Yesterday, Susannah Breslin of True/Slant wrote a post about trigger warnings, and how they are “dumb.” She gets off to a good start by insulting Feministing and feminism in general with all the usual, unimaginative “man-hating” bullshit. Then…
In any case, I’ve noticed as of late a new addition to their bloggy style, which is the inclusion of the phrase, often IN ALL CAPS or TOTALLY BOLDED, which announces incoming SCARY content with a “TRIGGER WARNING.” WTF is a “trigger warning”? Yeah, I had to look that one up myself. Thankfully: Google.
According to Yahoo! Answers (which, BTW, is a great place to turn if you’re worried that having sex while pregnant could result in a pregnant fetus), a trigger warning is: “A warning placed in the title of an e-mail or post to let possible readers know that the content might trigger (or upset) them.” This seems different than the more widely used “spoiler alert,” which is used if you’ve seen a movie that other fanbois haven’t, and you want to reveal the ending, but you don’t want all your fanbois to freak the fuck out.
After some in-depth research (like, half an hour, maybe?), I was able to conclude that, for whatever reason, the feminists are all over their TRIGGER WARNINGS, applying them like a Southern cook applies Pam cooking spray to an overused nonstick frying pan. It’s almost impressive, really. I guess the idea is that blog posts are TOTALLY SCARY, and if you are EASILY UPSET, if you see a TRIGGER WARNING coming, you can look away REALLY FAST, or click elsewhere, so you won’t, you know, FREAK THE FUCK OUT. (Read the rest)
So let us review for a second. Susannah Breslin didn’t know what a trigger warning was, so she asked Yahoo! Answers. She then explains it as if it were equivalent to a “spoiler alert,” omitting its actual purpose — to warn survivors of rape and sexual assault with PTSD that a post may trigger a flashback or panic attack because it discusses rape or includes rape imagery.
Way to go, Breslin. Way to be a total asshole to rape survivors.
A fair few of feminist bloggers have already commented on this, so I will share some of my favorite responses.
Feministing: Susannah Breslin, the writer who called feminism “cultural roadkill” has now taken it upon herself to mock the shit out of a very serious term: trigger warnings. You know, because it’s souncool and passe to care about rape victims.
Feministe: You know what is much less easy than just skipping over trigger warnings? Writing a whole post about how feminists are just angry and we hate men and and haha rape victims are just easily upset, those babies.
Now, we know that Susannah Breslin and feminism are not the best of friends. Fine. We will go on with our man-hating selves, and you, S, can go on harping on the feminists who type two words in a tiny effort to make life a little bit easier on sexual assault survivors (you know, those people who are “easily upset” and might “freak the fuck out”). Definitely keep using your platform to focus on the really good and important stuff, like telling rape survivors to quit being such whiney titty-babies. I think Gandhi said that once.
Seriously. What an asshole.