Many recent opinion pieces about sexual harassment and assault contain statements of gratitude to the men who respect women and treat them as equals. But we need to hold men to a higher standard than that.

We don’t thank people for not committing murder. You don’t get bonus points for not running red lights. We should thank men (and women) who actively work to level the playing field between men and women, who work to eliminate the power disparity between them so that the culture of harassment and assault changes.

Praising men for respecting women merely absolves them of responsibility for doing anything to end the inequality that some men will inevitably abuse. We need to praise men for more than basic human decency.

David Kuchta

Portland