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Source: (consider it) Thread: Trigger Warnings
lilBuddha
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Professors at Cambridge University have listed trigger warnings on some of Shakespeare's work. Titus Andronicus specifically.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. One one hand, attempting to deal with sensitivity is progress, but on the other hand, we seem to be creating hyper-sensitive people.
For myself, what triggers unpleasant memory isn't predictable so perhaps I am not seeing this in the same way normal people do.
There is a line between "suck it up and deal" and living in an hermetically sealed room. It isn't the same for everyone, of course, and too long has the former camp held sway. But academia seems to be shifting rapidly towards the latter.
Again, I am not planting my flag in this, I'm conflicted.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Ian Climacus

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Having lived a safe life, and knowing I have, I tend to err the on the side of caution.

When I first heard about trigger warnings I thought the world was turning to shit with delicate snowflakes unable to cope. At times I still do...

But if a trigger warning (we need a better name) helps someone who has gone through rape, or violence, prepare themself as they need to, and not be surprised, I am for it.

Not sure where I stand on turning down texts, based on warnings, if that was an option. As I said, apart from some minor bullying my life has been safe. So it is easy for me to read/view most texts.

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Anglican_Brat
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Trigger warnings are similar to movie ratings IMHO, they are intended to give you a heads-up as to what to expect.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Trigger warnings are similar to movie ratings IMHO, they are intended to give you a heads-up as to what to expect.

That would appear to be what was intended in the case cited in the OP. But nevertheless I share lilBuddha's interest - and opinion - in the matter.

Having said that, I'm never quite sure whether citing what happens in universities is a good idea beyond discussion of its own set of merits. Unis are a particular sort of place.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Egeria
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In the case of Titus Andronicus and similar works, I don't see why there should be a fuss about trigger warnings. I wish there had been notices on some of the books (and movies) that I've read (and seen), so I would have been better prepared. And I've no history of trauma. Incidentally, I was watching Richard III one night with a grad school acquaintance, and she ended up leaving the room.

When I teach a class that covers the subject of mummies, I mention at the beginning that I'm going to show some slides of mummies. I don't know--someone in the class may simply feel a little uncomfortable with pictures of human remains. No one has ever objected to my slides, but still I feel it's better to let students know ahead of time. (I've had to look away from the screen during a talk on experimental mummification!)

It's pretty silly on the other hand to howl about the word "health" as a trigger word, or object to a mention of cupcakes in an advertisement.

As for the word "snowflakes," that seems to be a current far-right favorite slur for attacking people, especially students, who object to racism and misogyny. When it turns up in a blog post or newspaper column, the author immediately loses any credibility with me.

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"Sound bodies lined / with a sound mind / do here pursue with might / grace, honor, praise, delight."--Rabelais

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Huia
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sometimes I think that life should come with a trigger warning.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

I'm not sure how I feel about this. One one hand, attempting to deal with sensitivity is progress, but on the other hand, we seem to be creating hyper-sensitive people.

I tend to agree with your conflict [Smile]

I'm a little bemused by the fact that the trigger warning is attached to the lecture. This is Cambridge - if you show up to a lecture on Titus Andronicus, it is reasonable to expect that you have at least read the play, in which case you'll know what happens in it.

I think the warnings are fair game - in general, if I was to expose someone to something outside the generally-accepted rules of polite society, I'd want to warn them about it. But some things are self-evident: if you're a medical student, you're going to see - in photo, video, and real life - all kinds of gruesome injuries and illnesses. You're going to see people who have been beaten, tortured and raped, and you're going to have to deal with it.

I tend to think the same goes for literature - you're going to need to expect to read the canon, and you should be aware of the topics that appear. I'd probably put a special warning if I was going to screen a particularly graphic TV adaptation of Lear or something - that's something that people might not expect.

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Lyda*Rose

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In college I knew a marine biology master candidate who was really bothered by the fact that orcas killed harbor seals and sea lions, the animals she studied. I couldn't figure out how she made it through her undergrad work let alone how she would sound in her orals.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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simontoad
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I far prefer a warning of some sort to the unwarranted amendment of the work. I saw a production of the rarely performed Merchant of Venice recently. It was a great production, pulled no punches, and I took it as a very powerful and disturbing attack on racism. At the end, they put in a scene concerning Shylock's daughter which took the edge off it a bit, and I was a little disappointed. However, the company is experienced, feted, and does almost exclusively Shakespeare so I wasn't too disappointed. I was more disappointed with the overuse of slow walking in a production of Julius Ceasar, but again, the director of that production has developed into a very fine actor indeed, and blew me away with her interpretation of Richard III.

Bottom line: Bell Shakespeare can do what they like with the Bard. I am their devoted fan. Anybody else better be prepared to justify themselves. RSC, you get a pass too. I haven't seen the production, but I strongly suspect that the New Yorkers who trumped up Julius Ceasar were too heavy-handed and should have let the work speak for itself.

Relevant Bottom Line: Warnings are fine. Messing with the work is bad, but there is a long tradition of changing the plays in the course of developing a production and that's fine. Just don't put anyone in a Trumpsuit. Nobody wants to see that.

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Human

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Ian Climacus

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Caesar, Mr Toad; Caesar. [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Egeria:
As for the word "snowflakes," that seems to be a current far-right favorite slur for attacking people, especially students, who object to racism and misogyny. When it turns up in a blog post or newspaper column, the author immediately loses any credibility with me.

I know of Marxists journalists who use the term for the poor lefty who can't handle any criticism, considering it a personal attack, or who seemingly take offence at anything and on behalf on anyone, even when not warranted. Also heard them referred to as "the offence brigade". So I see it coming from both sides.

[ 22. October 2017, 07:06: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

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Enoch
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As a general tendency, IMHO society has become far too accommodating to the tender feelings of snowflakes, both imaginary ones and in some cases real ones. If a person can't cope with the issues raised by literature from less sensitive eras, they should not be studying it. It's bad for a person to be allowed to get the idea that they are entitled to have either the past or other cultures sanitised to suit their sensitivities.

I also fear that it also makes people inadequate to challenging some categories of evil when they encounter it in their own society.

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Arethosemyfeet
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Having a friend with PTSD as a result of childhood abuse, and a wife whose depression is highly susceptible to outside stimuli I'm pretty happy with the idea of trigger warnings to allow people to prepare themselves mentally or, where appropriate, absent themselves from proceedings if something is going to be too hard for them to cope with. The idea that people with mental health issues just need to toughen up and stop being "hyper-sensitive" can piss off. Where I draw the line is demands that topics be avoided entirely in media or in academia because they might be triggering for some people. Give people information and help them practise self-care.

Oh, and anyone who uses the term "snowflake" without irony around me is likely to see (metaphorically) what happens to a snowflake hit by a flamethrower.

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Ian Climacus

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
The idea that people with mental health issues just need to toughen up and stop being "hyper-sensitive" can piss off.

Agree. But I notice, and here I say I am one of the afflicted (bipolar), there is some quite unhelpful behaviour pushed by the media with the aim of helping, as if the mere fact the issue is raised, and people can "share" [how Western middle-class!], solves the problem. Or the need to push Lifeline and Beyond Blue [help agencies] after every story that even mentions mental illness [e.g. story on gunman who was mentally ill...give everyone the numbers to help them afterwards "if this story has distressed you"]. It's the bloody news...he shot people...it should distress you. Strangely after reporting on 250 dead overseas we get no such aides to help us in our distress. I'm all for the normalisation of mental health, but there are ways to go about it.

As someone who goes up and down, I honestly do struggle to find a happy medium between avoiding anything that may set me off and going in gung-ho to not let it beat me. But I know what sets me off, as those who have it far worse than me do, so a bit of warning on the unexpected can be a good thing. I can't imagine what a rape victim must feel seeing a sudden, unexpected rape scene in a cinema. Perhaps nothing. Perhaps a hell of a lot. In that case I would want them informed.

And while I think it a good word, I'll try and delete snowflake from my vocabulary here to keep me safe from flamethrowers. [Smile]

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Boogie

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‘Gunpowder’ was on TV last night.

Goodness me, I was looking away for half of the programme! We were a bloodthirsty lot in the 17th century.

Gunpowder

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Garden. Room. Walk

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anteater

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Is there any reasonable objection to discrete warnings? Do they do harm?

Should there, though, be a warning that "The following trigger warning may cause offence on the grounds that it assumes you are an ignoramus"?

Personally I think a lot are silly, some are not ( but no real harm is done.

And it's probably a lot to do with avoiding complaints or even litigation.

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Tortuf
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A (very) conservative friend of mine posted a picture of football players kneeling during the national anthem. His caption was to the effect of

quote:
So you deride those liberals who don't like statues about the Civil War and now you are all upset by the sight of players kneeling - Snowflakes.
I remember defending an art professor I had in college who was accused of sexually harassing a female student because he showed Robert Mapplethorpe photos to his photography class.

At the time I remember thinking "How can anyone get to be old enough to go to college and not know that they might see nudes in a college photography class?"

Since then I have come to perceive that:

1. Everyone views every experience through the lens of their own history.

2. Being offended is a way of trying to control your environment.

Somewhere there can be a balance between not deliberately, or carelessly, providing offense or trauma and letting the vocal control the conversation.

As to whether or not someone has gone too far with trigger warnings, college students are entitled to know what they getting into. On the other hand a simple "this play contains violence" gives warning without judgment and gives dignity to the right of college students to make their own minds up about things. Trigger warnings does not give dignity to the ability of college students to figure out things after adequate warning and seems a bit patronizing.

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Golden Key
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AB--

quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Trigger warnings are similar to movie ratings IMHO, they are intended to give you a heads-up as to what to expect.

Yes. Great way to put it.

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Golden Key
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E--

quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I also fear that it also makes people inadequate to challenging some categories of evil when they encounter it in their own society.

Actually, they've probably *already* run into evil, and *that's* why they're sensitive.

Kind of like with watching horror movies: People who love them may think they're perfectly normal, and anyone who doesn't love those movies is a wimp. OTOH, some people can't stand horror movies because they've already had horror and massive fear in their own lives.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Aravis
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The trigger warning is a good compromise. Nothing is avoided or glossed over, but people who know they don't cope well with certain topics can at least prepare themselves, even if they don't choose to stay away. There may well be students in the audience who have been assaulted or abused and who get panic attacks or flashbacks. It's better to know it's a "trigger" play (and Titus Andronicus is truly horrible) so you can mentally prepare yourself beforehand and sit near an exit for the lecture.
In a way it's more necessary to have trigger warnings for a tiny minority of lectures than warnings on films. Most people don't watch horror films as part of an academic qualification (OK, maybe some do). And while it's socially acceptable to scream, shed a few tears under cover of darkness, or pop outside for a comfort break in a film, you can't do those in a lecture.

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simontoad
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Ian C. wrote:

quote:
Caesar, Mr Toad; Caesar. [Smile]
Oh God, I've meddled with Shakespeare. Right now I need a running around the room screaming emote.

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Human

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Boogie

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A good point made in the comments section on a Guardian article on the subject.

“Aren't these easily offended people the same sort who campaign to get their version of the truth made the only truth?”

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Jay-Emm
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Firstly, minor rant about missing the point on the topic (while generally agreeing with many of his posts), which I think is relevant.
quote:
David Mitchell in the guardian
The first was that Cambridge University lecture timetables are being labelled with “trigger warnings” about the plots of various literary works, including The Bacchae and Titus Andronicus. So English literature undergraduates are being protected from the knowledge of, among other things, what one of Shakespeare’s plays is about, in case it upsets them. [/QB]

NO, NO NO, they are being protected WITH the knowledge of, ...

That said, I was kind of relieved that I found what the plot of Lucrece was before attending a performance/recital but after committing to attend it (for it was well done and moving, but to have wanted to go would have been creepy).

[x post with a post linking to the article]

[ 22. October 2017, 12:47: Message edited by: Jay-Emm ]

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
A good point made in the comments section on a Guardian article on the subject.

“Aren't these easily offended people the same sort who campaign to get their version of the truth made the only truth?”

I agree, and I agree with David Mitchell's article.

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Doc Tor
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For those with genuine trauma in their past, foreknowledge of exposure is kindness.

For those who have brought this small measure of kindness into disrepute by co-opting the language of mental illness in order to effect social control, then they should be ashamed of themselves. Assuming shame in itself is not triggering.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
For those with genuine trauma in their past, foreknowledge of exposure is kindness.

As someone who has had more than one traumatic incident and who must navigate more than one prejudice; it is not this simple. If I am in a situation which discusses something I've gone through (or my very identity), I am usually OK. (A class, a talk, an online forum) Because, I think, there is a foreknowledge that certain topics will arise. Not because there are warnings posted, but because this is the way life works. I more often find myself vividly recalling traumatic events in random situations that seemingly have no connection to those events. There is no possibility of trigger labelling this. Now, this is me, and I do not presume everyone operates the same.
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Shakespeare is a grey area, to me. How can one be in a uni class and have no clue as to the background? But it is possible, of course.
But there are instances which boggle the mind.
Trigger warning on a A Jewish history class that the Holocaust might be mentioned? A religion and Civil Rights class needs trigger warnings about its very subject?
Seems mental.

In the past, "suck it up and deal" was very much the rule of the day. This does not work for many situations, but that wasn't spoken of either, so damaged people would be ignored.
Trigger warning every possible trigger is impossible and the attempt is more harmful to progress than helpful to sufferers.

The right road is in the middle of that. Somewhere.

We are toughened and strengthened by the adversity we live through.
We are broken by the lack of sympathy and support.

The right road is in the middle of that. Somewhere.

Safe spaces make us feel a needed protection.
Safe spaces isolate us from the real world and each other.

The right road is in the middle of that. Somewhere.

For every-time I think to my self "what a precious snowflake" there is another where I bemoan a complete lack of understanding what another is going through.

So I don't know.

[ 22. October 2017, 14:30: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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One problem with trigger warnings is that once expected and you forget to give one, now you're in trouble. Like bicycle helmets, they appear valuable but may not actually prevent injury and may create unforeseen problems. I would like to see actual data that they actually do something, and more than testimonials of some individuals saying they are good.
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Jengie jon

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You mean studies like this?

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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wild haggis
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I was horrified to hear of these "warnings" in uni lectures. These aren't 8 year olds! Surely uni is a place to discuss, discover and form opinions that may be different from where you started out. Uni is a place of discovery, not being wrapped in cotton wool.

Goodness, there would be precious little literature that I could read if I judged everything as a no go area because of what has happened to me throughout my life.

Reading things outwith your experience, exploring uncomfortable issues and hearing views different from your own, helps you clarify your own thinking. That is surely what learning at this level is about.

It's not just reading and discussing everything you agree with. You will never grow morally, intellectually and spiritually if you cut yourself off from everything disagreeable.

When it comes to that, should we then be telling the Christian salvation story - betrayal, gory death etc.

How silly can you get! Talk about wrapping people in cotton wool...............Thinking of that: when cotton wool meets water it goes soggy and disintegrates.

Is that a metaphor?

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wild haggis

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Doublethink.
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Not sure what I think of trigger warnings generally, but they do strike me as fairly pointless on twitter (which is where I tend to encounter them) because by the time you've processed the warning you've read the tweet.

Plus I don't see how putting trigger warning on links to mainstream coverage of the Harvey Winestien case helps. Typically these reads as TW: sexual harassment. But then, you are already thinking about sexual harassment so how does it help.

A warning as to whether something contains explicit description or visuals is of more value I think.

When I was studying gcse history we went to the Imperial War Museum and they had a video installation on the liberation on the concentration camps. There was a warning before the entry to the exhibit, I remember us debating with the teacher about going in to it. I still remember what I saw - though I don't think that is a bad thing. But they didn't call it a trigger warning, and I wonder whether the terminology is part of what is getting people's backs up.

I was once, around age 17, shown footage of atrocities carried out in Yugoslavia - people trying to drum up support for intervention. We weren't warned and that was worse - maybe because it was current and in colour as well as without warning - and that is still stuck in my head.

[ 22. October 2017, 16:51: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
You mean studies like this?

Jengie

This might help you understand more completely: Why everyone should wear helmets and this Exploring driver attitudes towards cyclists. Briefly, the purported benefits of forcing helmets leads a whole heap of unintended and unforeseen consequences with negligible statistic change in catastrophic head injuries.

In the same vein, I wonder if we have anything concrete about trigger warnings. For example: Do trigger warnings cause students to not take certain classes, to skip certain lectures, to do poorly on particular assignments or exams? Do trigger warnings cause professors to skip certain content or to gloss over some details.

In another parallel, we have a provincial ministry of education which prescribed curriculum and textbooks for kindergarten to grade 12. Because of religious preferences of some communities, it became known that warnings about the teaching of certain biological topics in high school (reproduction and evolution) were being avoided because of such warnings.

[ 22. October 2017, 17:15: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

Posts: 11066 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
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Personally trauma of any kind is something that is worked through one way or another, probably on and off through our entire lives and mostly in the privacy of are own heads.
That isn’t to say it shouldn’t be externalised or ever talked about if it helps to do so. I guess ex-service people provide an upper end of the scale example. In many of these cases people’s horrific experiences are kept to themselves, or only spoken of very late in their lives. A loud bang, or other stimulus is more likely to trigger those experiences than a play, TV or radio show which has been put on for entertainment, (the opening scenes of 'Saving Private Ryan' excepted).

For some reason as I’ve got older there are things, (violence related), on TV which I no longer want to watch. Medieval torture scenes being one of the things. When I saw that 'Gunpowder' had a warning of upsetting scenes I knew to give it a miss. So helpful to a degree, yes. Not that I'd demand trigger warnings, there is the off-button, leaving the room, or closing of the eyes option.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
This might help you understand more completely: Why everyone should wear helmets

That is a completely fucking ridiculous article. The chart therein demonstrates how statistics are rubbish without context. It does not one thing to argue against using helmets whilst cycling.
quote:

and this Exploring driver attitudes towards cyclists.

Drivers have a negative attitude towards cyclists for two main reasons. One, some drivers are arseholes. Two, many cyclists are aresholes.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16934 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:

A warning as to whether something contains explicit description or visuals is of more value I think.

When I was studying gcse history we went to the Imperial War Museum and they had a video installation on the liberation on the concentration camps. There was a warning before the entry to the exhibit, I remember us debating with the teacher about going in to it. I still remember what I saw - though I don't think that is a bad thing. But they didn't call it a trigger warning, and I wonder whether the terminology is part of what is getting people's backs up.

I was once, around age 17, shown footage of atrocities carried out in Yugoslavia - people trying to drum up support for intervention. We weren't warned and that was worse - maybe because it was current and in colour as well as without warning - and that is still stuck in my head.

Very good examples; my experience agrees. Which suggests to me that where and when such warnings are provided is worthy of determining.

I still have scenes from the movie Dead Man Walking - Sean Penn's character is executed on screen via lethal injection in what I understand is docu-reality. On the other hand, the scenes in The Killing Fields which is about genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge did not affect me the same way. The second was more brutal than the first.

Then we have Netflix shows like Outlander and Game of Thrones which show violent rape directly without warnings. Which I understand many people watch without troubles.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11066 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Perhaps we need trigger warnings of trigger warnings so people who are triggered by trigger warnings can avoid seeing or hearing them, then the rest of us can get on with ignoring them if they don't apply to us and taking whatever action we deem appropriate if they do.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
...
Not that I'd demand trigger warnings, there is the off-button, leaving the room, or closing of the eyes option.

If those weren't options, trigger warnings wouldn't be much use (actually that's not quite true, like the soldiers at D-day*, you could still prepare).

And without trigger warnings, those actions aren't as effective, coming late, as they could be (assuming for the moment that's a good thing).

*I think it may have been the G comments that held them as examples as 'not-getting a trigger warning'. (I'm pretty sure basic training mentions that).

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
This might help you understand more completely: Why everyone should wear helmets

That is a completely fucking ridiculous article. The chart therein demonstrates how statistics are rubbish without context. It does not one thing to argue against using helmets whilst cycling.
quote:

and this Exploring driver attitudes towards cyclists.

Drivers have a negative attitude towards cyclists for two main reasons. One, some drivers are arseholes. Two, many cyclists are aresholes.

Glad you get the point. The helmet laws and stats used to support are equally problematic and annoying.

On your second, one important difference, car drivers don't get killed by cyclists. Which is a completely different topic: false equivalence among roadway users (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists). Second, a misbehaving driver has far more harm potential. Third, infrastructure favours cars over other road users. Restrict cars and provide separate convenient infrastructure for other users creates safety. The key issue is to stop car drivers from hitting cyclists (and pedestrians) which is a driver behaviour issue not a cyclist issue.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11066 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
hatless

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I need a trigger warning for threads that may contain references to the cycle helmet debate. I am becoming obsessed by it. I am delighted by the way the statistics fail to support the common sense view that helmets are bound to be good, but creeped out by the unrelenting attempts by many to nonetheless try again and again to make the case for compulsion.

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My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4495 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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hatless <= how could I not love this?
Posts: 11066 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
hatless <= how could I not love this?

It’s one of the reasons I chose my name.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Moo

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I wonder what happens to people after college if they have become accustomed to receiving trigger warnings. Most of us have some raw spots, and most of us have developed coping methods--tuning out or whatever.

If someone is accustomed to being protected by trigger warnings and they suddenly find themselves in a world without warnings, how do they cope?

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20198 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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My spouse has PTSD, so perhaps I can answer that question.

We do a lot of vetting of entertainment and social activities. But let's say my spouse is caught up in some situation where triggering things might occur -- a violent assault scene in an otherwise benign movie, or a standard worship service that suddenly gets loud and handsy and spontaneous. What happens to my spouse is fight pr flight response -- full- blown panic attack, shortness of breath, pounding heart, need to flee the scene...or belligerence to the point of irrationality, directed at noone and everyone. An inabity to let that go for the rest of the day, or beyond. Depression and self- recrimination after that.

So does she appreciate knowing ahead of time what to expect of a situation, so she can choose whether/how to engage with it? Yes.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
The helmet laws and stats used to support are equally problematic and annoying.

Wrong, but this is veering to far too to even be a tangent to pursue on this thread.

[ 23. October 2017, 04:16: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16934 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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I don't know if anybody really gets accustomed to being protected--too much stuff slips through even the most careful "protection". I've got PTSD too, and I do my own protecting by reading up on stuff (movies, plays, etc.) ahead of time so I know if it's likely to have something I can't handle. But I still get caught out occasionally (e.g. former boss required me to watch Hotel Rwanda) and then you have to do what you can do--hide in the bathroom, develop a stomach ache, something. I'm too old to just stay there and take it if there's any other option now.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19991 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
North East Quine

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I went to university in the early 1980s and we had trigger warnings then, though they weren't described as such. But we were warned in advance if the next lecture was going to include graphic details of rape, sexual abuse of children, or abortion.

We were also given a trigger warning about a lecture which was going to cover the collapse of the zoology building in case the class included any members of the families of those who died.

I find the idea that trigger warnings are a new thing surprising. Surely they have a long informal history; the change now is that they are becoming formalised?

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Doc Tor
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The change is that they have become politicised.

So we now have trigger warnings for sexism, colonialism, ableism, racism, homophobia and transphobia (but not usually for class privilege...), alongside those for violence and rape and disturbing images.

And I think this is what's muddied the waters. I am not a mental health professional. Most people aren't. But I'm guessing that most people would say that depictions in literature or film of people being raped would actually be quite distressing for readers/viewers who've been in/close to situations like that, whereas a film set in nineteenth century India under British rule wouldn't be inherently distressing to someone from India in the same way. Yet the two are conflated.

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Forward the New Republic

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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"Snowflakery" is like the term "political correctness".

Each can be used appropriately and inappropriately.

For example, it is not PC, but common decency and consideration, to condemn the use of the word "nigger" these days, but it is loony PC, and cultural vandalism to boot, to try to ban or bowdlerise Huckleberry Finn or To Kill A Mockingbird because they record the use of the epithet.

Likewise it would not be a surrender to snowflakery, but wise and responsible, to warn a congregation that you were going to talk about something like rape or child abuse in next week's sermon, but arrant snowflakery to feel the need to warn of, or object to, references to violence in an optional university history subject.

[ 23. October 2017, 08:21: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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la vie en rouge
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I dislike the term snowflake intensely. AFAICT it is mostly a symptom of Boomer entitlement which is used to defend their own privileges and show contempt for those younger than them. It is intended to put the younger generation in our place despite the fact that our elders actually have made our lives considerably more difficult than their own. Actually millennials have plenty to complain about, what with the unaffordable housing and massive student debts and impending collapse of the Social Security system.

That said, I much prefer the term “content note” to “trigger warning”. Partly because it’s much less loaded, and also because you don’t necessarily have to have PTSD to find a particular subject upsetting. Some people just aren’t good with violence. I’m one. There’s a reason why I never watch Tarantino movies. I agree that you can’t really study English literature without reading King Lear, but holy cow, it’s violent. (Personally I’ve never been able to make my mind up whether the eyes-putting-out scene is more appalling when you know it’s coming in advance or when you don’t know and it takes you by surprise.)

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Rent my holiday home in the South of France

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Huia
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# 3473

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Things that trigger a response can be weird. At one time Christchurch was experiencing aftershocks at an average rate of one every couple of hours, so we went on line and played guessing game as as to the strength of the latest one and where it was centred. Then turned on the news and heard a report of an earthquake overseas, and burst into tears.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10115 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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To me the problem with trigger warnings is where to stop.

Many people have all kinds of experiences and issues in life, almost anything appearing anywhere in public is at least possible to trigger flashbacks - and other stuff that comes out of that - in someone or another.

That said, I think it is right to badge some things as being particularly problematic and particularly likely to be an issue for people.

It seems to me that this is about risk assessment. One can't really predict that seeing a particular product would trigger someone who associates it with an attack (if it is something that is a normal part of life and that many people are using in the normal way). But I think it is fair to say that scenes of extreme violence, sexual violence etc if they appear in unexpected places might be badged.

And for me that includes some of Shakespeare, no question. And also Huckleberry Finn.

It's not about being a "snowflake" and it isn't about "banning" things. But it is about being sensitive to people who might unexpectedly see things that could hurt them.

A few examples:

My wife once had a fairly extreme reaction to seeing something in a photography exhibition. As it happens, it wasn't the actual photo but the words alongside which caused the reaction. I don't think it is being a "snowflake" to think about what causes the reaction and to think about whether another exhibition might cause a similar reaction, hence a trigger warning might be useful.

My child when younger picked up 50 Shades of Gray in a charity shop. In that instance, I acted as a trigger warning. Not because I wanted the book banned, but because I was worried about the effect of that rubbish on a young mind. I wouldn't be worried now because my child is older and more able to process that kind of thing.

Once when I was browsing in the shop attached to an art gallery, I picked up a magazine which depicted without warning stylized violence, with nude models bundled into uncomfortable positions. Whilst it clearly isn't something which is as bad as things-that-exist-on-the-internet, I was thinking at the time it could be a bit of a shock for someone.

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arse

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Martin60
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OK, what does this trigger? Is there any implicit moral restraint of adult consensual sexual permissiveness in Christianity apart from untreatable super-gonorrhoea risk?

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Love wins

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