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Too hot for you?

April 23, 2012

Der Spiegel reports about a controversy involving German high jump champion Ariane Friedrich. Apparently, some idiot sent her a dirty email, including a picture of his genitals. Friedrich responded by publishing his full name and place of residence on her facebook page (in addition to reporting him to the police). This, still according to Spiegel, kicked up a minor internet shitstorm: lots of people approving of what she did, lots of people disapproving.

Spontaneously, I think the idiot brought it upon himself. Outing him wasn’t the most classy thing Friedrich could have done, but he started it. As we say in Sweden: whoever joins the game has to endure the playing of the game.* Sending your real name and address to a stranger is usually not considered a wise move on the internet. And if you choose to accompany it with a picture of genitals, all bets are off.

OTOH: what if it wasn’t his real name? What if the idiot wasn’t really an idiot, but was using the name and address of somebody else as a roundabout way of harming him? Well, if so, he/she certainly succeded. It’s because of such possible complications that we have police investigations and presumptions of innocence.

But I don’t know. The amount of idiots in this world seems vastly larger than the amount of schemers. Friedrich probably pointed out the right guy. Still not a nice thing to do, of course. But I think I understand her. It gets really old after a while, taking the high road towards people who aren’t being nice to you. Sometimes it feels good to defend yourself too.

*I don’t know if English has a corresponding idiom. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” is the closest I can think of, but it lacks the part about actively having entered the kitchen in the first place.

  1. Elias permalink

    Är inte det svenska idiomet du tänker på: “Är man med i leken så får man leken tåla”? Om du inte formulerar det annorlunda så säger inte det här mer än det engelska idiomet om att ha gått med i leken till att börja med.

  2. I know the idiom as “Den som sig i leken ger…” which contains the part of the complainer having joined voluntarily.

  3. Elias permalink

    Wikipedia agrees with you, so you’re not alone with that phrasing.

  4. yes it’s “den som sig i leken ger…” – anyways, i personally think that if someone attacks you (sending a picture of your genitals is an attack) you should always give back a hundred times worse. sometimes killing people with kindness is worse, if they expected the opposite, but mostly you should just go for their throat (figuratively speaking). so, good for ms/mrs friedrich!

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