Matt Damon recently joined the list of men, who think that not being a sexual predator is some kind of social service. Time and again, when social media has overflowed with posts of women complaining about sexual harassment, the so-called “decent men” have brought up the shield of hashtag #NotAllMen. And now we have a Hollywood A-Lister who says that we are not talking enough about the men in Hollywood who do not abuse. Really?

It’s 2017, and you still feel that women need to applaud and pat the backs of men who are not creeps. Let me just point out to you, by not being a sexual predator, you are doing service to your own good self, not the women kind. We are indeed grateful that every man on this planet does not treat us like sex dolls. But as the other half population of the world, isn’t this dignity our right? Why should we be grateful for being given what should never have been taken away from us in the first place?

Or is it that men still think of themselves as higher beings. Who are tolerating whims of an arrogant child, and giving her a gift, which the child should be eternally indebted for?

Men like Matt Damon come from a generation which was taught that being good to a woman makes you a gentleman. Instead, they should have been taught, that being treated decently is every woman’s right. It gave the men a choice to either be a bad boy or a gentleman. Instead, the only option available should have been to treat every human irrespective of gender or sexual preference, or physical appearance as an equal.

If you want us to praise you, then merely keeping your hands where they should be, is just not enough. The only men who deserve to be thanked are those who stand by women, and help them tackle giants like Weinstein. Men who are willing to risk their careers and stand up for the right to dignity. Those are the only men about whom we need to talk about more. They deserve all the praise and respect in the world. Not because they are doing us a favour by galloping into the minefield for us, but because they know that we are their equals.

We want men by our side in this battle against predators, entitlement and misuse of power, because the truth is that many men suffer because of it as well.

This battle is not men vs. women. It is between those who misuse their power and everyone else.

So next time, you feel that we should applaud you for not looking down a woman’s blouse, or drooling over her bare legs and buttocks, just ask yourselves one question. Would you stop someone else from doing that? Would you stand up against men more powerful than you, who are violating women against their will? Only then will you become worthy of the pat on the back that you seek.

Also Read : How Men Can Make Feminism A Success

Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are author’s own.

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.