In some cases, though, the accused or his defenders have decribed the actions in question as “romantic gestures” or a “come on.” Obviously, these “gestures,” actions, and words can also be scarring for a woman, particularly in a professional setting — or what she thought was one.
You could imagine an unfortunate and ambiguous case where a guy has an interest in a girl. They happen to be in the same industry and he happens to be senior to her. He thinks there are sparks. He asks her out, or makes some other advance. From his perspective, it’s how a potential romance either begins or doesn’t. From her perspective, a mentor has just, out of the blue, made it clear that he wants a sexual relationship, and it’s terrifying.
That defense, though, evaporates if the guy is married. Grabbing the girl’s thigh, if it could ever be interpreted as a first expression of interest in a personal and intimate relationship, cannot be so considered if the guy is already married. It’s clear he just wants sex. It’s 100 percent clear he’s not treating this woman as a person, but as simply flesh.