I’m bothered by the idea behind trigger warnings. Normally, I skip posts that start with one because I can’t muster any enthusiasm for the writings of a person who considers me such a delicate tender flower that I have to be warned before reading – no even seeing or hearing – but simply reading about certain issues.
My readers keep asking me if I actually invent all those stories about my students who can’t deal with a movie that has a sad ending or a fictional character who is not completely perfect. However, isn’t this precisely the sort of human being that the creators of the following trigger warning had in mind?
Got it? People need to be warned in bold type that “brief mentions of rape” will occur. Isn’t this completely insane? There is a definite suggestion here that unpleasant realities like rape should not even be mentioned in polite company because they can traumatize everybody too much. Who cares that we cannot address an issue that is never even mentioned? The important thing is that nobody’s feelings get hurt by allusions to anything that is not all happy-happy-joy-joy all the time.
Movies and books should only have happy endings, magazines and TV shows should only present extremely young and impeccably looking people, unsavory realities should not even be mentioned in articles and blog posts. Haven’t these attempts to sanitize reality gone way too far? We are getting to a place where nothing is sanitized enough for the prudish among us. These people are so terrified of life that they need to turn it into a cartoon in order to be able to live at all.
Why are we humoring them?