Women in media deliver conflicting messages: They dress and act like seductresses, but can enforce the boundaries of chaste religious. When men see the “tangible invitation” of barred body parts, they respond to what they see and understand as an invitation. They are then charged with sexual harassment by a woman who feigns any understanding that her dress or behavior could have been interpreted as a license to express sexual appreciation. Men of course ought to be smart enough to know better: the sexual harassment laws are enforced with little or no grace to the harasser. A jury however will have the opportunity to decide if the accusor implicitly invited the alleged “unwanted” attention by her skimpy dress and firtatious demeanor.
A sexual harassment case does not depend on the attitude or perceptions of the harasser. That is, that he believes he acted in a non-harassing way is irrelevant, and his subjective perception that the conduct was invited is probably irrelevant as well. The question is whether a reasonable woman would consider the conduct harassing. Of course, one element of a harassment case is the subjective perception of the accusor herself: Did she think and feel that the conduct or language was personally offensive? This point allows a jury to weigh and consider whether her conduct supports her contention that she really did not want the “offensive” attention she received.