Perception is Reality?
Perception is not reality. Reality is reality. A mad man may perceive that the people around him are lizards but that does not make it true. We may strive to understand the mad man's perception but we do so while knowing the reality.
Sloppy language, like sloppy labels, can shut down thought. It can head off further inquiry and produce skewed reactions, as in "Well, if that's how he (or she or we) perceived it then the question of whether or not it is true is irrelevant."
No. What is true is vitally important. Perceptions may provide an excuse or explanation for someone's conduct but they don't alter reality.
We can find a similar problem with the "appearance of impropriety" standard, another convenient dodge. Just because something appears improper doesn't mean it is improper. Such cases should be approached with that fact in mind and individuals should have the guts to make the distinction.
Not everything that looks bad is bad.