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Trigger Warning Advocates Say They're Not For Censorship

Recent article on "The Coddling of the American Mind" stirs up passions about microaggressions and college campus discourse.

There's been a good amount of pushback to "The Coddling of the American Mind,"You've been warned.Flickr/Peter Miller the recently published Atlantic piece by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt which posited that the growing movement at America's colleges to "scrub campus clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense" is damaging to both intellectual discourse and students' mental health. Conceding that there's nothing wrong with a certain amount of sensitivity, they write:

Teaching students to avoid giving unintentional offense is a worthy goal, especially when the students come from many different cultural backgrounds. But students should also be taught how to live in a world full of potential offenses.

Many of the responses to the article focus on the authors' status as "rich, white-skinned and well-established men, who work at the moment in business-type jobs," (though a lawyer working at a non-profit and a career academic might take issue with a few of those descriptors). Some accuse Lukianoff and Haidt of "hysteria," "scaremongering," and wanting to "silence discussions." Others offered some nuance by conceding that trigger warnings "run the risk of students avoiding or disengaging the material out of fear of being triggered," but think the threat to free expression in higher education is over-hyped. 

Writing at Social Work Helper, Chey Heap makes the case for policing microaggressions:

Actions deemed as microaggressions have no power by themselves. Think about a bee. A single bee sting does just that – it stings, it hurts. But overall there’s not much damage. The entire hive going after you at once, however, can kill. There’s a special word for this – synecdoche, where a small part of something symbolises the whole.

So, Haidt and Lukianoff ignore the context of why microaggressions are so dangerous: 1) Because they are present everywhere, all the time, and they steadily wear people down, 2) Each individual instance is so small it can be dismissed, which 3) Makes the less privileged person seem over-reactive to small misdemeanours, and therefore 4) Means nobody has to do anything about it.

Maddy Myers, writing at Mary Sue, defends millenial college students' rights as consumers:

I like the idea of trigger warnings, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not sure they do much to protect people from panic attacks. Unfortunately, almost no articles that discuss trigger warnings seem particularly interested in centering the experiences of people with anxiety and PTSD, and how those people might be better served by institutions and classes that they’re paying thousands and thousands of dollars to attend. Ahem. Anyway

...

I wish that articles about trigger warnings would stop throwing anxiety and PTSD sufferers under the bus as a veiled excuse to mock students’ political correctness. If professors think trigger warnings are for “fragile” babies, then I’d hate to see how they navigate topics like sexism and racism in their classrooms.

...

The fact that millennials have begun to call out institutions for their backwards ways makes me feel proud. Any attempt to frame these young students as afraid, oversensitive, and irresponsible should be seen for what it is: old institutions unwilling to accommodate the diverse experiences of their students.

At Flavorwire, Sarah Seltzer speculates that being raised with the internet has affected the "millenial mindset" in ways that may be paradigm-shifting, and that "progressive efforts to open up dialogue and be more inclusive can occasionally result in overcorrection in the direction of punitive and censorious actions, missing nuance, and being generally tiresome," but remains unconvinced by Lukianoff and Haidt's thesis:

It may be, for instance, that social media’s “with us or against us” style of arguing has bled over into classrooms. Perhaps the newfound ability to find a critical essay or negative review of any piece of work, no matter how canonical, with a simple click has reduced younger readers’ reverence for “great works” or even for their teachers.  It may be that young folks’ constant plugged-in state increases their exposure to terrifying news about police violence, the environment, rape culture, and the plunging economy — which has led to an increased sense of fear or desire for safety on campus.

At The Guardian, Lindy West, takes a maximalist approach to addressing students' concerns that their personal traumas will be revisited by classroom experiences:

It’s a tidy way to link trigger warnings with the other progressive bogeyman du jour, political correctness, and all its sinister attendants: microaggressions, the supposed erosion of free speech, and the “right not to be offended”. But all those concepts, when examined honestly, just boil down to treating marginalised groups with respect and humanity and striving to correct harmful imbalances. 

...

Maybe we can all get flippant and condescending about trigger warnings after we build a world where more than 3% of rapes lead to conviction, where we don’t shame and blame people for their own victimisation, where men don’t feel entitled to women’s bodies, and where millions of people aren’t moving through life yoked with massive, secret traumas.

Taking a different approach to trigger warnings than the aforementioned writers, Purdue University professor Freddie deBoer writes on his blog that he doesn't care for the term "political correctness," nor does he think it's ruining campus discourse, but adds:

If you really support trigger warnings on campus but oppose actual regulation of intellectual content on campus, you might get around to saying the latter once in awhile, rather than circling the wagons and insisting that it’s all a conservative conspiracy.

Responding directly to West's comment about getting "flippant and condescending about trigger warnings," deBoer writes:

This strikes me as a classic example of a common progressive category error: this terrible injustice exists (and it does), so therefore you have to get on board with this heavy-handed policy that cannot possibly actually reduce that injustice. I am totally unclear as to how trigger warnings actually combat any of the problems that West identifies in that paragraph.

But more importantly: how exactly is anyone supposed to have a conversation after a statement like that is made? How are we supposed to sort good from better when the rhetorical cudgels of rape, victim blaming, male entitlement, and secret trauma have been deployed? The trigger warning conversation is so impossible precisely because of tactics like this: using the reality of trauma, and the horrors of trauma, as a means of guilt by association and ratcheting up the emotional stakes of the discussion. The whole conversation tends to get dragged down into recrimination and acrimony precisely because of this kind of argument, which seeks to cast people asking questions and raising concerns as apologists for terrible crimes. How can you have a conversation that way?

In their piece for The Atlantic, Lukianoff and Haidt directly address the idea of classrooms as literal "safe spaces" for students to be "exposed to incidental reminders of trauma":

A discussion of violence is unlikely to be followed by actual violence, so it is a good way to help students change the associations that are causing them discomfort. And they’d better get their habituation done in college, because the world beyond college will be far less willing to accommodate requests for trigger warnings and opt-outs.

In other words, shielding students from uncomfortable topics, conversations, and ideas does them a disservice, leaving them unable to develop the coping skills required of adulthood.

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  • ant1sthenes||

    In other news, Trigger Warning Advocates are remorseless liars.

  • ant1sthenes||

    But more importantly: how exactly is anyone supposed to have a conversation after a statement like that is made? How are we supposed to sort good from better when the rhetorical cudgels of rape, victim blaming, male entitlement, and secret trauma have been deployed? The trigger warning conversation is so impossible precisely because of tactics like this: using the reality of trauma, and the horrors of trauma, as a means of guilt by association and ratcheting up the emotional stakes of the discussion. The whole conversation tends to get dragged down into recrimination and acrimony precisely because of this kind of argument, which seeks to cast people asking questions and raising concerns as apologists for terrible crimes. How can you have a conversation that way?

    Uh, you can't. That's the fucking point. It's just manipulative bullshit.

  • ||

    If I were the author of the original comment, I would say,

    "I'm not trying to have a conversation with you. Since you are an apologist for rape culture and all bad things in life, you are an evil piece of shit and your opinions and ideas should not be engaged with, at all, for any reason. Your place is to shut up and agree. Anything less makes you an inhuman monster, and I hope you and your family die. The oppressed peoples of the world can only be free once all conservative thought is outlawed on pain of death."

    That's what I would say, because I tell it like it is and don't apologize for my greatness.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    You have the frankness and hairstyle of a Donald Trump.

  • ||

    And the breath of a fresh summer ham.

  • Quixote||

    My fellow Americans, comrades and colleagues, let us cherish the thought that professors, not students, are the ones who really need to be protected. Above all, we cannot tolerate inappropriately deadpan forms of satire or accusations of plagiarism directed against well-connected academic department chairmen teaching at institutions like New York University. Anyone who might be tempted to engage in that sort of inappropriate trigger-speech should expect the illustrious deans of the academy to take immediate action in the criminal courts. See the documentation of America's leading criminal satire case, including background on the vigorous reaction of certain NYU officials, at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Quixote||

    My fellow Americans, comrades and colleagues, let us cherish the thought that professors, not students, are the ones who really need to be protected. Above all, we cannot tolerate inappropriately deadpan forms of satire or accusations of plagiarism directed against well-connected academic department chairmen teaching at institutions like New York University. Anyone who might be tempted to engage in that sort of inappropriate trigger-speech should expect the illustrious deans of the academy to take immediate action in the criminal courts. See the documentation of America's leading criminal satire case, including background on the vigorous reaction of certain NYU officials, at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Quixote||

    My apologies for the double-posting. Apparently my scribe, lackey and amanuensis has been mocking me, clicking again as soon as I click...

  • wareagle||

    that IS what the likes of the author say, just in a less clever fashion.

  • MOFO.||

    I have to say, i really like Deboer. Hes as lefty as they come, but he (usually) doesnt hide when confronted with typical lefty bullshit.

    You can almost drink his disappointment with the modern left's love of twitter lynch mobs and aversion to anything otherwise remotely useful.

  • ||

    That's because actual leftists care more about economics (i.e., class) than other identity categories (e.g., race, gender). There is a huge split on the left over these issues, and this isn't the first time that's happened, between people who believe the class struggle is the real thing, and those who believe that class is always played out through the lenses of other identities, which are thus more important.

  • SIV||

    "No true leftist"

  • ||

    Has that distinction ever been shown to work? Clearly the identity categories relate to class and that relates to economics. Nor is there an apparant single arrow of causation. What do the identity people trade in, is it "equal respect"? Since financial success is caused by preferences (inclinations to produce, and to purchase), and since preferences are simply a matter of liking ("respecting") some goods (including people/services) more than others, what are the differences?

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    My first experience with deBoer was over at the BHL blog, where he twice whined that posts about Hayek didn't address Pinochet. It was such a pissy, childish attitude that I've found it difficult to take him seriously, even when he writes coherently like above.

  • MOFO.||

    Oh there is no shortage of incoherent bullshit, I did say he was a typical lefty.

  • ||

    The entire thing is merely a technique for telling someone else that they don't get to have an opinion. Not that their opinion is wrong, as that would involve discussion and require a defense. No, quite simply, that you in fact don't even get to have an opinion on a subject for...reasons.

  • ||

    That's what I said. Thanks for unnecessarily restating it in dull fashion.

    Ass.

  • ||

    Shut up, JJ! You stink!

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    Dude, trigger warning. You're being insensitive to those of us born without noses

  • hound||

    Hey, don't be discriminatory against us unwashed masses! It's not our fault we have so many deodorant choices that we can't make a decision and go without.

    #OneDeodorantForAll

  • ||

    Well, there are two stages. The first one entails opinions being wrong. The premise is that certain groups are oppressed by other groups, that certain groups are more disadvantaged than other groups, and that something like egalitarianism is supposed to govern. That's considered settled, opinions to the contrary are wrong. Stage 2 is based on stage 1. You don't get to have an opinion on even more stuff because when voicing it you'd silence others and thereby prevent progress towards equality. So men are supposed to keep in mind ever more complex rules of conversation, whereas women get to speak freely. That clearly hampers men, which reduces their power. Stage 2 isn't so much about content, it's about hindering speakers.
    (This isn't just about women, but a) that's the most influential group, b) you run into them more often than into actual minorities, and c) black men are still men and so tend to be less like girls when it's about offensive speech.)

  • 0x90||

    Warning: article contains words.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Needs word-less ICON trigger warning about presence of words.

    Then ICON needs icon-less word-less trigger warning symbol of presence of trigger warning.

    These trigger warning clowns infuriate me in their idiocy, but make me laugh in their self-limiting aspect once they get out of college.

  • BearOdinson||

    "we build a world where more than 3% of rapes lead to conviction, where we don’t shame and blame people for their own victimisation, where men don’t feel entitled to women’s bodies, and where millions of people aren’t moving through life yoked with massive, secret traumas."

    This statement should be in some sort of non-sequitor hall of fame. 3% of rapes lead to convictions? That statement should probably be written: 3% of "rapes" lead to convictions. Who blames and shames people for their own victimization? If you are talking about true rape victims, who does this? If you are talking about getting drunk, giving a guy a blow job and then regretting it then sure. I WISH I was entitled to my wife's body. Jesus one of the biggest problems now is that husbands aren't MORE aggressive with pursuing sex with their wives.
    And who the fuck doesn't like with some sort of secret trauma. That is part of life. The goal is GET OVER IT and live the rest of your life!!!

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, all they're doing is turning these young men and women into quivering blobs of emotions who are offended by the slightest of slights, then sending them out into the real world where they will have difficulty coping and won't be able to hold down jobs because anything that an employer says to them or expects them to do will be a micro-aggression.

    We're going to create an entire generation of spineless weaklings who have no value at all to society.

  • ||

    3% of rapes lead to convictions? That statement should probably be written: 3% of "rapes" lead to convictions.

    That's actually a reputable stat from RAINN, which has publicly rejected efforts to redefine "rape" to broadly encompass things like unwanted kissing or touching.

  • WTF||

    If there wasn't a conviction, how do we know there was an actual rape, other than just assuming all accusations are the unvarnished truth? 97% of all verifiable rapes somehow do not lead to a conviction? I'm just a little skeptical on that one.

  • ||

    Why would you think all real rapes are "verifiable"?

    And are you not aware of things like the backlog of untested rape kits?

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    That's not what he's saying at all. What he's saying is that their argument includes basically everyone who says they have been raped at any point, even if there is no evidence any assault occurred and even if there is never even a report filed. There is no way to know if any of those rapes even happened, so it's disingenuous to say '97% of rapists never go to trial' when you have no way of knowing what percentage of that 97% are real.

    I'm sure some (and in all likelihood the vast majority) of those rape claims are legitimate, it's just that you can't actually know the real numbers and it's therefore all guesswork.

  • WTF||

    Yes, exactly.

  • ||

    The OP I responded to was intimating that the fakeness of the rapes was in the definition of rape being used. That is not the case. While some reported rapes haven't happened, the kinds of allegations this stat is meant to encompass are about rape-rape.

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    That's true of the OP, but it's not true of WTF who is the person you were responding to in the post above.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure I don't think it takes a conviction to be sure someone was raped.

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    It does when you're going by random statistics and aren't basing it on any sort of conversation with the person or any collection of evidence.

    You can't say 'oh, x number of people say they were raped, they must all be telling the truth' which is how RAINN comes to their number. Even if the vast majority are telling the truth (say - 85%) that would mean the number of real rapists who go to jail is quite a bit higher than 3%.

    We have no idea what percentage of that group was actually assaulted. No idea. It's dishonest to pretend all of those instances are rapes given no proof that this is so.

  • Lord at War||

    I don't think it takes a conviction to be sure someone was raped.

    Just because Nikki was never convicted doesn't mean she didn't steal $100k from me

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    This. Plus, you know, due process, reasonable doubt standard for convictions, etc.

  • wareagle||

    if there is a huge backlog of untested kits, then the activists have a real bone to gnaw on, and they might find a great deal of support from others. Do the damn test and let's see what it says. But that's not what tossing out the 3% figure is meant to do; it is solely for the purpose of intimating that "patriarchal society doesn't care."

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    Shouldn't it say "alleged rapes," though?

    If the prosecutor wasn't able to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in 97% of cases, that means the system is working. I get that, outside of the more extreme/violent cases, rape is a really difficult crime to prove and frequently boils down to a he said/she said argument or a less than pleasant assessment of the victim's behavior leading up to the incident, but due process is important. Take a look at how these things are handled in universities, where they are trying to get rid of it.

  • ||

    How did they arrive at 3% (do you have a link)?

    By the way, in a common-sense approach, I'd assume that attempted rape and false accusations of rape occur equally often. The numbers then would have to be adjusted relative to each other, based on incentives (how much is to be gained/lost).Accusing someone of rape overall does not appear to be as costly as being accused of rape (that touches the principle of least interest, potential for extortion). Next, does rape promise more gain than false accusations of rape? I don't know the balance. Guesses? -- Does RAINN have a number on how many false accusations of rape lead to convictions?

  • Zeb||

    Even supposing the stat is completely true, it doesn't necessarily say anything about whether rape is taken seriously enough or vigorously prosecuted. Rape is a tough thing to prove in a lot of cases. I have a ton of sympathy for people who are raped whose rapists are not convicted. I'm sure that really sucks and only adds to the trauma. But due process and fair trials and the reasonable doubt standard are pretty damn important. And there is always reasonable doubt when it comes down to one person's word against another's.

    As others have noted, if you are really worried about the low number of rape convictions, work on getting all of those un-tested rape kits tested.

  • Hyperion||

    The entire hive going after you at once, however, can kill

    Laughable drivel. I posted at HuffPo for a long time. If that were true I'd be dead 50x over.

  • ||

    I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're absolutely right. I'm microaggressed against every time I have to read a comment on their website.

    And before anyone gets snarky, yes, there IS a person standing here holding a gun to my head making me read Jezebel.

  • Hyperion||

    And before anyone gets snarky, yes, there IS a person standing here holding a gun to my head making me read Jezebel

    Well, that explains it.

  • Sevo||

    I'm pleased that you do so I don't have to.

  • ||

    Yeah, case in point. One should read something like Jezebel, in order to harden oneself. Plus, there has to be a unique thought there, once in a while. Admittedly, I don't read it. Any suggestions regarding the most worthwhile left/feminist sites?

  • PapayaSF||

    It's also yet another example of leftist psychological projection. In recent decades it's the leftist hive that has been doing most of the swarming.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    "The whole conversation tends to get dragged down into recrimination and acrimony precisely because of this kind of argument, which seeks to cast people asking questions and raising concerns as apologists for terrible crimes. How can you have a conversation that way?"

    Yes, This^^^

    The point is to stop the conversation, because they know that their ideas won't withstand scrutiny, they will be proven wrong, and they'll lose. It's win at all costs.

  • PapayaSF||

    Yup.

  • Hyperion||

    These are the same people who will without a 2nd thought, sign a petition to repeal the Bill of Rights.

  • Sevo||

    Well, most of them are for freedom of speech, but....

  • Hyperion||

    There's a lot of people on HuffPo who are calling for the repeal of the 2nd today. I bet most of them are so stupid that they think that is actually doable. They can't even get any more of their ill conceived gun control bills passed and they think they can repeal the 2nd.

  • Hyperion||

    Also, talk about freedom of speech, go post something like I just posted, as totally innocuous as it is, on CBS News, and watch it disappear. I know, it's their private site, I'm just saying that a lot of leftists are for free speech as long as it's speech they agree with.

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    Like the recent attempt in the Senate to amend the First Amendment. Apparently, putting elected politicians in charge of deciding what is and is not acceptable political speech in the run-up to an election (i.e., always) is supposed to protect us or something because KKKerperashunz!

  • Loki||

    putting elected politicians in charge of deciding what is and is not acceptable political speech in the run-up to an election (i.e., always) is supposed to protect us

    They're protecting "democracy", not us. Which is politician speak for protecting their phony baloney jobs. HARUMPH!!! HARUMPH!!!!

  • Mr. Flanders||

    I don't think its because "they know that their ideas won't withstand scruity". Instead, I think that these people genuinely don't think very well. They hear the emotional argument (which then they proceed to parrot), and that's where it stops for them. They blindly believe the idea that that anyone who opposes the pre-determined policy prescription must be rape apologists or pro-trauma.

    So its not that they know that their ideas are faulty, its that they absolutely ,100%, believe that they are correct.

    Coincidently, I find that people like this tend to view all of their policy preferences in black and white terms. No room for gray areas on any subject.

  • Hyperion||

    I think they know very well what they're doing. Trying to shut down free speech. You cannot have a totalitarian socialist state and have free speech at the same time. The funny thing about it is how dumb they are in regards to thinking that they are special. They don't know they'll probably be the first in the gulags.

  • Mr. Flanders||

    Maybe some. But I doubt very many have some sort of grand master plan to promote a totalitarian state. Quite the contrary, I think many believe they are making the world a safer place.

    In short, most of these people are not very bright. Its unlikely they have any extravagant designs.

  • Loki||

    Yeah, most are useful idiots. There may be a few academics and "intellectuals" that know what the end game really is, but most are just a bunch of barking seals. The problem is, whether most of the people screeching about trigger warnings and microagressions are evil or stupid doesn't really matter if the end result is the same.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Moreover, most of the idiots will resist learning any better with great enthusiasm. At some point "willfully stupid" IS evil.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, but a lot of them get their talking points... maybe I should say thinking points, from people who do have a design. Just read comments on any of the prog sites. You'll get hundreds of posts that are virtually identical. I remember one time, I must have read, 'You don't know what socialism is!' like 50,000 times over the period of a couple months. Next couple months it will be 'Koch brothers destroying our planet for a profit!'.

    The ones at the top, think, demented as that thinking is. The herd just repeat what they hear.

  • Mr. Flanders||

    Yeah, I get the same thing on "progressive" websites as well. The particular comment you cited is always funny to me, because most of these people can't accurately tell you what capitalism is... or socialism for that matter. Most also believe that adding the word "democratic" in front of "socialist" somehow modifies the latter.

  • R C Dean||

    They don't know they'll probably be the first in the gulags.

    After my coup, they will indeed be first to the gulags.

    And, in the subsequent restoration of the American Republic, will be carved out of the Bill of Rights for the remainder of their sentence.

    pour encourager les autres

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    These idiots won't make it to the gulags. They'll end their days in some dank basement, getting a pistol bullett in the back of the head (for which their families will be billed) after telling their new Masters anything said Masters want to hear.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Someone linked to a FIRE article today talking about dorm room totalitarianism. What they were describing was literal cult brainwashing tactics. These are dangerous, dangerous people.

  • Mr. Flanders||

    No link? That's not kosher.

  • wareagle||

    you may be right about the sheep but you are totally wrong about the instigators. Their aim is to be the cold water bucket brigade, dousing any opposing viewpoint and, failing that, painting opposing thought as illegitimate.

    Things like rape culture and white privilege and the rest of the nonsense were not begun by the masses, they were started by authoritarians who are used to seeing most accept bullshit, even when they know it's bullshit, for fear of being called racist or sexist or something-ist.

  • Mr. Flanders||

    I agree about the tactics of the instigators. But whether or not they really have a master plan to promote a totalitarian state... I don't know.

    From what I can tell, the "instigators" that usually think up these ideas are really crappy journalists and career academics. These guys are seen by a rather large herd of sheep as authority figures, but they're certainly not in some way going to benefit from some mysterious master plan to promote a totalitarian state. I think its much more short-sighted than that.

    The emotional arguments that we all groan about are used (maybe intentionally manipulatively) to persuade the rather dim masses. The one who promoted the emotional argument then benefits from the signaling of their "progressiveness", which motivates them to write even more irrational arguments riddled with faulty logic and emotional narratives (generates "clicks" and positive public attention for revenue-seeking media companies as well). Its actually a self-propagating feedback loop.

  • Mr. Flanders||

    This cycle happens on a smaller scale with the unknown layman peddling these policies. They "signal" on social media, and receive positive "likes", increasing their perceived social capital - which is seen by other dim people which do the same since they are persuaded by whatever meme they just saw their friend post on facebook. Those that see the logical inconsistencies (the minority, us), are outright shunned due to the emotional charge surrounding the argument (which was espoused by the original author of the idea) - other people see this, they don't want to be shunned, so they either stay quiet or join the other side.

    I understand that if this keeps going, totalitarianism is the end result. But I disagree that anyone, including the academics and journalists and media companies that start this shit, even realize where their short-sightedness is taking us. They may be immoral (or just stupid), but I wouldn't argue that they're consciously evil. They'd have nothing to gain in a totalitarian state, since the one's pushing this stuff are not at the top of the social structure (typically).

  • ||

    "They blindly believe the idea that that anyone who opposes the pre-determined policy prescription must be rape apologists or pro-trauma."

    I'm still wondering about that one. There has to be considerable dissonance. Worth testing. Haidt looked into broader components and dispositions, This would be more intricate.

  • Mr. Flanders||

    I read your comment in Mordin Solus' voice from Mass Effect.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJIQfmWx3dI

  • ||

    The very model of a scientist Salarian.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    A collection of navel-gazing writers arguing inside their bubble. How boring.

  • PapayaSF||

    But all those concepts, when examined honestly, just boil down to treating marginalized groups with respect and humanity and striving to correct harmful imbalances.

    So they say, but what this really means is that "marginalized groups" = my Team, and my Team doesn't have to treat your Team with respect or humanity because you're oppressors, but you have to be sensitive to me.

  • ||

    Does Ben Carson count as part of a marginalized group, I wonder?

  • Hyperion||

    Yes, he's one of those Uncle Toms.

  • PapayaSF||

    And Sarah Palin isn't really a woman, so she doesn't count, either.

  • wareagle||

    isn't that Dr. Tom?

  • Hyperion||

    Bah! He's an anti-science RethugliKKKan! He can't be a real doctor!

  • wareagle||

    climate change linked to neurological disorders. Women and minorities hardest hit.

  • W. Chipper Dove||

    "It's uncanny!" /Ed Wood

  • Zeb||

    Does Ben Carson count as part of a marginalized group, I wonder?

    Probably more than one. He's black. He's also crazy-assed paleo-Christian and has a beard.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, look at the comments of the op-ed of that Duke student who refused to finish "Fun Home". Somehow, it is vitally important to education to make someone view drawings of lesbian sex acts. One winner even goes to call for a ban on home schooling and unapproved religious schools.

  • Hyperion||

    They are truly sick people.

  • Loki||

    look at the comments of the op-ed of that Duke student who refused to finish "Fun Home".

    I'd rather not, just your description of the derp storm is enough to cause my blood pressure to spike. I'm not sure I could survive such an onslaught of concentrated derp.

  • kV||

    Fuck off, slaver.*

    Seriously, we should give a gold fucking medal to whomever invented this most plastic of rejoinders.

    *warning: the use of words may give people a sad.

  • ||

    We named fantasy football after him. RIP JsubD.

  • Hyperion||

    We should have a monthly derp awards and actually send out trophies to the winners. Without a trigger warning.

  • R C Dean||

    The trophy, naturally, should be a real live trigger group from a real weapon.

    http://www.rainierarms.com/lower/trigger-groups

  • Hyperion||

    You really do want to freak them out.

  • R C Dean||

    Why, yes. Yes, I do.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    WARNING: CAPS LOCK AHEAD

    IN FACT, IT IS YOU WHO ARE TRYING TO CENSOR OUR TRIGGER WARNINGS.

  • Mainer2||

    Making a cogent argument I disagree with = Hysteria!

  • Hyperion||

    Best post on FluffPo all day:

    Wessley Warren
    First and foremost my condolences to the friends and family of the victims. To all you folks blaming guns and the NRA...shut up. Crazies will always exist, you cant always predict them and you cant create a utopia by banning firearms. Stop living in la la land and reacting solely on raw emotion.

  • Bubba Jones||

    What serves the student better? Helping him grow thicker skin or hoping he is still alive after white man is gone from the earth?

  • R C Dean||

    The trigger warning crew are so impenetrably stupid, are coming from such alien and unexamined premises, that I see no point in trying to engage with them in any way.

    I'm going to say what I'm going to say. If you run sobbing from the room, well, I'll get over it and continue my conversation with the adults.

  • Zeb||

    The words "trigger warning" have become a pretty good indicator of some idiocy. But the entire concept isn't completely awful. Or should Reason stop warning people that the videos of those people getting murdered are disturbing?
    As someone who is not "triggered" by anything, i don't care myself what I see or hear, but apparently some people are more sensitive.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If professors think trigger warnings are for “fragile” babies, then I’d hate to see how they navigate topics like sexism and racism in their classrooms.

    I'm sure you would.
    ...

    It may be that young folks’ constant plugged-in state increases their exposure to terrifying news about police violence, the environment, rape culture, and the plunging economy — which has led to an increased sense of fear or desire for safety on campus.

    When professors start bringing sticks and stones into classrooms, you have my permission to freak out.
    ...

    But all those concepts, when examined honestly, just boil down to treating marginalised groups with respect and humanity and striving to correct harmful imbalances.

    In the most paternalistic way possible.

  • R C Dean||

    If professors think trigger warnings are for “fragile” babies, then I’d hate to see how they navigate topics like sexism and racism in their classrooms.

    I'm going to guess that they have open conversations about it without the need for constantly puking up trigger warnings?

  • R C Dean||

    treating marginalised groups with respect and humanity

    By treating them like mental cases who can't handle an open discussion?

    and striving to correct harmful imbalances

    By pretending they don't exist, since they can't be mentioned?

  • ||

    Looks like costly signaling. All that's required is that the general cause and the authorities are known, and that some sacrifice is imposed (even better when arbitrary and idiotic as this indicates unconditional submission). Consider initiation rights/dares. So it's not necessarily about directly protecting the sensitive, but about getting the less sensitive to submit to whatver authorities and (thereby their good) cause.

  • *GILMORE*||

    "Many of the responses to the article focus on the authors' status as "rich, white-skinned and well-established men, who work at the moment in business-type jobs" "

    Which, although most people might not recognize it as such, is intended as a vicious ad-hominem.

    It may not be insulting to the targets themselves ("why thank you!"), but its not meant for them, but rather for the legions of Social Justice types for whom nothing is lower, more grotesque, and more culpable for the misery of the world than the *rich, white, male, sortof-capitalist-ish-person"

    And of course, what is more revealing than the fact that proponents of "trigger warnings" resort to childish insults rather than any reasoned argument?

    No, its that (the wrong kind of) "white men" hate them...therefore they must be good, no?

  • ant1sthenes||

    "rich, white-skinned and well-established men, who work at the moment in business-type jobs"

    No they're not, they're obviously just three kids standing on top of one another and wearing a trenchcoat.

  • Loki||

    It's pretty much just a signal to any SJWs reading their horseshit that they're supposed to hate Haidt and Lukianoff. For all their accusations of "dog whistles" they seem awfully fond of them. Also, I find it completely unsurprising that these leftist twats feel the need to signal to their readers how they're supposed to feel. Wouldn't want anyone actually thinking for themselves, would we?

    I'm sure a lot of these ass hats ate particularly upset at Haidt. They probably assumed he was one of them before this.

  • *GILMORE*||

    ""It's pretty much just a signal to any SJWs reading their horseshit that they're supposed to hate Haidt and Lukianoff."'

    i.e. IGNORE WHAT THEY SAY = LOOK AT WHAT THEY ARE

    the very essence of racism and bigotry.

  • ||

    What you are is what you say. And they get to say what you are. And so there is "mansplaining", but no "femsplaining":

  • kinnath||

    We need more posts about the uppity negro that shot that pretty white woman.

  • Hyperion||

    No, we can't talk about that at all anymore. The shooter wasn't a white teabagger, again. Nothing to see, move along.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Surely you mean the angry misogynist who shot the woman because of war of wimmenz.

  • kinnath||

    And not or

  • R C Dean||

    Can gay men be misogynists?

    I need an intersectionality ruling here.

  • ant1sthenes||

    That Milo dude at Breitbart. Case closed.

  • Agammamon||

    Trigger Warning Advocates Say They're Not For Censorship

    Nobody is ever for censorship. They just don't want you to talk about certain subjects at all.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    If student loans were not taxpayer co-signed, banks et al would be much more judicious in their disbursement of funds for the snowflakes; which means less money and a re-alignment of interests at colleges, which will solve microaggressions. This kind of shit only shows up with free money; and free money going away takes this shit with it out the door.

  • Hyperion||

    We need more legislation to fix it, like all other problems. What is there to understand?

  • PapayaSF||

    And more money to employ people with degrees in Oppression Studies.

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    And more sensitivity training seminars

  • ||

    Well, in their defense, they have to spend a lot of time on coming up witch catchy phrases. Of course you'd not want to catch some thing called a boomerang... and it sounds awfully aggressive. A catchy tricky trigger.

  • ||

    Not bad. Could be a fair investment even without tax exemption.

  • *GILMORE*||

    "Ahem. Anyway"

    another rhetorical device that's perpetually employed by the SJW... the teenage-girl emotional interjections, signaling that they're...."...like, OMG, really?SO NOW *I* HAVE TO EXPLAIN? because LOL you'd totally think this wouldn't be necessary.... ugh. Like, really? Well, that's a thing. Words? Oh, now you're going to nitpick my words aren't you? Typical. Just wow."

    no actual meaning is communicated, but much *feeling* is injected into the context.

    Its linguistic passive-aggressiveness, intended to give the speaker moral authority by emphasizing how frustrated and pained they are that you, the listener, are being so FUCKING OBTUSE by demanding a rational explanation. You're clearly "one of *them*" and probably undeserving of the effort... and well, you need to really just go and educate yourself already because they're not going to enact that labor for you.

  • PapayaSF||

    Yes, many leftists seem to believe their views are simply obvious, and anyone who doesn't agree is dense or evil. (Though of course this is not restricted to leftists.)

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    Ugh!!! I can't even

  • Loki||

    Trigger Warning Advocates Say They're Not For Censorship Are Full if Shit

    FTFY

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Those bored with existence birthed trigger-warnings and micro-aggression to mix some form of nano-conflict into their bland going-abouts.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Every day has got to be like swimming in a pool full of sharks for these easily vapor-ified dopes. Danger and aggression and possible hurt feelings in every word and gesture.

  • *GILMORE*||

    "I wish that articles about trigger warnings would stop throwing anxiety and PTSD sufferers under the bus"

    #3 in SJW "tactical rhetorical moves"

    pretend to be speaking on behalf of a horribly abused minority group who is remarkably hard to actually identify.

    Because rarely (if ever) is there anyone who actually suffers from clinical PTSD making these arguments that they're being "thrown under a bus".

    Its always some self-nominated do-gooder who may not even have ever met actual cases of PTSD. they'll brush it off and say that they speak for the many who suffer who remain silent. Its always the invisible population of these hyper-delicate snowflakes.... Not them!! no, they're strong, independent types. But these *others*... why do you hate these others?

    FdB says it very accurately

    " The whole conversation tends to get dragged down into recrimination and acrimony precisely because of this kind of argument, which seeks to cast people asking questions and raising concerns as apologists for terrible crimes."

    Duh! but, see, they don't need to listen to him, because *he's an ally*. whereas if those same words came out of the mouth of anyone else, HELLLLLLLOOO Patriarchy!

  • ||

    Getting there. It's linguistic transformation. PTSD. PTMS. PMS.

  • albo||

    Pro tip, kids: There aren't any fainting couches ouside the campus in the real world. Look at college as a way to toughen you up for reality.

    Anti-liberty stray thought of the day: Nobody can go to college unless they've spent a year working a real job and living on their own.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    But all those concepts, when examined honestly, just boil down to treating marginalised groups with respect and humanity and striving to correct harmful imbalances.

    Bullshit.

  • *GILMORE*||

    This "well...it all boils down to..."-argument is a device to say, "IGNORE THE DETAILS = FOCUS ON THEORETICAL INTENT"

    i.e. as long as our excuse is noble in intent, then we can justify any speech-controls, and tactics for grabbing power that we want. Because its for the PTSD people!? WHY DO YOU HATE THEM?

  • ||

    I was not given sufficient trigger warnings to notify me of the shit-stupidity tsunami from this story. I am shocked. SHOCKED! I say. And triggered. I am calling my lawyer

  • ||

    I was not given sufficient trigger warnings to notify me of the shit-stupidity tsunami from this story. I am shocked. SHOCKED! I say. And triggered. I am calling my lawyer

  • Loki||

    While you're on the phone with your lawyer, ask about the possibility of a class action suit against the skwirllz. I'm sure I speak for a lot of other delicate snowflakes who are suffering in silence that double posts are particularly triggering.

  • Irish ♥s ESB||

    Unfortunately, almost no articles that discuss trigger warnings seem particularly interested in centering the experiences of people with anxiety and PTSD, and how those people might be better served by institutions and classes that they’re paying thousands and thousands of dollars to attend.

    This is funny. PTSD is ludicrously rare, as is an anxiety disorder so extreme this would be an issue. If someone has a special need, we should meet that special need as it arises, not reorder all of society based on 1% of the population.

  • PapayaSF||

    But reordering society based on the demands of tiny minorities is 21st century New Leftism.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, using the demands of tiny minorities as a pretext to order society, at any rate.

  • ||

    It's variously about pretending that a large group is a minority and about pretending that a minority is a large group.

    Anyway, compare eggsheel skull rule.

  • 0x90||

    We all remember the bad old days, with their blatant microagressions, but just because things get better over time doesn't mean they get better -- dealing with daily yoctoagressions gradually wears you down, until you just can't feel anything anymore.

  • ||

    Dairy aggressions and lactose-intolerant Asiens.

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    No that is NOT synecdoche.

    Synecdoche is saying "I saw three sails on the horizon" when you meant three ships and are being poetic. A part for the whole.

    It is not using the singular "microaggression" in place of the plural "microaggressions"

  • Zeb||

    Wow, yeah. That was some nice pseudo-intellectual ignorance on display there.

  • Trump-o-Matic 5000||

    Check your privilege! The author probably couldn't afford a dictionary growing up under the white cisheteronormative patriarchy!

  • *GILMORE*||

    You're really being sort of homeopathic now.

  • ||

    That's pars pro toto, one kind of synecdoche. I agree with you that pars pro toto doesn't work here, as I take it to require some distinct - not a generic - part of the whole (sail + ship v. drop + sea). Regardless, the use has to be rhetorical, and rhetorically, no writer means to have "microaggression" stand for "macroaggression".

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    None dare call it by its name.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    "progressive efforts to open up dialogue and be more inclusive can occasionally result in overcorrection in the direction of punitive and censorious actions, missing nuance, and being generally tiresome"

    After all, what better way is there to open up dialogue than to selectively suppress elements of language?

  • Dr No||

    *trigger*

    "I just had an emotion. I didn't like it. Make it stop."

  • XM||

    According to Mary Sue's logic, the other students who paid money to go to college and participate in healthy debates can just go to hell if one anxiety stricken millennial can't handle work of fiction depicting implied sexual violence.

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