and as consumers. As storytellers and as listeners. As human beings. That’s a very uncomfortable truth to sit inside. But perhaps discomfort is what’s required to move in the direction of a humane world to which we would all freely give our consent.

‘Just’ Say No

It was a ‘permission’ word— a warm-up to a request, an apology for interrupting, a shy knock on a door before asking “Can I get something I need from you?”
October 12, 2017


Ellen Petry Leanse
Courtesy of Alex Pardoe/Unsplash

A few years back I noticed something: the frequency with which the word “just” appeared in email and conversation from female co-workers and friends. I first sensed this it shortly after leaving Google and joining a company with a high ratio of female to male employees.

Google, and everywhere else I’d worked before, had a more traditional gender mix. I’d never really noted a high concentration of “just” before, so I thought it might be my imagination. But soon I knew my hunch was legit. “Just” just kept showing up way too frequently.

“I just wanted to check in on…”

“Just wondering if you’d decided between….”

“If you can just give me an answer, then…”

“I’m just following up on…”

I started paying attention, at work and beyond. It didn’t take long to sense something I hadn’t noticed before: women used “just” a lot more often than men.

Still, it was only a hunch — I had no data. Yet even if it was selective listening, it seemed I was hearing “just” three to four times more frequently from women than from men.

It hit me that there was something about the word I didn’t like. It was a “permission” word, in a way — a warm-up to a request, an apology for interrupting, a shy knock on a door before asking “Can I get something I need from you?”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a “child” word, to riff Transactional Analysis. As such it put the conversation partner into the “parent” position, granting them more authority and control. And that “just” didn’t make sense.

I am all about respectful communication. Yet I began to notice that “just” wasn’t about being polite: it was a subtle message of subordination, of deference. Sometimes it was self-effacing. Sometimes even duplicitous. As I started really listening, I realized that striking it from a phrase almost always clarified and strengthened the message.

And as I began to pay attention, I was astonished — believe me — at how often I used the word.

I sent a memo to my work teammates about the “J” word and suggested a moratorium on using it. We talked about what it seemed to imply (everyone agreed) and how different that message was from the way we saw ourselves: trusted advisors, true partners, win-win champions of customer success.

We started noticing when and how we used “just” and outing each other when we slipped. Over time, frequency diminished. And as it did we felt a change in our communication — even our confidence. We didn’t dilute our messages with a word that weakened them.

It was subtle, but small changes can spark big differences. I believe it helped strengthen our conviction, better reflecting the decisiveness, preparedness, and impact that reflected our brand.

Yet “just” still bugged me. Sure, I’d had my little experiment with friends. But I’d acted on a hunch, maybe right, maybe wrong.
So I ran a test in the real world.

In a room full of young entrepreneurs, a nice even mix of men and women, I asked two people — a guy and a girl — to each spend three minutes speaking about their startups. I asked them to leave the room to prepare, and while they were gone I asked the audience to secretly tally the number of times they each said the word “Just.”

Sarah went first. Pens moved pretty briskly in the audience’s hands. Some tallied five, some six. When Paul spoke, the pen moved…once. Even the speakers were blown away when we revealed that count.

Now, that’s not research: it’s a mere MVP of a test that likely merits more inquiry, but we all have other work to do.

Plus, maybe now that you’ve read this, you’ll heighten your awareness of that word and find clearer, more confident ways of making your ideas known.

In other words, help take the “J Count” down. Take the word out of your sentences and see if you note a difference in your clarity — and even the beliefs that fuel the things you say.

It’s actually easy, once you start paying attention. Like it?

If so, then, to riff Nike: well …. ”Do it.”

Ellen Petry Leanse brings decades of experience with high-impact companies like Apple, Google, and dozens of technology innovators to her work on leadership and life purpose. A respected speaker, coach, and author, she also teaches at Stanford University and works with individuals and organizations to help them increase focus and impact. Her book, “The Happiness Hack,” offers easy, brain-aware ways to bring more focus, purpose, and satisfaction to everyday life.
The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!

Gnash “I Hate U, I Love U” Lyrics

I Hate U, I Love UGnash


Feeling used

But I’m

Still missing you

And I can’t

See the end of this

Just wanna feel your kiss

Against my lips

And now all this time

Is passing by

But I still can’t seem to tell you why

It hurts me every time I see you

Realize how much I need you

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I love you

Don’t want to but I can’t put nobody else above you

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I want you

You want her, you need her

And I’ll never be her

I miss you when I can’t sleep

Or right after coffee

Or right when I can’t eat

I miss you in my front seat

Still got sand in my sweaters

From nights we don’t remember

Do you miss me like I miss you?

Fucked around and got attached to you

Friends can break your heart too, and

I’m always tired but never of you

If I pulled a you on you, you wouldn’t like that shit

I put this real out, but you wouldn’t bite that shit

I type a text but then I nevermind that shit

I got these feelings but you never mind that shit

Oh oh, keep it on the low

You’re still in love with me but your friends don’t know

If u wanted me you would just say so

And if I were you, I would never let me go

I don’t mean no harm

I just miss you on my arm

Wedding bells were just alarms

Caution tape around my heart

You ever wonder what we could have been?

You said you wouldn’t and you fucking did

Lie to me, lie with me, get your fucking fix

Now all my drinks and all my feelings are all fucking mixed

Always missing people that I shouldn’t be missing

Sometimes you gotta burn some bridges just to create some distance

I know that I control my thoughts and I should stop reminiscing

But I learned from my dad that it’s good to have feelings

When love and trust are gone

I guess this is moving on

Everyone I do right does me wrong

So every lonely night, I sing this song

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I love you

Don’t want to but I can’t put nobody else above you

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I want you

You want her, you need her

And I’ll never be her

All alone I watch you watch her

Like she’s the only girl you’ve ever seen

You don’t care you never did

You don’t give a damn about me

Yeah all alone I watch you watch her

She’s the only thing you’ve ever seen

How is it you’ll never notice

That you are slowly killing me

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I love you

Don’t want to but I can’t put nobody else above you

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I want you

You want her, you need her

And I’ll never be her

Songwriters: Olivia O’brien / Gnash .

I Hate U, I Love U lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC