Political Correctness

Trigger Warnings Aren't Confined to College Campuses: Here Are 3 Unusual Places They Appeared

"I had to add a content warning or else."

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Sign
Muxiang / Dreamstime

The existence of trigger warnings in university classrooms has attracted much media attention, but they were never just a campus phenomenon. In fact, they first appeared in online forums and blogs, well before their mandatory inclusion in the curriculum became a common demand of student activists.

Even so, trigger warnings are now showing up in some unusual places. Perhaps more concerning, they often cover a much broader range of expression—content that doesn't seem very worthy of forewarning. Here are three examples.

First, there was a New York Times article last week about trigger warnings appearing at the theater.

"Please be advised," warned a sign posted outside the door to a stage in Denver. "This production contains: Strobe lighting effects. Sudden loud noises. Theatrical fog/haze. Scenes of violence. Adult language. Sexual situations. Adult humor and content." A venue in Brooklyn warned theatergoers about "moments of darkness and violence" in a play. "This production may trigger an adverse reaction," read a sign at a theater in Baltimore. A Philadelphia-based theater company even offered to direct uncomfortable audience members to a safe space in the lobby.

"We're all just trying to find the line between setting people's expectations and not treating them like children and not giving away the core of the story," artistic director Chris Coleman told the Times.

If paying customers really want to be forewarned about troubling material, then theater owners are bound to accommodate them. But I wonder whether many customers actually feel misled—or frightened, or triggered—if they see a play that isn't completely predictable. And while I understand why some customers would want to be warned, for physical reasons, about strobe lighting effects, "adult humor" and "moments of darkness" seem like another category altogether.

Consider another case: an online forum for a book club. Bob, an academic whose real name I have omitted, posted on a discussion forum for scholars hosted by Mastodon, a competitor to Twitter. His post was a very brief announcement regarding his book club's next reading, the nonfiction Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest. In response, an administrator asked him to revise the "toot" (that's Mastodon's version of a tweet) by adding a content warning. Bob complained that this was unnecessary, but the administrator persisted.

"Using Content Warnings allows other users to consent before engaging with the topics listed on our Community Standards," wrote the administrator. "I'm going to have to ask you to delete and re-draft this post at some point over the next day or so and add a CW for U.S. politics."

The required content warning was for tech companies and violence. The administrator wanted to hide the post—which was just the book's title, plus a link to Bob's book club—beneath this note of caution, as if merely reading the words "Twitter" or "tear gas" would be disturbing.

"I pointed out that those words are, in fact, the title of an academic book, and that this was a discussion forum for academia," wrote Bob. "No dice. I had to add a content warning or else."

Third, a personal anecdote: A woman named Mira Lazine—who provides "a queer socialist perspective on the local politics of northeastern Pennsylvania," according to her Twitter bio—criticized The Daily Beast for "regularly publishing" my work. (Note: I haven't written anything for The Daily Beast in quite a while.) She wrongly accused me of "blatantly defending blackface" and provided a link to a representative offending column—with a content warning, of course. A subsequent tweet, which linked to another one of my columns, provided an equally inaccurate content warning for "queerphobia, ableism, and much more."

It certainly seems like the trigger warning phenomenon is spreading—and is being used to warn people about speech that isn't intrinsically disturbing, except for the very easily unnerved. As long as such practices are voluntary, as most classroom trigger warnings are, then this isn't a free speech problem. But I do worry it becomes more difficult to talk to one another if the speaker always assumes fragility on the part of the listener. People really shouldn't need a content warning before they read the words "tear gas."

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118 responses to “Trigger Warnings Aren't Confined to College Campuses: Here Are 3 Unusual Places They Appeared

  1. Trigger warnings were also used in the circus, and by the promoters of suggestive plays, movies, etc.

    “This movie/play/exhibit is strictly for ADULTS ONLY! It’s content is so SHOCKING that people with heart conditions should STAY AWAY! This RAW and EXPLICIT material is NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART! Enter at your own risk!”

    1. Come to think of it, instead of fussing about trigger warnings, professors should take them up with gusto.

      “TRIGGER WARNING: ENGLISH 101: THE PLAYS OF SHAKESPEARE features mature themes themes which some students may find OFFENSIVE and SHOCKING. If you are easily put off by INCEST, CROSS-DRESSING, MADNESS, SEX, and MURDER, do not take this class. FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY!!!”

      1. You forgot human sacrifice, rape, cannibalism, an early “your mother” insult,..and that is just Titus Andronicus.

        1. “I like my children, but not *that* way!”

          1. Surely we can agree that warnings are also required for certain objectionable works of so-called art (they had a large one erected at the entrance to the Balthus exhibit here in New York a few years ago; clearly it would have been better not to hold such an exhibit at all, but obviously they were obliged to warn the public in the clearest possible terms once they decided to go ahead with the display) and, above all, whenever anyone chooses to emit a “parody” in the name of one of our faculty members here at NYU? See the documentation of our great nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

            https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

          2. as I recall, Orson Welles liked his “boiled”.

    2. Trigger Warnings should come with a Spoiler Alert

  2. A warning to epileptics isn’t quite the same thing. And movies publish content advisories all the time.

    You might want to be more selective in your outrage.

    1. Yeah, kind of raised an eyebrow on that one. As far as I know, epilepsy warnings are a very organic response. Not required by law, but largely adopted by most media sources I know. A great organic solution to a problem.

    2. The author does acknowledge physical issues that could be set off by things like strobes. And the alphabet soup of “content advisories” is almost incomprehensible to anyone except hypernerds, which probably has something to do with why progs want more elaborate “trigger warnings”.

      It’s still worth asking why we can’t simply read a review, decide whether we want to see a movie of the type outlined in the review, and decide to stay home instead? Oh, right. That would require independent thought and decision-making, not groupthink. Today’s progs wouldn’t know how to handle it.

  3. Tear gas? Tear gas !?!?! TEAR GAS ?!11!?!11!
    /me burst into tears and runs out of the blog, shaking …

    1. My bet is that the Mastodon moderator was more concerned about the mention of Twitter than he was about tear gas.

  4. The point of trigger warnings isn’t necessarily to protect “vulnerable” people. It’s also to stigmatize unapproved writing and keep people from being exposed to wrongthink.

    1. Or see above for other purposes.

    2. Funny thing is it will have exact opposite impact on the majority of people. When the parental advisory sticker for music albums came out it was an indicator to me and my friends that we should buy this album not run from it.

      1. Mike Royko wrote a column about how he enthusiastically joined a campaign to ban one of his books from a public library. He offered to “help out” the banning campaign with slogans about how dangerous and salacious the book was.

        1. Mike Royko wrote a column about how he enthusiastically joined a campaign to ban one of his books from a public library

          What’s your best estimate? How many goobers took that seriously — perhaps having seen it at Infowars or StormFront — totally ignorant that he was a satirist, ridiculing …. THEM.

          Book banning/burning is TOTAL rightwing.

          1. Fuck off , Hihn!

            1. I understand your deep sense of humiliation.
              But who’s Hihn?
              Are you another of the conspiracy, wackos?

              1. You’re probably not Hihn. He at least usually understood basic punctuation

      2. When the parental advisory sticker for music albums came out it was an indicator to me and my friends that we should buy this album not run from it.

        WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH
        That means EVERYONE knew in advance that the content was “questionable” and could take action appropriate to their values.

        There’s a name for that. Individual liberty.
        But I’m not sure if that’s why the political right demanded those warnings, including films.

        1. One of the most vocal early advocates for the warnings was Tipper Gore, not exactly a representative of the political right.

    3. You’re both thinking of how normal people react though.

      1. Do you people (this thread) REALLY say “fuck” in front of elementary school kids?

        1. You’d be surprised how often elementary school kids say it in front of me.

  5. Voluntarily trying to weed out the fit-pitchers isn’t a bad idea.

    1. Like the many on this page? (lol)

    2. I always find the fit pitchers to be borderline hilarious. They’re fun to watch.

      “Whaaaaaattt, you’re gone off on THAAAAT???? Whassamaddayoo ennyway, dooode. Yo Momma done babied you too much. Go back inna house, take off yer baby pantses and put on yer Big Boy Britches. Then come back outside and enjoy the game of life.

      I remember one kid in grade school…. at lunch time almost every day, we’d wait till he had just taken a bit drink of milk through his straw, then one of us would say something really funny and he’d bust up laughing and spew milk out his nose. Pretty predicatble. And no one, least of all he, would have ever expected a cue for the laugh track to be issued pre-wise crack.

      I think toward the end of that year he gradually began to both be aware of our perfect sense of timing, and harden himself against the reflex crackup. It grew more and more difficult to get the desired reaction from him. By the next fall he was cured……

  6. A woman named Mira Lazine?who provides “a queer socialist perspective on the local politics of northeastern Pennsylvania,” according to her Twitter bio?criticized The Daily Beast for “regularly publishing” my work.

    Nothing personal. It was just your turn, Roberto. She’s probably been burning through outrages at an outrageous rate. (Sure, it’s a renewable resource, but at what cost to our online environment?)

    1. #PeakOutrage

    2. I can’t imagine the queer socialist intellectual scene in Scranton is very fulfilling. Robby should go easy on this poor woman.

      1. Trigger warning: you have assumed the person is still a woman.

        1. He assumed the entire “queer socialist intellectual scene” (plural) as one woman

          He referenced a bigoted comment by Fist of Etiquette just above, who cited a line from the story.

    3. She’s probably been burning through outrages at an outrageous rate.

      Why do you believe a queer socialist would be in the alt-right?

      Or …………
      Are you seriously aware that you’ve revealed your bigotry?
      Might you have been triggered?

      1. Now this is actually interesting. The mask slipped from which of my bigotries here?

        1. Now this is actually interesting. The mask slipped from which of my bigotries here?

          Umm, why did I bother quoting you?

          which of my bigotries here

          MIGHT it be what I quoted, then responded to?

          1. WRONG. It was my Western Pennsylvania bigotry for people from the eastern side of the commonwealth. They’re uniformly miserable people.

            1. fwiw, i think its because you said “altrighteous” instead of “outrageous”

            2. go Flyers!

              1. Flyers suck even worse than the Pens right now.

            3. Bigotry confirmed. Satite added.
              Thank you for conceding.

      2. Why do you believe a queer socialist would be in the alt-right?

        well, they live in an alternate world anyway, who not an alternate right world? Or is that the only one left?

        both queers and socialists DO live in an alternate world. I often wish they’d stay there, though….. they repeatedly escape and pollute THIS one with their alternativity.

        1. Hey, Fred! Add another bigio to the list.
          Oh?
          Wel, then start page 8.

  7. I am very surprised that this type of snowflakishness would be present on a group hosted by alternative social media, above all a Twitter competitor.

    1. Says the triggered PC snowflake.

  8. My bet is that they were more concerned about the mention of Twitter in the book title than anything else. How dare you mention Twitter on Mastadon!. Of course, for legal reasons, they can’t admit that.

  9. In Illinois I see trigger warnings everywhere I go.

    1. my advice is to stop going everywhere when you are in Illinois. Try going everywhere in some alternative state. You might begin seeing other alternate things.

  10. “I’m going to have to ask you to delete and re-draft this post at some point over the next day or so and add a CW for U.S. politics.”

    Honestly, adding a warning that politics are about to be discussed might just save the internet.

  11. “We’re all just trying to find the line between setting people’s expectations and not treating them like children…”

    There is no imaginary “line,” Most of the push for “trigger warnings” has absolutely nothing to do with possible squeamishness on anyone’s part; it is just a handy method of suppressing what the particular person or group does not agree with. Same vein as claiming victim status as a means to shush your opposition or whatever is contrary to your agenda.

  12. >>>The existence of trigger warnings

    should be either ignored or met w/”fuck you grow up”

    1. The second option is your fifth time here, revealing that you’ve been triggered.
      Even Barbra Streisand is supporting you. Can you hear her singing “Feelings” in the background?

      1. i have dead & co. 12/1/17 on. fabulous show.

        1. Sorry, I can’t dumb it down any further.

  13. >>>”toot” (that’s Mastodon’s version of a tweet)

    coulda lived another several decades w/o knowing this.

  14. Some trigger warnings make sense. Others are so stupid it boggles the mind.

    If I know someone has been raped, I don’t talk about rape in front of them. If their dad was murdered I don’t talk about murder in front of them. If they miscarred their child I don’t talk about miscarriages when they are around. But I’m NOT going to self-censor myself of every topic all of the time. That’s silly.

    I understand that people grieve when bad things happen to them. But at some point they need to stop grieving and get on with things instead of demanding that the rest of the world stop and wait until they are ready.

    1. “Some trigger warnings make sense. Others are so stupid it boggles the mind.”

      I guess your (bigoted) conception of trigger warnings has much in common with the right-wing haters you lend credence to. Fascist.

      1. Typical right-wing authoritarian. would suppress all language which don’t make sense to HIM. As they’ve done for over a century. Like book bans.

        Thus showing that HE was triggered by this. So many precious PC snowflakes here also

    2. […] instead of demanding that the rest of the world stop and wait until they are ready.

      How does Does the Dog Die make any demands of the “rest of the world”?

      It helps people that want to avoid certain content in their entertainment, while imposing no obligations on anyone else.

      This is the definition of taking personal responsibility for avoiding things you don’t like, rather then demanding everyone self-censor for your benefit.

      1. Thanks for sharing your feelings?
        Do you have anything even remotely related to his comment?

        How does Does the Dog Die make any demands of the “rest of the world”?

        Is it written by Pat Robertson, Rick Santorum or their equivalent?

        Left – Right = Zero

  15. When it isn’t carrying water for the right-wing bigot class, Reason is busy targeting the current generation for…being too considerate. They hide behind ideas like freedom of thought and artistic expression, but these are just buzzwords for their real agenda: attacking vulnerable communities, such as people of color and victims of sexual violence.

    But their protests are in vain. The culture wars were won years ago.

    By my side.

    1. >>>such as people of color

      people of color?

      1. Yup. Would you prefer niggers. See my thread starter, which is next (as I type)

        1. people are people.

          1. Would you call them niggers?

            Must we stop calling people Italian, British. French, American, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, New Yorker … and over a hundred more … in your politically correct gulag?

            1. call them whatever *you* want, i’m not on that team. people are people.

              never change, man.

              1. Call them whatever *you* want, i’m not on that team. people are people

                BULLSHIT You challenged “people of color” … got called out … so you reversed yourself

                EVASION, This is a “discussion” board.

                Would you call them niggers? Must we stop calling people Italian, British. French, American, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, New Yorker … and over a hundred more … in your politically correct gulag?

                You’ve already revealed your hypocrisy on this, by denying your own words, I;m just curious how deeply it goes. You’re not, of course, obliged to respond. But you’ve already rejected your excuse.

                never change, man

                Thanks for the encouragement!. But I never will.
                Especially never reverse my own words, in black and white.

                1. >>>BULLSHIT You challenged “people of color” … got called out … so you reversed yourself

                  are you certain I wasn’t calling you racist for segregating people by skin tone?

                  1. It’s Hihn (or some parody of him).

                    The man’s unhinged.

                    1. i’m in on the yoke. sometimes he entertains me. i’ll stop soon

                    2. Ship of Theseus|11.28.18 @ 1:23PM|#
                      It’s Hihn (or some parody of him).
                      The man’s unhinged.

                      Translation: I made an ass of a right-wing bigot, on a libertarian web site.

                      Grow up, Theseus. Act like a man and explain WHY we should stop calling people Italian, British. French, American, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, New Yorker … and over a hundred more … which responds to that (now proven) bigot’s so-called “principle”. Frankly, ridicule, similar to ridiculing you here.

                      Ship of Theseus is responding to having been triggered elsewhere on the page. Twice there. A third here.

                      (posted in response to multiple aggressions, by a LOSER who FAILS to rebut a word I said … but he was triggered … so I’m now being punished) LOL

                  2. GOTCHA!!!

                    THIRD REQUEST (is it ethnicist) calling people Italian, British. French, American, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, New Yorker … and over a hundred more … in your politically correct gulag.

                    And if it is ethnicist, why is that bad?

                    What about HAIR color. I’ll grant that blondes are the butt of many jokes (pun intended). But, if people are people …..

                    Can you hear me NOW?

                    There is only one answer to your question, that respects individual liberty.. What would THEY prefer to be called? Who the FUCK are YOU to dictate otherwise — in your politically correct gulag?

                    1. >>>What would THEY prefer to be called?

                      generally I go w/their names. or dude.

                    2. CALLED OUT AS A FRAUD ..COWARDLY DILLINGER ADDS …. DIVERSION/DISHONESTY

                      >>>What would THEY prefer to be called?

                      generally I go w/their names. or dude.

                    3. FAIL

                      are you certain I wasn’t calling you racist for segregating people by skin tone?

                      generally I go w/their names. or dude.

                      Except when you’re a bigot.
                      Or attacking me for proving it

                    4. Fuck off, Hihn!

                    5. ANOTHER COWARD FAILS!

                      FOURTH REQUEST (is it ethnicist) calling people Italian, British. French, American, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, New Yorker … and over a hundred more … in your politically correct gulag.

                      And if it is ethnicist, why is that bad?

                      What about HAIR color. I’ll grant that blondes are the butt of many jokes (pun intended). But, if people are people …..

                      Can you hear me NOW?

                      There is only one answer to your question, that respects individual liberty.. What would THEY prefer to be called? Who the FUCK are YOU to dictate otherwise — in your politically correct gulag?

            2. This may come as a surprise, but I for one (at the ripe old age of 71 and being as thoroughly white as they come) have never used that word, not even in jest or by way of example or for any other reason. It tells me all I need to know about you that you can throw it out there so casually in order to make your point.

    2. That’s a rather poor impersonation of REV. Arthur M Kirkland.
      But your satire/ridicule of rightwing goobers is world-class!
      Where do we send your trophy?

  16. I suspected this would incite the alt-right in typical knee-jerk fashion, and it did. Why?
    They’ve been triggered!

    It’s not about fragility. It’s about consideration. (stop laughing). And it’s not a “progtard conspiracy.” Movie ratings have done it for decades. Are THEY the product of liberal pussies. … or of PC conservative prudes? As a general practice, it’s been done for centuries.

    Do YOU say “fuck” in front of women (or anyone) you don’t know well enough? In front of six-year olds? Does that make YOU* a liberal pussie? Or a conservative prude?” Who developed and demanded speech codes? The PC pussies on the right were triggered. Even the overt fascism of book bans.

    Email groups have done it since the dawn of the Internet. Notices always been at the top of messages that may offend. Mature, Adult Content, PG, X, Language or just Rude.

    One thing is virtually guaranteed. Sevo and Tupla will post “Fuck off” from the back of the school bus. Typically,a dozen or more will add lengthier rage. As I type this, Quo Usque Tandem (above) claims it’s done to suppress opposing views. Some is, also tracing to the right (McCarthyism). But that has nothing to do with this article.

    So, why will they attack me?

    Because I triggered them again!!
    Precious snowflakes

    On a purportedly libertarian web site — which allows and even encourages them.

    Let the rage begin …..

    (Nolan backs out the door ?..)

    1. Exactly. Trigger warnings aren’t for the weak. They’re a sign of progress and sophistication. Sadly, most libertarians are secretly alt-right bigots, so their reactions aren’t surprising.

      The future will be many things: female, inclusive, considerate. Libertarian won’t be one of them.

      Libertarianism minus bigotry equals zero!

      1. We disagree that they’re libertarians. Some are alt-right conservatives. Others label themselves libertarian, but are actually Paulistas. Hard to tell them apart, since Ron is a major spiritual godfather of the alt-right,

        What;s hysterical is how many here have no idea they were triggered by this

        1. Hihn’s talking to himself now?

          1. Were you triggered?
            Do you realize it?
            Might it scar your feelings for a longer term?

            Did you invent a dumb-ass excuse to attack libertarian ideas you disagree with, as so many on the authoritarian right do repeatedly?

            Or are you a blind follower of some tribe, being manipulated?

      2. Libertarianism minus bigotry equals zero!

        That ADDS to your fraud!
        And confirms how fucklng stupid you people are — making comments like that about libertarians … under FAKE NAME for REV Arthur M. Kirkland, a libertarian.

        Would you fake-a-name for Rick Santorum and ridicule Christians?
        Ted Cruz to defend gay marriage?

  17. This article could do with a trigger warning for excessive hand-wringing over a few anecdotes. Would have saved me a couple of minutes.

  18. The Eagles wrote a song about this – – – – – – – – –

    1. New Kid in Town?

      1. Get Over It.

        1. thanks! I was never going to get to that one.

  19. I think these kinds of warnings are at least as old as R-rated movies being shown on cable TV.

    Years ago, in my pre-cord-cutting days, I remember settling down to watch movies on cable and hearing an announcer intone something like:

    “The following feature is intended for mature audiences. It contains foul language, nudity, sexual situations, and violence. Viewer discretion is advised.”

    I invariably though, “Good! Those are all the things that make for a decent movie!”

    1. Thanks. these youngsters think it began as few years ago, by proggies … but they themselves have obviously been triggered here! (many of them).

      1. Jesus, fuck off.

        1. (tone and boldface in defense of aggression and verbal; assault)

          they themselves have obviously been triggered here! (many of them).

          Jesus, fuck off.

          So, I triggered you too?
          Lesson: THINK before typing.

          Sing along:
          “another one bites … another one bites … another one bites the dust.”

          .

          1. You are a hilarious lunatic.

          2. Actually, it’s “Another one gone, another one gone, another one bites the dust”. Please try to pay attention

  20. “unnerved”….

    Needs a trigger warning for the nerveless!!!

  21. “This production contains: Strobe lighting effects. Sudden loud noises. Theatrical fog/haze. Scenes of violence. Adult language. Sexual situations. Adult humor and content.”

    If we broaden our definition of trigger warnings, then yes, trigger warnings are everywhere, and certainly nothing new. I want to say they started popping up in the mid eighties when everything needed a “warning label”. Television shows for the last 30 years will preface the show with “this program contains scenes that [fill in the blank]”.

    Again, if we broaden our definition, then sure, I’m more than happy to have a discussion about the “warning label” culture, because I wasn’t happy about it 35 years ago either. The fact that it was embraced in college campuses to protect the feelings of people could just be a symptom of a growing cancer.

    1. Movie ratings began in 1968.
      Replaced the far more strict Hays Code, which began in 1930.
      Book burning/bans trace to the Bible, was dormant for centuries, then Christians revived it at least as early as the 1950s..

      The fact that it was embraced in college campuses to protect the feelings of people could just be a symptom of a growing cancer.

      Is it bad, that Christians still have influence in today’s Godless society?

  22. Does the Dog Die is nothing but trigger warnings. It literally takes a given movie and answers questions on “does the movie contain X trigger?”

    It does not place any obligations on anyone else. If you want to go into a movie blind, you never have to look at it. But if there are some things you find personally upsetting that are often included in movies (like the dog dying), then it’s a place where you can check real quick to see if that movie is right for you.

    This isn’t being a “snowflake” and demanding a censored world, it’s taking steps to avoid media that you won’t enjoy based on self-awareness.

  23. “We’re all just trying to find the line between setting people’s expectations and not treating them like children and not giving away the core of the story,” artistic director Chris Coleman told the Times.

    How about simply doing nothing, Chris? Are people just stumbling into your art?

    1. Umm, do you REALLY say “fuck” in front of elementary school kids?

      1. Fuck off, Hihn.

  24. You should have a trigger warning that your article contains explicit description of liberal retardery.

  25. The concern has always been that trigger warnings would not remain confined to college campuses, but infect companies and other organizations beyond college. Here it begins.

  26. “A subsequent tweet, which linked to another one of my columns, provided an equally inaccurate content warning for ‘queerphobia, ableism, and much more.'”

    Robby wrote a column containing muchmore?! Queerphobua and ableism is bad enough. But muchmore?! I am speechless at the very thought!

  27. My regional Shakespeare festival regularly includes trigger (?) warnings about strobes, gunfire, and actors making entrances and exits through the aisles some of whom may be armed. Nothing like ducking out for the rest room only to be run through by a sword, or worse.

    1. I can imagine Hamlet holding up the skull of poor Yorick, whom he knew well, could trigger an audience member with a relative who was decapitated.

  28. Then wouldn’t you also need a trigger warning for the trigger warning? Trigger warnings all the way down?

  29. Ask people who roll their eyes at trigger warnings if they’ve ever been the victim of traumatic abuse, assault, or accident, it turns out that they almost always have not. Another case of people being unable to imagine themselves in others’ shoes.

    For some reason, it’s harder to accept that people are seriously triggered because it’s psychological. We don’t seem to have much problem with requiring food producers from disclosing if their food contains, say MSG or nuts, possibly because we can measure these reactions externally. Indeed, even the author does this: “And while I understand why some customers would want to be warned, for physical reasons, about strobe lighting effects…”. *Physical* reasons.

    My feeling is that psychological triggers are quite real and serious, and I say that as probably one of the most untriggered people I know. Nevertheless, at times in my life (usually after breakups), I’ve changed the channel on the radio to avoid certain songs or taken different routes to avoid driving past a place associated with my ex. Granted, I was just taking small steps to avoid a fleeting melancholy, but it taught me that places, songs, images, and depictions *absolutely* can conjure feelings which are unwanted and can’t just be turned off. I just thank my lucky stars that I was never raped, molested, attacked, or maimed… and I’ll *gladly* take having to give trigger warnings over actually having to, without forewarning, relive some horrific past trauma.

    1. Which is understandable and all well and good. All I would have to say is that anyone can make such a judgment on his or her own merely by reviewing a synopsis of the material in question. As an example, take the recent movie “Red Sparrow”, in which Scarlett Johansson plays a secret agent basically trained to be a whore to get the job done. If you know that much, it should be relatively easy to decide if you want to waste your money on this piece of trash or not. You don’t need a laundry list of “trigger warnings”, just a little reading and thought. Is that really too much to ask?

  30. Well, of course. The coddled kids are now going out into the world and will need to be protected from anything that might jar them out of their kindergarten reveries. Are we really surprised?

    1. No surprise. The fascist right has finally corrupted the left,
      After CENTURIES of conservatives burning and banning books (starting in the Bible), censoring speech, censoring movies, censoring TV, even to imprisoning those who DARED defy diktats.

      Will it end before the left gets as totally fascist as the right has always been?
      Fortunately, left and right are a shrinking minority of Americans, on their way to extinction.
      That’s why God invented libertarians … to be neither … and to lead a New Renaissance

      1. Just out of curiosity, what books were banned in the Bible?

        And the word “diktat” is Russian, and became famous during Stalin’s reign as he consigned his opponents to the gulags even as he was hailed by lefties everywhere as the proletarian hero.

        And I hate to break it to you, but the left is almost totally fascist and has been for decades.

  31. As a Person Of (some) Color (Chippewa Indian) myself, I am extremely tired of other people — who are not of my ethnic group or culture — telling me what I should or should not find insulting. Talk about “cultural appropriation”! Go away, O Social Justice Warriors; I don’t need, or want, your help.

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