Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Odd, that.

Apparently, in Germany, it's considered quite controversial for a harassment victim to publicly out her harasser. Ariane Friedrich, the highly-photogenic German high-jumper whose day job is working as a police officer, got some unwanted email from a fellow named Thorsten Dersch, who asked her to have a look at his genitalia, with picture attached.

One thing that Germany and the U.S. do apparently have in common is that it's traditional to at least get to know a lady before you go to presenting her photographs of your genitalia on a social basis. Herr Dersch hadn't met that standard yet. You might say that he jumped the gun. You might say that the bar was set a little higher.

Frau Friedrich invoked what seems to me to be her right, declaring that she wasn't interested in his suggestion that she investigate another sporting event. She didn't publicly share the file that he sent her, but referred the issue to the police.

This seems to be frowned upon in Germany, if I read the news correctly: apparently they believe that she should have let the system take care of it. That fascinates me. Their culture is evidently so wrapped up in giving all power to the central government, that it actually believes that a private citizen cannot publicly name her tormentor, without police permission.

How far does this extend? Are threats similarly considered privileged communications? She did not receive that message in the performance of her duties as a police officer (in which case, I would have a bit of a problem with her releasing info on a suspect).

Folks, the social contract that I've always understood has been that, once you fire off your love letter, your horny email, your sext*, your voicemail message, or whatever: it's the property of the person that you gave it to. Yeah, we all see the confidentiality notice boilerplate at the bottom of emails, but a bit of silly gray writing at the bottom of a page does not circumvent a person's right to free speech about personal matters.

Not here, anyway.
*What a world we live in, that has changed so very much in these last 15 years. Back when I was in high school, if you wanted to document your pride and joy in the altogether, you had to buy a Polaroid camera and its expensive film, or else you had to know a lab that was cool with such things. Nowadays, practically anybody with a phone can take a picture of their tender nethers, and distribute the image to everyone that they know, faster than it took me to write this paragraph. People that wouldn't dream of putting a rifle in the hands of a 16 year old will give that same kid a car, a camera phone, and a debit card.  So we find juveniles and adults who act like juveniles sending all kinds of unfiltered pictures with such abandon that we're having to write new laws about them. (Note: That's a REALLY good law that Texas just passed.)


At Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:16:00 PM, Blogger charlotte g said...

Oh, I agree. How many times the law will be invoked is in question.
But it's nice to have in the backup vault if someone really wants to use it.

At Thursday, April 26, 2012 1:40:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

That IS interesting... I hadn't realized that was the way they've structured in Germany.


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