If for nothing else today, I am grateful for the men I have known throughout my life. Sure I've come across a lame one here or there, but the kind of men I knew growing up and the kind of people I surround myself with now are generally educated, progressive, kind men who respect women. I feel the world is often polarizing in this way- it becomes more progressive, yet the disparity of wealth is still staggeringly unfair and people are not given enough opportunities, or not culturally motivated to succeed. I use the term 'succeed' only as a way to make the general distinction that affluent societies are more favorable to the well-being of women.
The older I get the more I realize how blessed I have been to live in a society where women are afforded infinite opportunities, encouraged to foster independence and maybe above it all, sheer imagination.
Sometimes I walk around this magnificent city and my mind is a whirl with positivity, light and potential for what many roads my life will take me, and then inevitably enough, I attempt to think how many women at that very moment are not afforded that very luxury: to be able to think, dream and wonder.
Then what's more, thinking about those who have suffered on my behalf at the hand of men can make me really emotional for how horrifically unfair their lives have been in relation to the free society I happened to float into when I did.
It's ultimately gut-wrenching to realize that most women are still oppressed today. Maybe some argue those women have no frame of reference for how heinously they are treated. But I refuse to believe that first world society is the only one that finds man's inhumanity to woman inhumane.
I'll probably be really embarrassed by this come tomorrow because these are far from any sort of original thoughts. But I think we can all agree we could express gratitude and positivity more, because while wallowing in the injustice of it all is fundamentally unproductive, it's still important to recognize. I feel as though mens' and womens' roles that while increasingly blurred, are still targets to asinine criticism that only mock the efforts of those who have fought for rights and a better quality of life.
Or maybe I just really miss my dad today.
All pictures from 'The Lottery of Life' campaign.