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"Emily in Paris" is sexually harassed and all they talk about is her outfits
"Emily in Paris" is sexually harassed and all they talk about is her outfits

The new Netflix series "Emily in Paris" is celebrated, but also harshly criticized. Many find it "too clichéd". We noticed something else …


The new Netflix series "Emily in Paris" from "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star is currently conquering the Internet - if not always in a positive way. In the lead role Lily Collins as Emily, who moves her work from Chicago to Paris to get started in marketing. But as nice as it sounds, Emily has a hard time struggling with her new work colleagues, including the boss. And the customers of various luxury brands don't make it easy for her either. So far so good. While many of the 1-star reviews deal with the shallow plot, the many clichés and the unrealistic portrayal of the French capital (not to mention the questionable choice of music or the dubious camera settings), we noticed something else: the protagonist did Struggling with more than a boss who tries to bully her out of the company, Emily continues to get sexually molested.

A widespread problem: 56 percent of women workers have been sexually harassed in the workplace.

Emily experiences sexual harassment in the workplace

These are scenes that happen to thousands of women every day. Male colleagues comment on their appearance, use vulgar language in their presence and joke about their sex life. In addition, they call the two colleagues "Plouc" (in German: Proletin, peasant booby) to annoy Emily. Finally she shoots back one day with a "You can do me", whereupon the colleague is impressed. After the two men paint her a penis about the company philosophy that Emily had printed out from Chicago, she defends herself and confronts the men. "It wasn't me. Mine doesn't bend, it's straight," was the answer.

The best place to learn the language is in bed

Emily's situation becomes even more difficult when one of the agency's clients behaves inappropriately. Antoine Lambert is a perfumer and tries to flirt with Emily. His perfume, which smells like "good sex", gives a woman self-confidence, "like lingerie". After all, he sends them straight to her office. He also recommends that she learn the French language with the help of a man, because after all, it would "work best in bed". Emily tries again and again to save the situation with a smile or a quick-witted saying. Finally, she tells the customer that he is behaving inappropriately. But she doesn't seem to be that aware of the situation. In conversation with her good friend Gabriel, she takes some of the blame on herself: Even as a child, she had strict rules regarding the separation of private and professional life: "When eating, the peas were there, the meat there".

"Emily in Paris" clearly shows the tricky situation many women find themselves in. To rebel against a customer or to turn to a boss who is already on your neck is extremely difficult. The problem here is not that such scenes are shown. They reflect reality and show how thousands of female employees worldwide are doing. Rather, it is because there is no discourse about these incidents in the series. Emily's outfits, her lifestyle or the portrayal of Parisian life seem to be higher on the agenda.

What should I do?

The Chamber of Labor has provided a detailed list of offers of help and examples of sexual harassment in the workplace. The legislator says quite clearly: Sexual harassment is, among other things, what is perceived as such and is undesirable for the person concerned. The first step should be to politely but firmly point out that the behavior is undesirable. You can also contact works councils and women's representatives, if there are any in the company. Alternatively, the Chamber of Labor of the respective federal state or the Ombud for Equal Treatment are available. Last year, the "Sprungbrett" association, together with the Chamber of Labor, launched a telephone counseling service called "Act4Respect" for those affected. You can find more information here.

Legal consequences of sexual harassment

"The harasser is obliged to stop his behavior immediately. As part of its duty of care, the company is required to take appropriate remedial action as soon as it becomes aware of the sexual harassment, so that the employee is not exposed to any further attacks," says the website the Chamber of Labor.

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