“I am not scared of bad people, of wicked evildoers, of monsters and creatures of the night. The people who scare me are the ones who are certain of their own rightness. The ones who know how to behave, and what their neighbors need to do to be on the side of the good.” ~ Neil Gaiman
There are people all over the place at the moment objecting to trigger warnings but I don’t think those people actually understand what it means.
A trigger warning is exactly the same as putting this on the back of a DVD box; only in this context it’s being used for words related to trauma rather than pieces of film.
And I’ve never heard anyone criticising the very concept of film and television broadcasting classifications – at least not seriously.
It’s not even as though those of us who feel that we benefit from trigger warnings are necessarily going to avoid watching and/or reading any potentially triggering material – although there was a stage in my illness where I did because if I’d become any sicker I’d have killed myself, so triggering would have been very, very bad.
It’s just that it’s so helpful to be prepared for that material before we see or hear it.
It means that if I’m in a fragile state I can avoid reading, say, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo until I’m in a better frame of mind for it; in the same way that nobody would bat an eyelid at doing with a film like City of God (the DVD in the box pictured) or Goodfellas.
We’ve been doing this, I would imagine even the trigger warning detractors have been doing this, for most of our lives. There’s no logical argument to be made that the written word should be handled any differently.